Students with Instructors Quetzal Flores (red shirt) and Cesar Castro (white shirt)
Photo Credit: Peter Merts
California Arts Council announces contract awards for organizations providing rehabilitative arts services in state correctional facilities, in partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
July 2015 - Sacramento - The California Arts Council has awarded contracts to ten organizations for Arts in Corrections programs in eighteen state correctional facilities.
The Arts in Corrections programs offer an array of performing, literary and visual arts disciplines, such as theater, music, dance, creative writing, poetry, storytelling, painting, and drawing.
Now in its second year, California's Arts in Corrections pilot program is made possible by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), which committed $2.5 million to add structured, contracted Arts in Corrections programs in selected state prisons over two years (fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15).
The Arts in Corrections program is administered by the California Arts Council. Both CDCR and the California Arts Council have a long history of providing arts programs in correctional facilities.
"The resurgence of California's Arts in Corrections program has resulted in remarkable success across our state," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "These exceptional arts organizations provide valuable rehabilitation and positive change for inmates through deep engagement with the arts and creative expression."
"Since the revitalization of the Arts in Corrections program, many positive changes have been reported from our institutions," said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. "These rehabilitative arts programs are teaching inmates new skills while also providing an outlet for emotional growth and self-reflection."
One participant stated that arts engagement "allows you to break out of that shell and then express yourself in different ways that are otherwise held down and repressed."
Another shared that during arts programming, "I can smile, I can laugh, I can cry and I can show the world that the person who came in here doesn't exist no more."
Arts in Corrections Service Providers
- Actors’ Gang - Comedia del' arte theater
- Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) - Mexican Jarocho music, African drumming, Native American beadwork, African-American storytelling, and Chicano theater and guitar
- Dance Kaiso - Caribbean dance and percussion
- Fresno Arts Council (in partnership with Kern County Arts Council) - Visual arts, music, creative writing and theater
- Inside Out Writers - Creative writing
- Marin Shakespeare Company - Theater
- Muckenthaler Cultural Center - Music, visual arts, and theater
- Red Ladder Theatre Company / Silicon Valley Creates - Improvisational theater
- Strindberg Laboratory - Theater
- William James Association - Visual arts, creative writing, and music