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Archive for Thursday, September 25, 2008

Female parolees to take stage tonight

Carol Bradbury, left, and So Yeon Park co-direct the PEARL Project, which looks to bridge a gap between the public and criminals during a night of poetry reading.  Current and former inmates at the Topeka Correctional Facility in Topeka will perform monologues live at 7 p.m. Friday night at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Carol Bradbury, left, and So Yeon Park co-direct the PEARL Project, which looks to bridge a gap between the public and criminals during a night of poetry reading. Current and former inmates at the Topeka Correctional Facility in Topeka will perform monologues live at 7 p.m. Friday night at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

September 25, 2008, 4:41 p.m. Updated September 26, 2008, 2:06 p.m.

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After prison, an artistic rebirth

Over 100 people converged on the Lawrence Arts Center tonight for the unveiling of the PEARL Project. Enlarge video

Past Event
P.E.A.R.L. public performance and reception

Performing to Empower Awareness and Re-invent Lives

  • When: Friday, September 26, 2008, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • More on this event....
Past Event
P.E.A.R.L. video projections

Performing to Empower Awareness and Re-invent Lives

  • When: Friday, September 26, 2008, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • More on this event....

Female felons will take center stage tonight during a live performance at the Lawrence Arts Center.

The women, who have been released from prison on parole, will perform monologues as a part of the PEARL project - Performing to Empower Awareness and Reinvent Lives.

The project is intended to help inmates return to society by discussing the realities of being incarcerated and to imagine what life's like outside of prison.

"It empowers them to begin to share their lives and to think how it could be different, how it could be improved," said Carol Bradbury, a creative director of the project. "If you can't dream something, it can't come to be."

State officials hope the project will help the parolees find a way to express themselves and be successful when they're released from prison, so they won't join the 25.7 percent of women inmates who return to a life behind bars within three years of release, project organizers said.

"These ladies are human beings, have all the creativity, all the heart, to try to be healed from what they have done," said So Yeon Park, a creative director of the project.

The performance will be at 7 p.m. tonight in the Lawrence Arts Center's Anne Evans Gallery. Staff from the Kansas Department of Corrections will also host a panel discussion, along with the parolees.

An exhibit featuring video of 15 female inmates and parolees discussing their life stories debuted Monday at the center's Small Gallery. The film runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. through Saturday.

Comments

Boston_Corbett 6 years ago

Don't get out much in the art/university community, eh PapaB?

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LeslieJeanne 6 years ago

These women are human beings who deserve a chance to repent and change their lives. They can't go back and make what happened not happen. The fact that they are on parole proves that someone thought them worthy of a second chance. The Internet is a great medium if used to bring people together to share lives and stories, to say, that was me, or, there but for the grace of God, go I. It is best used to share, not to tear people apart.Grace.

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George_Braziller 6 years ago

They are called "correctional facilities" for a reason. The idea is that when you leave you do it as a changed person. These women made it or are on the road to getting their lives back together. They made a mistake, they paid for it now let them go forward with their lives.

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Alia Ahmed 6 years ago

P.E.A.R.L. is a pilot project funded, in part, by the Schowalter Foundation through Arts in Prison, Inc .Other organizations are collaborating including the Topeka Correctional Facility (TCF), the Kansas Policy Council, and the Topeka Parole Office. The P.E.A.R.L. Project supports many of the objectives of the Kansas DOC Reentry Program.So Yeon Park is an interdisciplinary performance artist from Seoul, Korea, and currently Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Kansas.Carol Bradbury is an interdisciplinary painter, graphic designer and business woman. She has extensive experience with Jungian Analysis and has received numerous awards, most recently the 2008 Kansas Arts Commission Emerging Artist Award.

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Luxor 6 years ago

She looks like she's doing karaoke. What would these lovely ladies sing? "I Will Survive?" "We are Family?"

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PapaB 6 years ago

Am I the only one who thinks tight pink sweater + black bra = fashion faux pas?

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bangaranggerg 6 years ago

"My first poem is entitled 'my ovaries made me stab you'..."

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Steve Jacob 6 years ago

Hope they have stuff like this for men.

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imastinker 6 years ago

It's barely been a year since the girl in the picture committed her crime! Why isn't she making license plates right now?

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hilary 6 years ago

yankee,yeah, you're right. It's better to rot, then be completely shocked when you return to the real world, and probably turn back to your old habits, and not educate anyone.

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Deja Coffin 6 years ago

Prison isn't supposed to be fun. You don't want them to rot in prison so make them feel like they're special and so strong to reveal their pain? It's like saying, "well what you did was wrong, but we'd love to hear you tell about it." Let's all buy OJ's book while we're at it!! Let her get her inner feelings out in real therapy sessions.

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tollef 6 years ago

Great use of our tax dollars. Does anyone want to take a guess on what the ultimate cost is for this program. Two creative directors (paid I am sure) The hours billed to us to come up with this great idea, venue rental, transportation et al. Come on Topeka. Are we not better buying the participants pearls that they can pawn, than come up with a fancy acronym on our dime.

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shutnmdown 6 years ago

Been there done that prison thing, I was one who didn't look back at that life. You know it's a shame if they do this all for nothing. It's up to the individual to turn themselves around. That is called will power. The will to remove yourself from the atmosphere that first put you their. Talk about the women who have made differences in their lives. Kudos for doing this for those who will probaly go back...

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

Really, tange, that was insensitive.

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Lars Larson 6 years ago

get that God awful picture off the front page!

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Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 6 years ago

Those women in the photo don't look like prisoners.

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yankeevet 6 years ago

This is how prisoners are treated?? Do they have a beauty pagent too; or perhaps miss america convict?

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years ago

"Female parolees to take stage tonight"Will there be hostages?

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Kevin Sontag 6 years ago

Close your eyes. Picture a convict. What's he wearing? Nothing special, baseball cap on backwards, baggy pants... he says something ordinary like... 'yo, thats shizzle.' Okay. Now slowly open your eyes again. Who are you picturing? A black man? Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well, shame on you.

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yankeevet 6 years ago

Hilary............if u do the crime; you must do the time;

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beatrice 6 years ago

I thought maybe they were going to fill in for McCain.

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George_Braziller 6 years ago

And what are prisoners supposed to look like? You don't know their story. A dear friend of mine used to work at the women's correctional facility in Topeka as a teacher helping them get their GED. I remember one woman she told me about who was in for manslaughter who unintentionally killed her husband while she was trying to protect her children when he went into a rampage and was taking out his abusive frustrations on them. When he pulled the knife on the kids she ended up using it on him. The woman was horribly remorseful but she said that her kids were her life and she had to do what she had to do at that moment to protect them.Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho (Anonymous) says: Those women in the photo don't look like prisoners.

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Deja Coffin 6 years ago

Oh, let's praise the child molester for her courage. BS, she was just convicted a year ago. These criminals need therapy sessions to display their growth and feelings, not some stage. Wait until you're FULLY rehabilitated and in the real world, then find an open mic night at Java Break or something. These poor excuses for poems are only getting recognition because they are by women prisoners. So I guess if I fail at the real world and go to jail for a meth addiction or stabbing my husband I have the safety of knowing I can be praised for my two-bit poems. Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm messed up in the head, from the drugs I used to do. snap snap snap

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Mixolydian 6 years ago

thetagger (Anonymous) says: Close your eyes. Picture a convict. What's he wearing? Nothing special, baseball cap on backwards, baggy pants: he says something ordinary like: 'yo, thats shizzle.' Okay. Now slowly open your eyes again. Who are you picturing? A black man? Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well, shame on you.==================================An Office reference! Awesome. Too funny!

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shutnmdown 6 years ago

some of them are successful and some aren't but you are a product of your environment...and they are the keeper of their souls. The almighty is a forgiving being even if half of you aren't. They pray for people like yourselves so you don't end up in that predicament.

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jayhawkerz 6 years ago

I didn't realize there were so many glass houses on the market...So as opposed to trying to show them something positive, lets complain about the people trying to show them something positive, keep treating them like animals, and then, for fun, we'll all complain when they reoffend. Put the rocks down and step away from the parolees...

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Sigmund 6 years ago

I don't know, I mean having to do Community Theater, that sounds pretty harsh even for convicted felons. Has the ACLU caught wind of this?

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