Greetings and salutations!  My warmest blessings to the reader of this letter and to the prospective listeners.

I was born a heroin baby… didn’t even speak until I was 9 years old.  I grew up with what we now know as ADHD, and a side order of PTSD based upon abuse in my family; essentially, I had to periodically watch my father beat my mother. This was Horrifying. When I turned 18 years of age, I found myself barely able to read and write, addicted to pot and cocaine, no life trade, and on my way to prison to serve a life term.

I was on my way to whatever the worst could be.

Until… I came across this dinky little room in the education section of Soledad Prison. This little room, Arts in Corrections, became my paradise and liberator. I get emotional thinking about how much that room gave me,

  1. It opened doors and broke barriers in my mind, essentially from my traumatic childhood
  2. Gave me the tools to end my addictions via the substitutions of Music & writing.
  3. changed my life from “shallow desires” , to realizing “I can be a great part of this beautiful world”

It taught me how to read and write music, and how to play several instruments. I learned how to teach others, who were in the same state of mind I was, how to find and free themselves through self-expression.

It is my honest opinion that the Arts in Corrections program saved my life.

I served 27 years in prison, and because of the benefits reaped from the Arts in Corrections, I would not trade those years for anything. To this day, I meet people who are free and in worse psychological prisons.

Love and Light to all,          Rico