Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP)

  • 1801 East Quad
  • 701 E. University
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1245

The Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) was founded in 1990 with the mission to collaborate with incarcerated adults, incarcerated youth, urban youth and the formerly incarcerated to strengthen our community through creative expression. Housed in the University of Michigan’s Residential College, faculty and students work with community members both inside and outside prisons to engage in workshops in theatre, dance, visual art, creative writing, slam poetry, and music. Annually, PCAP hosts one of the largest prisoner art exhibitions in the world and publishes a literary journal of writing by incarcerated authors. With arts programming and events year round, the organization serves as a creative hub for those with links to the criminal justice system, community volunteers, faculty, students, and university staff.

In order to fulfill its mission of strengthening our community through creative expression, the Prison Creative Arts Project:

  • Hosts the Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners which showcases the work of incarcerated artists around the state.
  • Showcases the talent and diversity of writers within correctional facilities in the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing.
  • Organizes collaborative workshops in theater, creative writing, spoken word, art, dance, and music.
  • Works one-on-one with incarcerated individuals in the Portfolio Project, helping them prepare portfolios of their art or creative writing for presentation to parole boards, judges, schools, and employers when they return home.
  • Connects returning citizens with the arts community through the Linkage Project.
  • Curates an Exhibition of Art by Incarcerated Youth presenting work by young artists in Michigan juvenile facilities.
  • Offers courses that provide a theoretical background and practical experience for engaging in social justice work.

Supports the growth of creative arts programming in prisons, juvenile facilities, schools, and other community sites across the state through the Michigan Prison Arts Initiative.