The Incarcerated Artists Project (IAP)
Who We Are
The Incarcerated Artists Project (IAP) is a consortium of Columbia University School of the Arts student-run programs serving those impacted by mass incarceration. The IAP engages with formerly and currently incarcerated people—and their families—through creative workshops in correctional facilities, publications, and on-campus events. These activities emanate from Columbia Artist/Teachers (CA/T), the Columbia Journal, and Our Word. We also partner with such organizations as the Heyman Center for the Humanities and LiveWrite.
The IAP was founded by Adam Schwartzman in the Spring of 2018, building on initiatives developed by Writing Program students Antoinette Bumekpor, Tibo Halsberghe, and Heather Radke, who serve as student advisors. The project is overseen by Professor Alan Ziegler, Director of Community Outreach.
Community Writing Classes Through CA/T, MFA students lead creative workshops at the Manhattan Detention Complex (currently on pause due to the pandemic). In 2021, we began our first digital offering to formerly incarcerated writers via Zoom.
Incarcerated Writers Initiative
The Incarcerated Writers Initiative receives submissions from writers in prisons around the country. Each submitter receives feedback from a Writing Program student or alum, offering suggestions for how they can improve their work and, most importantly, offering words of inspiration and encouragement. All submissions are considered by the Columba Journal and the Exchange, a zine of work by incarcerated people.