The curriculum is co-created by teaching artists, faculty mentors, and staff. It is based on a learner-centered philosophy that actively engages participants in inquiry, discussion, creative and critical thinking, reflection, interpretation, and making. Participant knowledge is recognized and valued throughout, and can be fostered through opportunities for shared learning and co-teaching as relevant.

The core curriculum consists of the following courses:
Foundations in Art
Art Appreciation
Introduction to Drawing
Art History and Critique
Portfolio Development

Other classes and workshops include:
Collaborative Mural Workshops
Printmaking Workshop
Creative Writing Workshop
Patterns Around the World
Introduction to Music
Contemporary Crafts
Color Theory

Teaching Artists have the option to publish and share curricula on the CBA Archive



CBA grows out of the Visual Studies major in the Department of Art at CSUSB. For more information about this major, please see Visual Studies [and for more information about the coursework tied to CBA, please see Resources For Students. [internal link, above]

But as we have grown, we have engaged teaching artists and alumni from the CSUSB MFA program as well as from other majors throughout the Department of Art and in and out of the University, including students in Psychology and Educational Counseling.

Our training consists of mentorship on site. Experienced teaching artists support newer teaching artists in an apprenticeship model. In addition, experienced faculty and staff mentor teaching artists in curriculum development and methods for facilitating classes.

PAC held its first Teaching Training on campus in the Department of Art at CSUSB in September 2016. It was well attended by more than 30 teaching arists. We created a unique teaching manual that addresses our collaborative planning and teaching method, the specific needs and requirements of teaching in a correctional facility, tips and facts about the justice system, and support for engaging learners in expressive arts.  


We are excited about this innovation in our program. In it, we pair an incarcerated participant with a teaching artist to co-facilitate a class. For incarcerated participants that have experience in the arts, this provides a unique opportunity to co-teach a class with an artist from the outside, whether a student or practicing artist. For our teaching artists, this provides an equally unique opportunity to co-teach in a correctional institution with someone that is incarcerated there and has knowledge of the experience. 

About Us

The Prison Arts Collective works to expand access to the transformative power of the arts through collaboration and mutual learning that supports the development of self-expression, reflection, communication, and empathy through providing multidisciplinary arts programming in correctional institutions.

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