PCAP has been facilitating arts workshops in Michigan prisons, treatment centers, and community settings since 1990, in theater, creative writing, visual art, and music. The workshops provide an opportunity for collaborative art-making with an emphasis on connectivity, creativity, and affirmation. Student and volunteer facilitator teams open creative spaces in institutions where they do not otherwise exist. 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 shared with others through a final performance, exhibition, or celebration.
Arts workshops are run both through Membership, with students and community volunteers participating as an extracurricular activity, and through designated PCAP courses taken for credit that have workshops folded into them. The workshops take place during the fall and winter semesters and run for around 12 weeks, meeting weekly, with short-term workshops also offered on occasion. Student and volunteer workshop facilitators work in teams and are required to register for a training session in early September or January before the workshops start up, whether participating through Membership or a PCAP course. If facilitating a workshop through Membership, students and volunteers are required to attend the biweekly Membership meetings.
Each semester there are a number of courses for credit offered by University of Michigan faculty that focus on the creative arts through the lens of mass incarceration, with PCAP workshops or other activities folded into them. These PCAP engaged learning courses serve as gateways for undergraduate and graduate student participation in prison arts workshops and provide academic training in issues surrounding incarceration and practical skills in the arts. Formerly incarcerated people are generally welcome to audit PCAP courses and should contact the course instructors.
PCAP Courses offered on a regular basis include: