February 20, 2013
For its 11th year, ASU Gammage’s program "Journey Home, an Arts Experience" for incarcerated women, will work with inmates, ages 18 to 50, at Estrella Jail to enable these women to discover a personal sense of constructive identity through movement, visual arts, creative writing and storytelling.
The program will culminate in a performance open to the public on March 30.
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For six weeks leading up to the performance, inmates meet weekly for training. The intent is to help them build personal skills and self-esteem, and demonstrate alternative methods to avert destructive behavior through the arts – so that the women, then, begin to see themselves as productive, creative people.
This year’s theme is "Sacred Woman: Who you are is who you choose to be." These choices are made based on environment, experiences and exposure. Sacred Woman takes the women on a journey into their soul choices and seeks to shift their sense of self into one that serves their highest good.
The Journey Home team includes Fatimah Halim, writer/storyteller; Teniqua Broughton, movement specialist; and Imani O. Muhammad, psychotherapist/visual arts, who also conducts one-on-one consultation with each participant.
Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU Gammage executive director, says Journey Home "allows these women to develop creative tools that can help them make positive choices, and encourages them to break the negative patterns that lead to incarceration. We are the only performing arts venue in the country doing work like this within the prison system; it goes back to our mission of connecting communities."
The program originated from dancer/choreographer Pat Graney’s national program “Keeping the Faith” prison project. For the past 11 years, ASU Gammage has sustained the event locally through Life Paradigms, Inc. The program has allowed the inmates to develop tools to make positive choices and encourages them to break the negative patterns in their lives.
The media is invited to witness the women’s final performance as well as observe some of the six-week workshops. Please RSVP to Dana McGuinness to guarantee a spot no later than March 9 at 480.965.1884 or firstname.lastname@example.org