Arts in Prison (AiP) has been bringing arts education and programming into Lansing Correctional Facility for more than 20 years. AiP offers visual art classes and supports the inmates’ Fine Arts Groups. This exhibit features the work of Floyd Bledsoe. Floyd learned to paint while incarcerated and led the Fine Arts Group in the medium security unit prior to his release.
The ability to create something beautiful, which can be shared with others, is meaningful to the incarcerated artists. They seek to be seen as more than the sum total of their worst decisions. 99% of those currently incarcerated will be returning to their communities. Practicing the arts connects one to their humanity. Wouldn’t you rather they come home with “hope in their heart instead of hate in their eyes”?
AiP is a nonprofit organization based in Overland Park and serving prisons and detention centers in Kansas and, soon, Missouri. We are supported by individual contributions and foundation grants. Kansas Department of Corrections does not reimburse for the programs provided. Our instructors volunteer their time and talent and are trained to work with this oft forgotten population. In addition to visual art, Arts in Prison offers writing, communication, theatre, music, yoga, knitting and crochet, book club, philosophy, film appreciation and more. AiP is also a lead organization in Mentoring for Success, a KDOC program aimed to help inmates with their return to society.