The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project

Poetry, Classical Literature, African American Literature, Art and the Mind, Multi-Media Art---these are a few of the courses offered to inmates at 12 correctional facilities throughout the state of Alabama. In conjunction with Auburn University in Alabama and the Caroline Marshall Draughton Center for the Arts & Humanities, the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project offers prisoners courses in arts and humanities.

"Through it all, though, through every person who works to make the program possible, the most remarkable individuals are the students."

The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project is fueled by a dynamic and dedicated group of artists, writers and scholars who believe that knowledge and creative development can change someone's life. As Kyes Stevens, Director of The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project states, "Through it all, though, through every person who works to make the program possible, the most remarkable individuals are the students." 

The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project began in 2002 and at that time was called the Alabama Prison Arts Initiative. First funding for this project was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Working with the Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, and the Caroline Marshall Draughton Center for the Arts & Humanities, the name changed in 2004 to The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project.

The goals of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project have always been to place rich creative and intellectual opportunities into Alabama's prisons, a remarkably underserved population.

In addition to the Liberal Arts program, the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project works with 19 different correctional facilities to build their libraries through the Books Behind Bars program. Books are donated by individuals to not only help provide quality literature and educational materials to inmate/students, but to the entire prison population. 

Many of the students artistic endeavors are showcased through the traveling art exhibit "Art on the Inside," where the work is available at public exhibitions.