Arts & Humanities

Participation in the arts can increase feelings of self-worth, reduce stress, and be a positive and safe outlet for emotion for all people. For people in prison, these benefits are accompanied by the possibility of reconnecting to interests held in better times and developing interests that bring meaning to daily life. The stress reduction and pro-social behavior encouraged by the arts benefit both the incarcerated people and the prison staff.

“When the door slides shut, my world quickly becomes black and white. It’s as if color has ceased to exist…

But I know that someday my colors will return to me. It will be with vibrant reds, greens, and blues… “

— Student, Middlesex House of Correction & Jail

Poetry as Healing/Creative Writing
This 8-week poetry course is created for lovers of poetry, creative writers, or freestyle writers who want to challenge themselves and learn how to appreciate the art even more. It is also for anyone who wants to improve

their basic writing and storytelling skills. Poetry and creative writing are creative art forms that require both understanding and appreciation to master. Simply reading a few poems or having their meanings explained to you is not enough to develop your own power of voice and creative imagination, which are skills this program builds. Poetry and creative writing can also be freeform, which follow no formal structure, allowing students freedom of expression.

Book Discussion Group
Readings focus on poetry, novels, plays, and short stories that are well-written, accessible and enduring. Some readings are chosen around an organizing theme such as survival, leadership, friendship, aging, father-son relationships, fables, etc. All readings are selected with an eye toward expanding both the leaders’ and the participant’s understanding of literature and what it means to be human.

Music Theory/Keyboard Skills
In Music Theory, participants learn how to read music and play the piano/keyboard. Instruction includes teaching chords and the mechanics of music construction. Participants have the opportunity to improve the music skills they already have, develop new skills, and enjoy playing and hearing live music.

Other CPO Programs to Explore

Make A Difference Today

Through time, or donation, you can make the difference in an individuals life and future both inside and outside of prison walls.