PEN America publishes written work on human rights, injustice, and the complexities of living in an age of globalization. The site regularly features the work of cartoonists, including Lilli Carré, Leela Corman, Joe Sacco, and Ronald Wimberly. In The Art Class is a Sanctuary City, cartoonist and teacher Cara Bean considers her art class a place of refuge, free from judgment or intolerance. Bean, who studied at the Sequential Artists Workshop in Florida, positions the art class as a vital part of expression, exploration, failure and growth. Her students create art to inspire, further ideas and to promote a grassroots effort. Bean’s art is full of life, energy and passion, just like the students in her art class. The safe haven that she fosters is open to differing ideas and students with specific needs and attitudes. One takeaway is that life could be improved by the occasional art class, as long as it is taught by someone like Ms. Bean.
— Stephen Harrick