The United States is now one of the most incarcerating nations in the world. The prison industry is growing at a rapid rate with increasingly higher percentages of African-American, Hispanic, and Native American men, women and teen-agers serving time. In many states, including Michigan, educational and recreational activities have been eliminated from the prisons. This class gives students the opportunity to work inside a prison in one of two ways:
By participating in a video workshop whereby a group of students will join a group of inmates to produce short videos scripted, directed and edited collaboratively by both teams. The workshop will include tutorials in screen-writing, storyboarding, editing concepts and various other issues illustrated and critiqued through examples demonstrated to both groups (inmates/students).
By maintaining a solid relationship already established between the School of Art and Design with a number of prison facilities in Michigan, students can also themselves facilitate an art workshop for men, women or adolescents. Students opting for this second option will visit in small groups to a local correctional facility or youth facility, and work primarily with drawing and painting in adult correctional facilities, and with clay and collage, as well as drawing and painting, with the adolescent population.
Readings, films and discussion will provide background and training for working in a prison setting. The class will meet once a week to share art projects with each other, and to discuss films, reading material and issues that arise in the workshops, as well as for supervision and discussion with the instructor in small groups.