There’s a lot of talk about the problems with the prison system in the United States and Alabama specifically, but rarely any talk about the good things that are being done to help these prisoners. Kyes Stevens ’94 is hoping to change that.
In this state, two-thirds of the men and women in prisons do not have a high school degree or even a GED certificate. However, Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences has founded a program that will offer the inmates an opportunity to receive education in drawing, photography, literature, creative writing and history.
A rotation of Auburn instructors will teach the groups of prisoners in courses that will last 14 weeks and are rigorously structured like college courses.
In 2002, Stevens established the project. The program is funded by Auburn University and an array of grants. Recently, The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project was awarded a $10,000 grant to support art appreciation in some of the prisons in Alabama.
The idea of offering art appreciation emerged in 2004, when Stevens offered the first drawing course. The prisoners were interested in the developing of visual art skills and learning about the history of art.
Now with the grant supplied by the Joan Mitchell Foundation, APAEP will have the opportunity to provide the art appreciation course and much more.
Check out the article written on page 42 about Stevens, which ran in the winter 2011 issue of the Auburn Magazine.
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