Weekly activities for prison learners
Inspiration and in-cell activities for people in criminal justice settings during the coronavirus lockdown
In response to the coronavirus lockdown, we created and shared weekly Art Aid activity sheets between April and the end of July 2020, with simple creative tasks to help inspire learning in prisons and secure settings.
We know that the arts can be a lifeline for those in secure settings and that receiving recognition and feedback through our annual Koestler Awards can have a hugely positive impact on those who enter – which is why we wanted to share these art activities with anyone who needs them.
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, prisons, YOIs, IRCs, other secure settings, and criminal justice services in the community have been facing extremely challenging conditions.
Understandably, many of the usual activities for wellbeing and learning have not been able to happen and learners have had limited access to materials.
On each Art Aid sheet, you will find a couple of ideas for creative activities that can be done using limited materials, as well as samples of past entries to the Koestler Awards to provide inspiration.
Thank you to education provider Novus for their help distributing these to their learners through in-cell screens and paper packs.
If you’re an education provider or prison arts organisation, please download, share and use the sheets below. Please do let us know if you are using them to help your learners or if you have any questions or feedback.
Although the deadline for the 2020 Koestler Awards has now passed, we are continuing to share monthly activity sheets to inspire learners in prisons and secure settings. Find out more about our new monthly Art Aid.
Art Aid archive:
Art Aid #3
Tasks for the senses - drawing with closed eyes and a song about your favourite food.
BONUS Art Aid (Under 25s)
A bumper creative pack with puzzles, activities and a personal account of lockdown, by our own Senior Arts and Exhibitions Assistant.
Art Aid #6
What are 'monkey peas'? Find out in this writing task celebrating lost words.
Art Aid #7
Drawing time, and a haiku task set by a former Koestler Arts entrant, mentee and exhibited artist.
Art Aid #8
Make a piece of work celebrating your heroes (ideal for the Koestler Awards special Platinum Award for 2020 with the Butler Trust to recognise key workers in the prison service)
Art Aid #9
Create a lockdown log with this challenge, set by a former Koestler Arts Mentee
Art Aid #10
Free association and drawing from memory with artist Hurvin Anderson (via former exhibition partner Firstsite Colchester)
Art Aid #11
A poetry challenge for our Themed Category, Window, by Joelle Taylor, a poet and Koestler judge (via The Poetry Society)
Art Aid #13
Write a slogan, inspired by Koestler judges Bob and Roberta Smith and Jeremy Deller.
Art Aid #15
Draw a self-portrait with your non-dominant hand, set by a current Koestler Mentee