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

Get Involved

"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.


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.


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.


LuxLit Press

"LuxLit Press" highlights the writing of artists who are incarcerated by publishing their work and making it available to the community. We seek to spark new understandings for people inside and out.

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Chained Voices Art Show

"Chained Voices" is an advocacy and empowerment art show based in Denver. The show is a collaborative effort created on behalf of incarcerated artists in Colorado. The "Chained Voices" committee is comprised of community members, the DU Prison Arts Initiative, forensic social workers, public and private defense attorneys, community organizers and family members of incarcerated people.

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  • Sterling Correctional Facility

    12101 Hwy 61
    Sterling, CO 80751

    If Light Closed Its Eyes; With(in); Reverberations
    Incarcerated students are the driving force behind our interview-based theatre play, If Light Closed Its Eyes; our podcast, With(in); and the literary magazine, Reverberations.

  • Colorado Correctional Center (Camp George West)

    15445 S. Golden Road
    Golden, CO 80401

    Family Events
    One of DU PAI’s signature events, which 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

    The Building Blocks of Musical Theatre
    In this 12-week course, students explore music, singing, movement and acting techniques.

  • Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center

    10900 Smith Road
    Denver, CO 80239

    Collective Care: Finding Freedom through Joy & Movement
    Students embrace stories as blueprints for choreography, to move stories through their bodies, in this 12-week course.

  • Limon Correctional Facility

    49030 State Hwy 71 South
    Limon, CO 80826

    Production of Antigone; The Right to Speak: Finding Your True Voice
    Limon's production of the classic tragedy, Antigone, includes an in-house band. "The Right to Speak Finding Your True Voice" is a 12-week course.

  • Buena Vista Correctional Facility

    15125 Highway 24 & 285
    Buena Vista, CO 81211

    To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme: Questioning & Writing Poetry
    Students read a range of poetic styles and genres and learn techniques for crafting their own original poems.

  • Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility

    1275 W. US Highway 50
    Cañon City, CO 81212

    Exploring Improvisation
    In this 12-week workshop, students learn about various ways of improvising character, relationships, space, sound, movement and tone.

  • Fremont Correctional Facility

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

    The Inside Report; Introduction to Journalism
    The Inside Report is our Colorado Department of Corrections statewide newspaper. In "Intro to Journalism," students learn about the basics of journalism and newsroom operations.

  • Four Mile Correctional Facility

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

    Introduction to Art Making Practices
    This course is geared towards exploring the skills, concepts and actions of artistic activity and practices.

  • La Vista Correctional Facility

    1401 W. 17th Street
    Pueblo, CO 81003

    Universe Within; Introduction to Art Making Practices
    Universe Within is a devised theatre and playwriting project based on our Arts in Society grant Sojourn: The Search. "Intro to Art Making Practices" is a 12-week course geared towards exploring the skills, concepts and actions of artistic activity and practices.

du pai performance

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