Laurie Brooks has been bringing meaningful arts experiences to incarcerated men, women, and youth since she began working with the William James Association in 1989. As Executive Director since 2001, she led the growth and development of WJA’s Prison Arts Project, Poetic Justice Project (collaborating with returned residents and veterans), Community Youth Arts Project and NEA Artist in Residence programs in Federal Prisons. With incarcerated Americans at the center, she has supported hundreds of artists working through seasons of economic devastation, a cruel pandemic and inside dysfunctional jails, prisons and juvenile facilities. Laurie graduated in Economics and Community Studies, and managed Nonviolent Communication Santa Cruz. She served on the County Arts Council and co-founded the national Justice Arts Coalition. She nurtures a community garden and makes hand-built pottery and sculpture in Santa Cruz.