Our Work

Theatre performances, audio content, dance workshops, art exhibitions, and film screenings — these are just some of the ongoing initiatives we offer across Colorado and beyond. Our programs deliver arts-based experiences that are educational, therapeutic, and reflective. By facilitating dialogue and empowering individuals to tell their stories, we build communities that are changing the conversation about prison.

"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

Our Programming

Intro to Art Making Practices

Arts-Based Courses

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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Artistic Development Team

Artistic Justice: A Praxis

Artistic Justice is a praxis (a theory and a practice) that strives to create individual and community connection and healing in and around the criminal justice system through storytelling. The Artistic Justice praxis evolved and was claimed through the on-going practice, programming, study and work of the University of Denver’s Prison Arts Initiative (DU PAI), and its work across several artistic and academic mediums.

Inside Wire Radio

Inside Wire: Colorado Prison Radio

Inside Wire: Colorado Prison Radio offers a platform for the voices, stories, and creations of people impacted by the criminal legal system in Colorado and beyond. The station beams original music, stories, and information across the world, via the Inside Wire app. Inside Wire launched with production studios inside numerous Colorado prisons; in 2023, the station expanded to include production outside of prison, creating opportunities for a broader range of voices committed to reimagining justice in the U.S. 

LuxLit publications

LuxLit Press

Through the publication of original materials created by people who are incarcerated, LuxLit Press seeks to spark new understandings for people inside and out. LuxLit is publishing a wide variety of genres and platforms including anthologies of plays and short stories as well as full-length scripts. This provides opportunities to produce strong literary and visual art, as well as to support previously unseen resources within the incarcerated community.

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Theatre & Film Productions

Theatre & Film Productions

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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Unchained Voices & Fine Arts Shows

Unchained Voices & Fine Arts Shows

Unchained Voices began as a volunteer committee of Denver-based forensic social workers and juvenile defense attorneys, with a mission to educate, empower, advocate and connect through shared humanity and the powerful voice of art. Unchained Voices has been collecting and sharing art from incarcerated artists in professional art shows for the public since 2016 — it is one of the many art exhibitions DU PAI is excited to support.

Explore Our Galleries
Within Podcast

With(in) Podcast

With(in) is an award-winning podcast committed to shifting the conversation on who is in prison, specifically within the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC). Through meaningful, complex and enlightening conversations with incarcerated people and others in and around the criminal justice system we are committed to revealing our shared humanity.

du pai performance

Your support enriches lives across Colorado.