Program Website: www.auburn.edu/apaep
Contacts: Kyes Stevens, Founder/Director, (334) 844-8946; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Program Description: The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project is a program dedicated to providing access to sustained and quality educational experiences in the arts and humanities to incarcerated students in Alabama.
The program believes that it is important for incarcerated people to gain a quality education, and also to build a relationship with learning that will continue to grow for the rest of their lives. The goals of APAEP have always been to place rich creative and intellectual opportunities into Alabama’s prisons.
APAEP grew from one poet teaching in one prison (founder and director Kyes Stevens) in 2002, to a pool of more than 80 writers, artists, scholars and visiting writers teaching in 12 correctional facilities in Alabama. Course offerings have expanded from poetry and creative writing to southern literature, photography, African-American literature and many other classes. Classes in arts and humanities are based on introductory college courses and run for 14 weeks.
Our degree-granting program began in 2017 after APAEP and Auburn University were chosen to participate in the US Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Grant Experimental Initiative. Our degree students are taught by Auburn University faculty and graduate students and the coursework is identical to classes taught on the Auburn University campus.
Degrees Offered: We offer courses for credit towards a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on Business and Human Development and Family. Students that participate in our pre-college program can earn Continuing Education Units through Auburn University.
Programs Offered: Classes in the arts and humanities are based on introductory college level courses and generally run for 14 weeks. Classes include: Literature and Writing, Engineering, Art and Performance, Hunger Studies, Poetry, Creative Writing, Southern Literature, African American Literature, African American Theatre, Social History of Alabama, American Literature, Short Story Writing, World Literature, Drawing I/II, Multi-Media Art. Classes are capped at 25 students. There are no educational requirements set by APAEP
Unique Features: APAEP focuses on education as process and journey. The structure of our pre-college classes are based on college-level courses because APAEP wants its students to know that if they choose to pursue a college degree, that they are capable of doing the course-work. But on a much more fundamental level, APAEP is about building a relationship with learning, and in that process, also a relationship with the world around each student. Classrooms become communities of learners—and in a community, members are invested in each other.
Headquarters: Auburn, AL
Correctional Facilities Served: We teach in 10+ correctional facilities and supply books to 15+ prison libraries managed by Alabama Department of Corrections
Population Served: Men and women incarcerated in Alabama state prisons. Our pre-college classes have 15-25 students. We admit a cohort of 20 students every year to our degree program.
Number of Students: Average 18 per class
Graduates to Date: N/A
Year Founded: 2002
Founders: Kyes Stevens
College/University/Organization Partnerships: Auburn University
Funding: National Endowment for the Arts, Alabama State Council for the Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation are APAEP’s most consistent funding agencies. We also get support from the Laughing Gull Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation. Past support has come from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Puffin Foundation, Kalliopeia Foundation, and the Alabama Support the Arts Car Tag Fund. We also have a great community of supporters that donate to the program through the Auburn University Foundation.
Program Evaluation: We provide course evaluations to all of our students and encourage them to share their opinions about how we can improve.