National Endowment for the Arts grant supports state prison arts program

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, part of Auburn University’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Sciences, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Project director Kyes Stevens said the Art Works grant will allow the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project to support Alabama artists to teach semester-long visual arts classes in multiple correctional facilities around the state.

“In order for people to improve their lives, they need access to opportunities to grow,” said Stevens. “The continued support from the NEA allows the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project to support engaged artists to teach visual arts within a population who profoundly benefit from the experience.”

For the past decade, the project has partnered with the Alabama Department of Corrections to offer quality and sustained educational programming to those incarcerated within ADOC facilities.

Programming through the project, which currently includes arts and humanities classes, has been offered in 10 of Alabama’s 18 correctional facilities. This semester, they are teaching in six facilities.

The project is dependent on grants to support educational opportunities for those in prison. This marks the sixth time the project has received the NEA grant. Stevens said initially NEA funding supported creative writing programming, while other grants supported visual arts.

Art Works grants are meant to support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and powerful art, lifelong learning in the arts and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

(Written by Amy Weaver.)

Contacts: Kyes Stevens, College of Human Sciences, (334) 844-8946,, or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999,