“I don’t need to cater to any of you, I don’t need to cater to you. My brother is in the hospital paralyzed from the neck down, my niece was in a coma, and my wife was buried today, my daughter is out there with no parent, and I need this workshop, I need its focus, I need to keep my mind off these other things.”
— Wilson-Bey, an inmate at Southern Michigan Correctional
Facility after leaving and then returning to a theater workshop
PCAP members facilitate arts workshops in Michigan adult correctional facilities, juvenile facilities, and urban high schools. Through individual and group activities, honest discussion, and hard work, each workshop creates original art in the form of plays, writing, dance, music, and visual art that is ultimately shared with others through performances and/or exhibitions.
Our practice is considered and our methods clear and responsible. Facilitator teams (generally 2-3 PCAP members) recognize that all workshop participants are artists and know that it is their responsibility to foster an environment of equals where everyone can put forth their individual talents, energy, and vision. We open creative spaces in institutions where they do not exist and enter equally with the other participants, bringing—as they do—our individual energies and skills.
PCAP links pedagogy with practice by training college students to facilitate arts workshops in prisons, juvenile facilities, and Detroit high schools. PCAP courses taught at the University of Michigan serve as gateways for undergraduate participation in arts workshops and provide structured support for the workshops as well as academic training in issues surrounding incarceration and practical skills in the arts.