Our Work

Creating Opportunities for Incarcerated People

The University of Denver's Prison Arts Initiative partners with facilities across Colorado to imagine, develop and implement ways for incarcerated people to express themselves and transform their communities. From arts workshops and family events, to educational courses, media outlets and public performances, these collaborations are shifting whose perspectives are included in conversations about incarceration. As DU PAI continues to expand, we're working hard to rotate program offerings and reach participants in even more facilities.

du prison arts participants in group

Stay up to date on the latest performances, events and programming from DU's Prison Arts Initiative.

Discover the Latest from DU PAI

The ability to speak, the ability to be proud of what I have to offer—yes, I know that will take me very far in my life.

DU PAI Incarcerated Participant

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With(in) Podcast

DU PAI's podcast brings together voices from Sterling Correctional Facility, Denver Women's Correctional Facility, and the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center in order to shift the conversation about prison through meaningful dialogues.

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The Inside Report Newspaper

This newspaper promotes incarcerated voices — while also providing development and publishing experience — in a partnership between the Colorado Department of Corrections and the University of Denver's Prison Arts Initiative.

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Performances and Events

With a cast and crew composed of incarcerated people, all design and technical elements of DU PAI performances are created inside. Through collaboration between DU PAI and the Department of Corrections, participants bring their performances to public and incarcerated audiences.

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Arts-Based Workshops

We provide therapeutic arts-based programming that builds collaborative communities and empowers individuals’ creative voices. Our workshops include creative writing, ensemble theatre, arts and spirituality, and more.

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Inside Out

DU graduate students and incarcerated students come together in college-level courses launching in Spring 2020. Our first course, Restorative Justice and Performance, will be co-taught by the School of Social Work and the Theatre Department.

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Family Events

Families reunite through arts-based workshops, using creativity as a vehicle for joy and growth. Our events center around an illustrated book that captures a family-friendly theme we are excited to explore together.

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du-pai-map
  • Sterling Correctional Facility

    12101 Hwy 61
    Sterling, CO 80751

    Interview-Based Theatre Play
    Students will engage in interviews to create and perform a verbatim theatre piece.

  • Colorado Correctional Center (Camp George West)

    15445 S. Golden Road
    Golden, CO 80401

    Family Events
    One of DU PAI’s signature events that provides opportunities for family members of incarcerated individuals to connect in new and innovative ways through arts-based workshops.

  • Denver Women's Correctional Facility

    3600 Havana Street 
    Denver, CO 80239

    Let the Lit Move You (dance and literature)
    Through creative writing and movement, students explore new pathways of expression and imagination.

  • Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center

    10900 Smith Road
    Denver, CO 80239

    Scene Study and Playwriting
    Through theatre and acting activities, students learn how to analyze theatrical text and bring it to life on the stage.

  • Limon Correctional Facility

    49030 State Hwy 71 South
    Limon, CO 80826

    Theatrical Production of Antigone
    Students participate in a fully realized theatrical production in which all acting, music and design elements are created inside.

  • Buena Vista Correctional Facility

    15125 Highway 24 & 285
    Buena Vista, CO 81211

    No programming, with the exception of our ongoing Group Leadership program, is scheduled in winter 2020. Programming will resume in spring 2020.

  • Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility

    1275 W. US Highway 50
    Cañon City, CO 81212

    Portable Magic: A Book Discussion Workshop 
    Over the course of this workshop, students read novels, articles, non-fiction texts and memoirs and lead thoughtful discussions based on their reflection and reactions to the text.

  • Fremont Correctional Facility

    E. US Highway 50 & Evans Road
    Cañon City, CO 81215

    Writing the Breath
    Students are introduced to creative writing practices and mindful breathing exercises to facilitate shared awareness, expression and understanding.

    Theatrical Production of Jesus Christ Superstar
    Students participate in a fully realized theatrical production in which all acting, music and design elements are created inside.

  • Four Mile Correctional Facility

    E. US Highway 50 & Evans Road
    Cañon City, CO 81212

    Ensemble Theatre
    Through theatre and acting activities, students learn how to create a theatrical space centered around community.

  • La Vista Correctional Facility

    1401 W. 17th Street
    Pueblo, CO 81003

    Ensemble Theatre
    Through theatre and acting activities, students learn how to create a theatrical space centered around community.

du pai performance

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