California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

February 24, 2016Mary Beth Barber
(916) 322-6588

CDCR and California Arts Council Partner to bring Rehabilitative Arts Programs to State Prisons for a Third Year

Arts organizations invited to help inmates develop skills; proposals requested; process now open

Pictured: Arts in Corrections programming at San Quentin State Prison. Photo by Peter Merts

SACRAMENTO - The California Arts Council and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are seeking arts organizations to implement rehabilitative arts programs at prisons statewide.

Arts in Corrections programs currently offer an array of performing, literary and visual arts disciplines, such as theater, music, creative writing, poetry, painting, drawing and sculpture.  Arts in Corrections programming is provided by professional artists - individuals who have actively participated in their particular arts discipline and who are recognized as experts by their peers in the arts field.

CDCR, through an interagency agreement with the California Arts Council, enacted a two-year Arts in Corrections pilot program in fiscal year 2013-14 and fiscal year 2014-15. The successful pilot has been adopted as an ongoing program starting with the current fiscal year, 2015-16.

Studies indicate that Arts in Corrections programs can have a positive impact on inmate behavior, provide incentives for participation in rehabilitative programs, and increase critical thinking, positive relationship building, and healthy behaviors. Further, Arts in Corrections can benefit facilities that house long-term inmates by improving inmate relations and reducing inmate-staff conflict.

The California Arts Council is seeking Arts in Corrections proposals from interested arts organizations through an open Request for Proposal (RFP) process that begins today, February 24, 2016. Proposals must be received by April 11, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

The California Arts Council and CDCR will conduct a "how-to" webinar for interested parties on Wednesday, March 2 at 2:00 p.m. Webinar registration is available at this link:

Click here to review the RFP process. For more information on providing services, contact Mary Beth Barber at the California Arts Council at (916) 322-6588 or

Media inquiries should be directed to Caitlin Fitzwater at (916) 324-6617 or

Related Content: VIDEO

The California Arts Council has created a series of short-form, documentary videos that celebrate creative expression in California. The videos follow art programming across California, from rural towns to some of the state's largest cities, which are making positive impacts in our communities. We traveled to document the work of one of our ten arts providers, the Actors' Gang, whose Prison Project workshops use a 16th century theatrical art form to change the lives of inmates at state correctional facilities.


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The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Nashormeh Lindo, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at


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