California Arts Council

State of California

Arts in Corrections


Arts in Corrections is a partnership between CDCR and the California Arts Council designed to prepare inmates for success upon release, enhance rehabilitative goals, and improve the safety and environment of state prisons.

As of June 2017, arts programming now reaches all 35 state adult correctional institutions.

Administered by the California Arts Council, services provided span the full spectrum of art disciplines, with organizations offering instruction in theater, guitar, dance, creative writing, and Native American beadwork, among many others.

California’s Arts in Corrections program is made possible by funding from the Division of Rehabilitative Programs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Since the program’s re-launch in the 2013-14 fiscal year, CDCR’s investment has increased from $2.5 million in the first two years to an $8 million annual commitment. California’s Arts in Corrections program has become internationally renowned for its high-impact, innovative approach to addressing the state's critical public safety needs and rehabilitative priorities through the arts.

  • Photo Gallery: Arts in Corrections Documentation by Peter Merts
  • News: KABC-TV Los Angeles "Program Helps Inmates Express Themselves Through Acting"
  • Video: Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Arts in Corrections documentation
  • News: BBC covers The Actors' Gang Prison Project
  • News: People Magazine "Inside the Program That Brings Acting to California Prison Inmates"
  • News: Sierra Sun Times covers Fresno Arts Council

    The state’s Arts in Corrections program is made possible with funding from the Division of Rehabilitative programs at CDCR and administered by the California Arts Council. Both CDCR and the California Arts Council have a long history of providing arts programs in correctional facilities.


    See the status of Arts in Corrections opportunities for artists and arts organizations under "Links" below. Staff from arts organizations interested in keeping up with new opportunities should keep an eye on this web page for upcoming news and/or subscribe to the California ArtBeat newsletter.


  • Request for Proposal (Issued 2/5/2018) - Click "View Event Package" to read RFP attachments
  • Video: AIC RFP Webinar
  • Coming soon: AIC RFP Q&A