Spring 2013

Screen Printing Workshops

Inspired by student interest in the arts, Allison secured resources through the Center’s Micro-Grant to utilize her skills as a printmaker to encourage self-expression among students.

Project Description:

Allison Chalco received a Center Micro-Grant to design and facilitate screen-printing workshops at June Jordan School for Equity. Allison built, gathered, and received donated materials that were accessible and environmentally friendly. Allison first recognized an interest and need for her screen printing workshop at June Jordan School for Equity through her position there as a CCA CONNECTS Extern. Inspired by student interest in the arts, Allison secured resources through the Center’s Micro-Grant to utilize her skills as a printmaker to encourage self-expression among students.  There was such an overwhelming interest and engagement with Allison’s workshop that she enlisted the support of a fellow printmaker (Angel) from California College of the Arts to ensure her class had all the necessary resources to thrive.

“There is a buzz about the classroom where students are working together while learning and teaching each other and building upon their skills. There are some very talented printers at JJSE thanks to Allison.” — Ms. Anne Gradeja

Project Outcome:

Allison’s program sparked an interest in screen-printing among students at June Jordan School for Equity. After implementing the beginner workshop, the school began offering a semester-long screen-printing elective course. JJSE continues to use the grant-funded equipment, and is eager to offer the screen-printing class for years to come. Allison has cultivated a creative learning community, where students work together and teach each other to hone their skills. She continued to be committed to the program after her grant.


Write In/About Prison

CCA and San Quentin Writing Workshop students exchanged written works exploring the roots, themes, social and psychological significance of the “prison writing” genre.

Project Objective

In “Write In/About Prison,” ENGAGE students participated in writing exchanges with Writing students in the San Quentin Writing Workshop “Finding Your Voice on the Page” based on selected topics that included written and class critiques.  The class explored the roots, themes, social, and psychological significance of the “prison writing” genre enriched by texts written about and by prisoners.  ENGAGE students participated in the “San Quentin / CCA Throwdown,” a writing competition between CCA MFA in Writing students and inmate writing students in “Finding Your Voice on the Page.”   “Write In/About Prison” also included guest speakers who were writers, advocates, ex-cons, and professionals who work with incarcerated men and women or who are transitioning from prison.

Project Outcome(s)

Written materials from “Write In/About Prison” were gathered for a “Throwdown” collection of fiction, critical, and nonfiction works by both CCA students and inmates at San Quentin.  The book is a physical expression of the peer relationships formed during the ENGAGE course and only identifies the authors by name, not their institutional affiliations.  Materials selected from both CCA student and San Quentin writers were also shared at a reading held at the CCA Writers’ Studio on the San Francisco campus.


20/20 Foto

20|20 Foto lead a photography workshop created to empower youth affected by the femicides in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Project Overview:

Seeking to support the critical cultural reconstruction of a region, 20/20 FOTO: Cross Border Community Action was the first proposed institutional cross-border art program between the two cities since the 2008 eruption of violence in Juárez. 20/20 FOTO was a photography workshop introducing youth to the fundamentals of photography, critical thinking, therapeutic storytelling, writing, reflection, and installation skills. Taking place in El Paso, Texas and in Juarez, Mexico; 20/20 FOTO partnered with Creative Kids (US) and Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa (Mexico) on photography workshops. In order to create a sustainable program Team 20/20 FOTO sought to create a camera library for the organizations and an academic curriculum so that the workshops could continue past their initial implementation.

“We believe, as evidenced in our work with the workshop participants in Juárez, that the longest lasting impact of 20/20 FOTO has already begun with them, as critical thinkers and producers of powerful images.” – 20/20 FOTO, IMPACT Awardee 2011


Prior to the start of their workshops Team 20/20 FOTO: Cross Border Community Action presented their project to Pentax, who quickly recognized the significance of their project and donated 20 high quality cameras. 20/20 FOTO workshop participants at Creative Kids (El Paso) and Nuestras Hijas (Ciudad Juárez) shared their experiences with one another through exchanged letters, photographic work, and video chats. Under the theme “Heroes and Super Heroes,” 20/20 FOTO crafted an engaging photography curriculum and hosted an online photography exhibition for the images produced by the young people at Nuestras Hijas about their heroes and superheroes. 20/20 FOTO was such a success in Ciudad Juárez that local photographers continue to use their curriculum to work with Nuestras Hijas on their photograph project.