Blues Behind Bars is an outreach program that brings professional quality blues music and a Christian message to the prison population of Colorado.
Blues Behind Bars began giving concerts in the Sterling Correctional Facility in 2009, completed Colorado Department Corrections volunteer training and are now a DOC approved program. As of May 2018, Blues Behind Bars conducts songwriting workshops and worship services in Larimer County Jail and Denver Women's Correctional Facility.
The Context of Creative Programs in Correctional Facilities
Human beings express themselves creatively and respond to creativity. This is one of the defining characteristics of personhood, and it is a manifestation of the image of God in mankind. We are aware that there are good reasons for being sentenced to prison, but a prison sentence does not take away the basic essence of what every human being is. Prison is however, a dehumanizing environment.
The reality is that nearly half of the inmates in a prison never have a visit from family or friends during their stay behind bars. It is also true that nationwide we have a correctional system that is understaffed and over-populated. This further contributes to the dehumanizing nature of incarceration as the staff is by necessity focused on safety and security. At times, inmates do not have access to programming because of insufficient staff resources, further hindering the mission of a correctional institution: to help individuals find healthier ways to do life and re-enter society in meaningful and productive pursuits.
To bring music into this lonely environment is like water in the desert. The three areas of programming that we offer through Blues Behind Bars meet a need for mentoring, role modeling, and a hopeful vision for a future life that is difficult for prison staff to provide. At even the most basic level, the fact that somebody cared enough to come and visit, let alone brought music into the prison, provides emotional uplift. At the highest level, we see some people find a new sense of life and hope as a result of presenting the invitation to turn to Jesus Christ in our concerts, workshops, and worship services.
Please direct Postal Mail to:
Living Fire Arts Network
PO Box 1025
Fort Collins, CO 80522
David Michael Boyd: 970 402 1822
David Michael Boyd is a Fort Collins resident and the president of Living Fire Arts Network- a Colorado 501c3 non-profit corporation and parent organization to Blues Behind Bars.
His education includes an AA Music degree with further studies in composition and classical guitar. David was ordained through an internship with Association of Vineyard Churches and has 30 years of pastoral experience. Fluent in German, with cross-cultural ministry experience in Europe and North America, David has written music and performed in musical theater, multi-art form productions, CD recordings, worship settings and rock/blues concerts.
As director of Blues Behind Bars, David travels to prisons and jails across the state of Colorado with his band Davey and the Blu Dog, engaging with inmates through songwriting workshops, concerts, and worship services.