At the university
a circle of stiff classroom chairs
which we unbend with our minds
“The men at Ryan and I
come to the workshop,” Chris says,
“for the same reason:
something is missing in our lives,
and we come there to find it.”
-from “For Mike, Because You Asked,” by Buzz Alexander, Founder and Member of PCAP
PCAP's affiliated courses train students to facilitate workshops in the arts in state prisons, juvenile facilities, and Detroit high schools. Please check the current U-M class schedule for available seats and enrollment instructions.
In ENGLISH 326 students work one on one with incarcerated youth, helping them create a portfolio of their writing and art to present to their judges, employers, teachers, and family members. Students go each week to one of four or five youth facilities. We will be reading from a variety of texts, and students will keep weekly journals, make weekly reports on their work with the youth, write a final paper, and attend meetings of the Prison Creative Arts Project every other Wednesday night 7:10-9:00pm.
Interviews are required for admission to the course; students with some experience in youth facilities or with some understanding of youth incarceration will have priority, but others are definitely welcome as well — it is interest and commitment we're looking for. Check Buzz Alexander's office at 3275 Angell Hall for specially posted hours for interviews for this course.
Instructor: Buzz Alexander
Consent: With permission of instructor.
Students will conduct arts workshops in the genre of their choosing in prisons, juvenile facilities, and victims' rights groups. Whenever the participants grant consent, artistic products of these workshops will be posted on the Atonement Project website as a means for starting conversations about reconciliation and atonement among people who've committed crimes and those who've experienced the effects of crime.
Instructors: Ashley Lucas and Shaka Senghor
Consent: With permission of instructor. Interviews held November 25-26, 2013. Sign up online.
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, facilitating a creative arts workshop for men, women or adolescents. Readings, films and discussion provide background and training for working in a prison setting. Students work in small groups once a week at a local correctional facility or youth facility. The class meets once a week as a class to share art projects with each other, and to discuss films, reading material and issues that arise in the workshops. During the other three-hour block of class time, small groups meet for one hour each with the instructor for supervision and discussion.
You do not need to be a student at the School of Art and Design to take the class, but you do need to have some experience with art. You will need to get an override to register for the class.
Instructor: Janie Paul