ACHF Arts Education
Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop will provide learners at six Minnesota prison facilities access to in-depth arts experience that deepens a habit of art and fosters a writing community inside underserved prisons. We'll track the number of inmates who have arts access for the first time, the number of inmates who attend readings given by peers, the number of peer-mentors that participate, and we'll administer evaluations to learners. 2: Previously underserved Minnesotans and their incarcerated peers will have greater access to art and peer groups within prison. Public will also engage in the work of incarcerated writers. Success is evaluated through discussions, written work and evaluations that assess workshops' impact on the students and students' audience. We'll track postcard responses to students' public readings.
Instructors taught creative writing to incarcerated Minnesotans in nineteen ten-week courses in under serviced state prisons. For each course, we administered beginning and end evaluations to students, and averaged their responses program wide. For audience feedback, we solicited responses to student work. The audience provided over 250 affirming and specific postcards of feedback and praise, which we were then able to share with each writer. Dr. Sharon Preves, a sociologist at Hamline University, redesigned our evaluations for 2015. These new evaluations greatly reduced the chance of error when filling out an evaluation and gave us new and clearer insight into our students’ experiences. 2: We were able to teach approximately 160 incarcerated Minnesotans who've never had a creative writing class in prison. We counted students in each class. We distributed evaluations in each class. In addition, we passed out hundreds of postcards throughout the night of the public reading. Audience members were instructed to raise their hands if they ran out of postcards, which many did, often. They were a generous group and filled their cards with specific, concrete feedback on both the writing and the experience of hearing the writing in a room full of DOC staff, writers, friends and family members of the incarcerated, and former students. For this first time this year, two of our former students, now released, came to read their own work.
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