Teaching Opportunities


We seek professional, inspiring, and well-rounded Teaching Artists to instruct weekly classes at various sites throughout California. Artists best suited for a residency with the Prison Arts Project have solid artistic and technical skills and a unique personal vision demonstrated through original work and presentation.

Teaching Artist Job Description HERE.

Current teaching opportunities

Mural Teacher, San Quentin State Prison.

Community Youth Arts Project, Multiple Sites, Alternative Education, Greater Santa Cruz Region.


The William James Association began in 1973 to promote work service in the arts, environment, education, and community development. Since 1977, the William James Association’s Prison Arts Project has brought exceptional artists into prisons throughout California. Acting on the conviction that the fine arts enrich, heal, and unite communities, we seek to provide the most meaningful arts experiences possible. It is based on over four decades of engagement with thousands of men, women, and youths in the justice system that we know art fosters hope & changes lives.

Under Arts in Corrections, a program of the California Arts Council with funding from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, WJA currently contracts with over 80 artists to offer programs in 14 California Prisons. 

The Prison Arts Project focuses on hands-on workshops in the visual, literary, and performing arts taught inside CA State Correctional Facilities. We are seeking versatile, resourceful, reliable, and resilient artists who can work well in the unusual setting of a prison. Experience in teaching is desirable, preferably with adults. Previous work with prison populations is optional, but it would be helpful. We provide paid training and support for teaching and navigating in prison.

In addition to the above, arts education and teaching experience are desirable and can be demonstrated through a history of consistent professional accomplishments and artistic standards as follows:

  • Visual Arts – Minimum two annual exhibitions with reviews over the last three years.
  • Literary – Regular publishing for the previous three years with reviews.
  • Performing – Regular public performances for the last three years with reviews.

We consider a diverse set of educational experiences and job history to measure an applicant’s potential to be successful in this position.

COMPENSATION: Competitive pay rate. 


  • Complete the Artist Application form found on this page. 
  • Once your application with all the required materials (resume, website, work samples, class description, etc.) is received, you’ll be notified by email.
  • Once applications have been reviewed by a panel of professional artists in this field, you’ll be notified via email about their status. If positions are available and your skills and values align with the program’s needs, you will be notified, and an interview will be scheduled with program staff. 


WJA is committed to providing equitable and inclusive access to meaningful arts engagement by dismantling barriers systematically and strategically.  We are committed to fully engaging underrepresented populations in all aspects of our operation, which will help us to be more inclusive of all marginalized people regardless of race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion.

We appreciate your interest in the Prison Arts Project. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Joey Reyes, Prison Arts Program Manager, William James Association, at Joey@williamjamesassociation.org.