Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project
Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project is an evolutionary and dynamic program fueled by a dedicated group of artists, writers and scholars who believe that knowledge and creative development can change someone’s life. APAEP was established in 2002 and called the Alabama Prison Arts Initiative. APAEP was first funded by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2003. The Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University served as the fiscal agent for the small initiative. In 2004, APAEP took its current name when it became a full-time program of Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities. APAEP grew from one poet teaching in one prison, to a pool of more than 50 writers, artists, scholars and visiting writers teaching in 12 correctional facilities in Alabama. Course offerings have expanded from poetry and creative writing to southern literature, photography, African-American literature, Alabama history, drawing and many other classes. In 2008, APAEP moved to the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts. This move has served to strengthen APAEP in multiple capacities. Graduate students and faculty at Auburn are now directly involved in research on the effects of APAEP programming. The goals of APAEP have always been to place rich creative and intellectual opportunities into Alabama’s prisons, a remarkably undeserved population.