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  • Prison Performing Arts


Dear Ms. Martha Stewart,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to invite you to Prison Performing Art’s Annual Fundraising Event. Prison Performing Arts (PPA) is a St. Louis, Missouri-based non-profit that goes into prisons and makes plays with incarcerated peoples.

I am writing you as a fellow post-incarcerated citizen. I apologize for bringing up what might have been a dark time. It was for me, the last thing I wanted to think about was time. I was overwhelmed by how much time was left. Couldn’t even look at clocks.

This avoidance meant I didn’t use my time well, to reflect on decisions and focus on changing for the better. I’m lucky to even see that. Many offenders feel they have no reason to change. They may not be getting out any time soon, or at all. These people are why Prison Performing Arts (PPA) exists.

The programming from PPA provides hope for hundreds of the offenders in Missouri prisons. PPA gives prisoners an opportunity to live in the moment, even while inside. Rehearsals are times to look forward to, and performances are times to work towards. Participants get practice speaking with confidence and holding eye contact (useful for job interviews when they return to the outside). Prison Performing Arts gives prisoners a chance to participate in something bigger than themselves. In a way it’s just a play, but for participants, it is their hope.

There are good and bad days in prison, just as there are for everyone, in any walk of life.  I wanted to invite you to attend our 2018 annual fundraiser to provide good-day-opportunities for people. I feel like you know what it is like to be counting down. I feel like you get what it means that inmate involvement in Prison Performing Arts programs reduces recidivism and racial tension. It’s a good thing.

It would be an honor if you considered attending our annual fundraiser. I realize it’s a large ask.

Please join us.

Thank you for your time.

- CB

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