Prison life subject of performances

Prison life subject of performances

Elaine Richardson, a former prostitute who says education saved her life, will perform at CU Boulder on Oct. 20, one of two public presentations focused on prison life.

Sept. 29, 2017 

The writings of death row inmates and the story of a former prostitute who earned a doctoral degree will be featured at two public performances in October at CU Boulder.

The Program on Writing and Rhetoric is sponsoring the performances on Oct.19 and 20 as part of the Conference on Community Writing. Since 2015, the conference has delved into how communities write about themselves, how writing can be a tool for social change, and how faculty, students, artists and activists can help facilitate that change. The public is invited to attend the conference and can purchase a variety of day passes.

The performances are free and open to the public and will be held at the Glenn Miller Ballroom at the University Memorial Center on campus. However, item donations will be accepted at the events for YWCA Boulder County’s Children’s Alley and Reading to End Racism programs, Attention Homes for homeless youth, and the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence. The conference has compiled a donation wish list from these organizations.

Note that these performances contain graphic language and are not suitable for children.

The Prison Story Project: On the Row

Thursday, Oct. 19 • 5:30-6:45 p.m.; Q&A following show

This performance is part of the Northwest Arkansas Prison Story Project, which since 2011 has been sending teams of writers into prisons, leading writing workshops with the inmates, and then developing readers’ theatre scripts that are performed by professional actors both for the inmates who write the material and for public audiences.

In the summer of 2016, the Prison Story Project undertook its most challenging initiative: eight inmates housed on Arkansas’ Death Row met with Prison Story Project workshop leaders once a month from May through September to read and discuss imaginative literature and write in response to issues, themes and problems raised by it. On the Row, the 60-minute script generated by the initiative, was initially performed on Death Row for the writers and subsequently presented to large, enthusiastic public audiences.

This event is sponsored by The Brown Chair of English Literacy at the University of Arkansas and by the CU Boulder Office for Outreach and Engagement.

PHD to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life
Elaine Richardson’s One-Woman Performance     

Friday, Oct. 20 • 5:15-6:15 p.m.; book and CD signing after show

Addicted to drugs, abusive controlling pimps, the streets, short stints in jail, the cycle of death that was her life, and on top of that, pregnant AGAIN. It was the end. The only way out was death or prison, but that wasn’t her fate. Instead, she went to school…and never stopped. On her journey, she became empowered with knowledge of her culture and history. Today, Elaine Richardson shares her story of sexual exploitation and other forms of bondage to bring awareness to the plight of those entrapped in urban domestic human trafficking, and to promote healing and empowerment through education.

This event is funded in part by the (IMPART) Implementation of Multicultural Perspectives and Approaches in Research and Teaching) Awards Program through the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement and by the Office for Outreach and Engagement.

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