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Volunteers bringing the creative arts to people incarcerated in Texas jails and prisons

Our Team

Freehand Arts Instructors are working artists who dedicate their time to teach Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, Creative Writing and Visual Arts to incarcerated students. We are proud to work with university professors, retired teachers, graduate students, published authors, and artists of all kinds to develop curriculum and lead classes. 

kelsey shipman

Kelsey Erin Shipman founded The Freehand Arts Project in 2014, after teaching poetry for over a year at the Travis County Correctional Facility. She currently teaches Creative Writing at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders after five years teaching in the English Department of Texas State University where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing. An educator for close to ten years, Kelsey has taught in a variety of high-need environments including public libraries, low-income schools and retirement communities. After earning her undergraduate degree in Philosophy, she worked as a union organizer out of New York City for several years before moving to Ghana where she taught writing in Africa's first Liberal Arts College, Ashesi University. 

As an author, her work has been widely published in places such as The African American ReviewThe Austin ChronicleSagebrush Review, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. Kelsey is also an accomplished spoken word artist having performed her work on four continents and released a full-length album of jazz/funk spoken word poetry. She also served as the 2013-2014 Writer-In-Residence at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, and was the recipient of the 2007 San Jacinto & Althean Literary Societies’ Grand Prize in Poetry.


MURphy anne carter
director & creative writing instructor

Murphy Anne Carter fell into Freehand. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in Plan II Honors, English Honors, and History, Murphy moved to New York as a member of New York City Teaching Fellows and taught AP Literature and Composition and creative writing classes at a Title-1 high school in Hell’s Kitchen. She wound up back in Austin--still hungry to teach. She started teaching creative writing and poetry at Travis County Correctional Complex and organized workshops at the jail from visiting poets, Eileen Myles and Derrick Brown. Having taught nearly every age, from PreK to seniors, Murphy's favorite demographic and most inspiring classroom has been created by the women at TCCC. 

She is enrolled in graduate school at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, where she hopes to pursue social justice in state and local incarceration systems. Murphy swims in Barton Springs more days of the week than not, is a part of an all-female art collective in East Austin, and is working up the courage to climb at Austin Bouldering Project. She loves bad jokes, writing, Latin American authors, and Bill Withers—separately and in various combinations.


liz moskowitz
creative director & poetry instructor

Liz Moskowitz is a photographer and storyteller based in Austin. Born and raised in Brooklyn, she developed a curiosity early on for creative expression and the human condition. She studied English and photojournalism at The University of Texas at Austin and after graduation, lived in Hong Kong for a year, working as a teacher for a nonprofit organization. She currently freelances full-time, offering photo and video services to her clients. She believes in the therapeutic power of creative writing and finding ways, big or small, to counter social injustices. 

You can view Liz's photo and video portfolio here


ally glass katz

Ally Glass Katz is a writer from Berkeley, California. Before moving to Austin, she studied English and Creative Writing at Bowdoin College and taught college readiness through Let’s Get Ready in Portland, Maine. She’s currently a Fiction Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. Her recent work can be found in Shenandoahthe Minnesota review, and Michigan Quarterly Review


chelsea phillips
VISUAL ARTS instructor

Chelsea Phillips is an Austin-based artist and illustrator.  She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and took several years of art classes at Austin Community College. She enjoys teaching visual art classes as a form of catharsis for her students.  Her favorite lessons involve charcoal and self portraits. She enjoys working alongside her students and listening to the stories they tell about their art. She has been involved in many local organizations like CASA, Communities in Schools, and Meals on Wheels.  Chelsea is a new mother and loves exploring nature with her family. She also is a huge animal lover and owns and manages Tiny Tails to You with her husband Joe Moore. Her work can be found at and on instagram @c.philly.


Bronwyn walls
visual arts instructor

Bronwyn Walls is a self-taught visual artist whose works centers around themes of intersectional feminism, emotional healing, and processes of transformation. Bronwyn's current work is deeply informed by her recent move back to her childhood home of New Orleans, LA for the first time since evacuating for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

Bronwyn is also the illustrator of a unique 78 card tarot deck called Mesquite Tarot, a tool for self reflection. You can find more of her personal work here