Music In Prisons Program

Providing music and hope to those who need it most

Newport Festivals Foundation’s Music In Prisons program provides music education for inmates in the Rhode Island Incarceration system.  

Each week, two music educators visit a women’s prison in Cranston to teach guitar, piano and songwriting. The goal is to provide a safe space for the inmates to express themselves and process their emotions through music.


Newport Festivals Foundation invites Folk & Jazz Festival artists to visit the facility to perform for the inmates and pass on their knowledge and expertise.

Sierra Ferrell

In May of 2024, Sierra Ferrell took a day off from her tour to visit the inmates. She played songs, answered questions and listened to the inmates read lyrics they wrote as part of the class (see below).


Nadine Lee

Nadine Lee, ARTS Professor of the Practice at Brown University, visited the inmates to teach about poetry and lyrics. Each inmate wrote their own poem on the topic of “Freedom” to which Nadine composed and recorded an original song titled “4 Lines to Freedom”.

4 Lines to Freedom

by Nadine Lee and Inmates in the RI Incarceration System

Funding for this initiative was provided by Music Farming.

If you have any questions or would like to become involved in the program, please email

For further questions about the Foundation and how you might help support our mission please contact us at

Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, duly licensed. All donations are 100% tax deductible.