The Freehand Arts Project is a group of volunteers committed to bringing the creative arts to people incarcerated in Texas jails and prisons. The project employs highly qualified volunteers from local schools and universities to teach weekly creative arts classes to some 2,000 inmates at the Travis County Correctional Facility.
The program strives to address the deep wounds found in the incarceration system by providing a safe avenue for self-reflection, the opportunity to develop emotional awareness, and a supportive community.
Says Founder Kelsey Shipman: "Will writing poetry keep people out of prison? I don't know. Maybe one day. Will reading short stories about overcoming addiction keep the needle out of their hand? It is impossible say. The path to well-being is laid one brick at a time. Does seeing your name in print pay the bills? Unlikely. But, it does suggest an alternative to the status quo."
Funded by Austin, TX (April 2015)