The California Arts Council is working to immediately retract the use of the name Transformative Arts on all messaging or branding of our state’s prison arts programming, returning to Arts in Corrections.
Since 2011, Transformative Arts has been the name of a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles that builds visual literacy through localized art, making initiatives that support communities and artists in order to strengthen cooperation and social engagement.
Our prison arts program specifically upholds the value that “individual and collective accountability for harm, and the healing of trauma, can create a more safe and just society for all.” We accept full accountability for the oversight in its recent adoption of the name Transformative Arts so that we may actively uphold this value, to support healing and transformation and be a small part of fostering the conditions where our collective liberation is possible.
We are grateful to all who contributed their thoughts and perspectives during this valued process to reimagine and retitle Arts in Corrections. Staff will continue its outreach efforts to determine a meaningful, community-led program name change in the future.
We appreciate this organization reaching out to inform us of our mistake, and the impact they have experienced as a result of their name’s appropriation. We apologize sincerely for any harm caused to the Transformative Arts organization, and any confusion brought for the field.