The Prison Arts Project at San Quentin is going strong with activities seven days a week – painting, drawing and printmaking classes, inmate bands, theater, writing workshops and book-binding.

We received a $25,000 challenge grant from the Marin Community Foundation, which means that your donation to support the Prison Arts Project at SQ is doubled.

WJA’s commitment to keeping the arts alive at SQ as a living example of excellence in correctional arts programming and it is paying off:

William James Association

Michael Franti and Spearhead performed at San Quentin on May 19, 2007. You can see more in an episode of FrantiV or read about it in Leah Garchik’s column in the Chronicle.

Alarm Magazine wrote a long and thoughtful, two-part story about Arts in Corrections at San Quentin.

Marin Independent Journal published an extensive piece about the visual arts program with some very nice photographs of the guys and their artwork.

TOWER BOOK Black/ White [and Read] Designed by Beth Thielen, the Tower Book project is a collaboration between the women of California Rehabilitation Center and the Men of San Quentin and is the first of its kind. The work is currently in the exhibition: “Black/White and Read” which opened at the New York Center for the Book in April, 2007, showed at the San Francisco Center for the Book, last fall, just closed a the Los Angeles Book Arts Center and will open at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts April 2008. More information and pictures are available here.

The creative writing group, aka the San Quentin Nine, has just released their second anthology, Brothers in Pen: A Means of Escape. Their first anthology, Brothers In Pen, released in 2006 is also available on-line.

Congratulations, also, to SQ9 member Kenny Brydon for winning the 2007 PEN.ORG Prison Writing Program honorable mention for fiction with a short story entitled, San Quentin, July 4, 1975.