Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Children's Prison Arts Project

An Inventory of their Records at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Children's Prison Arts Project
Title Children's Prison Arts Project
Inclusive Dates 1994 - 2002
Identification RG 1393
Extent 1 document box (1 lin. ft.)
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Historical Note

Children’s Prison Arts Project (CPAP) was developed in 1994 by Birgit Walker, Melissa Thibodeaux, and Mario Jose Olvera as a non-profit project in Houston's West Dallas Juvenile Detention Center. The program was organized with the intention of providing a constructive way for at-risk youth housed in the facility to express themselves through the arts. The program later was expanded to serve juvenile offenders in several other facilities in the area including the Burnett-Bayland Home and the Tejas Home for Youth.

In an eleven year period, CPAP’s programs served more than 11,000 such youths and their families. Local sponsors for the program included the Brown Foundation, the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County and the Houston Endowment Fund.

As of 2004, the Children's Prison Arts Project is still in existence.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of documents extending from 1994 through 1998. There are also photographs and sound recordings of performances from 1999 through 2002. The Children's Prison Arts Project performance sound recordings make up the bulk of the collection.



The collection is divided into three parts. The first part addresses the program's development, history and information on its founders. The second portion of the collection is comprised of operations records and community response. The third component addresses the works of the program participants, referred to as students hereafter, themselves.
Series 1: Program Development
Series 2: Operations Records
Series 3: Student Works


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions


Index Terms

Children at risk
Juvenile detention homes-Texas
Juvenile drama
Children's Prison Arts Project- Houston (Tex.)
Burnett-Bayland Home
West Dallas Juvenile Detention Center
Tejas Home for Youth
Olvera, Mario Jose
Thibodeaux, Melissa
Walker, Birgit

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Children's Prison Ars Project. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Birgit Walker.

Processing Information

Processed by: Charles Stephenson, June 2006.

Detailed Description


Series 1: Program Development

Box Folder
1 1 Project history
2 Birgit Walker's academic degree, Antioch University
3 Program planning


Series 2: Operations Records

Box Folder
1 4 Certificates
5 Correspondence
6 Programs 1994 - 1998
7 Newspaper clippings
8 Newsletters, Harris County Probation Department
9 Student evaluation questionnaires, 1994 - 1998


Series 3: Student Works

Box Folder
1 10 Student writings
11 Drawing
12 Scripts to students' plays, 1994 - 1998
13 Photographs
Sound Recordings on Cassette Tape
Performance July 1999
Blowin' Up a Spot Mix & Child Labor Crap
Manchild & Who Am I?
Stop the Wars
1 Sound Recordings on Compact Disc
Our Future a Second Chance
Performance 2001
Smokescreen; Father & Who Am I?
Performances 2001
The Peacekeeper
Performance December 10, 2001
What Is an Agreement
Background music by Sky Feather. Performance January 13, 2002
Looking Back
Performance January 28, 2002
Conflict is Not the Answer
Performance April 22, 2002