Prison Performing Arts is a multi-discipline, literacy and performing arts program dedicated to enriching the lives of youth and adults in Missouri’s criminal and juvenile justice systems. We foster individual and social change by providing incarcerated adults, justice-involved youth, and returning citizens with opportunities to participate in the arts as artists, students, and audience members. Participants learn creative and constructive ways to express emotions, build trust, and work in collaboration with one another. Our programs aim to improve literacy and communication skills, instill responsibility to self and others, and to promote non-violent expression of emotion.
THE FACES OF PPA
Prison Performing Arts involves incarcerated youth and adults in the performing arts to inspire intellectual curiosity and personal development. We nurture the discipline, teamwork and communication skills necessary for successful re-entry into society. We encourage members of the larger community to connect personally with program participants, and we offer continuing programs for participants who have been released.
OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY,EQUITY,
The Prison Performing Arts community is deeply rooted in acceptance, collaboration, and inclusion. We come from all walks of life and believe that embracing our differences makes us better artists, learners, teachers, staff, and board members. People of color and the LGBTQIA+ community are often unfairly and disproportionately targeted by the carceral system. However, our work within juvenile and adult correctional centers is an opportunity to heal these collective injustices. We denounce behaviors fueled by prejudice and are fully committed to being an anti-racist, anti-discriminatory organization. Our programs intentionally create opportunities for authentic self-expression that validate the worth and dignity of each person. All members of the PPA community have a responsibility to act with respect toward all. While PPA fosters a diversity of artistic voices, we recognize that we have much learning – and unlearning – to do as we strive to be more inclusive and equitable in all of our practices.
Family Court’s Detention Alternatives Program
Hogan Street Regional Youth Center
Missouri Eastern Correctional Center
Northeast Correctional Center
St. Louis City Justice Center
St. Louis City Juvenile Detention Center
St. Louis County Juvenile Detention Center
Women’s Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center
The offices of Prison Performing Arts and the facilities we serve are located on the ancestral lands of the Osage, Missouri and Illini people, who were removed unjustly, and we in this community are the beneficiaries of that removal. We honor them as we live, work, and study today. Indigenous peoples have inhabited Missouri since time immemorial, and currently there are over 183,400 Native Americans living in the state. To learn more, please visit the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies.