Transforming Women's Lives Through Art in Prison
What if women in prison could tap into their past and change their future? What if art could turn pain into beauty?
Create: New Beginnings® is a series of restorative art workshops designed for women in prison, jails, and reentry facilities. Rooted in scripture and the core values of the Prison Fellowship Academy®, this program empowers women to acknowledge critical emotions and develop self-awareness through the lens of artistic expression. Through individual and collaborative artwork, participants experience a sense of community, restoration, and purpose as they work in harmony alongside volunteers and prison staff.
Create: New Beginnings includes 10 hands-on workshops that create a peaceful atmosphere through melodic music and art activities, allowing a safe space for women to open up and know they are not alone. Women are reassured and challenged by the scriptures and discussion woven throughout each workshop.
Today, Create: New Beginnings is active in eight states and growing. More than 800 women living in prison have participated in the restorative art workshops.
Women living in prison often feel isolated and alone. In general, they have much less communication with one another and fewer visitations with their families and spouses than men living in prison. We quickly began to realize that Create: New Beginnings would provide the safe space they need to discuss topics that are often taboo in prison culture, such as sources of shame and self-doubt. Create: New Beginnings also emphasizes the importance of healthy relationships and creates an environment where women can be open and vulnerable with one another.
"I have never discussed my abuse much before, but I realize through this art that I have been in this dark place all these years. Doing this art project has helped me to see that I can be in a better place, a brighter place, and that’s what I want to work towards."
- Program Participant, Minnesota
"I recognized that I hold on to a lot of unforgiveness. It was kind of hard, and kind of scary to look at that, but I see that is necessary if I want to be better"
- Program Participant, California
READ MORE ABOUT CREATE: NEW BEGINNINGS
Create: New Beginnings is giving prisoners—and Prison Fellowship staff—a chance to experience God’s provision.
Create: New Beginnings, Prison Fellowship's unique restorative art program for incarcerated women, celebrates a graduation in Oklahoma.
The Create: New Beginnings workshop brings restoration behind bars through the healing power of art and community.