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AN OPEN INVITATION TO PIPER KERMAN



Dear Mrs. Piper Kerman,

    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 was moved by your TED talks, We gotta get outta this place and Institutions That Change You. Thank you for those. I am one of the 60 million who have been on the wrong side of the fence. I have learned to deal with people from all walks of life and also fallen into a homogenous group, in an effort to make my time feel short. I have done this on the outside as well. Though it was never so obvious.     Post-incarceration, I consider myself an activist, like you. I feel like we have lost the purpose of incarceration: rehabilitation. To the contrary, my experience was one that promoted closed-mindedness. This was changed by Prison Performing Arts.     PPA gives prisoners in Missouri a better chance of opening their minds and moving toward a productive, happy life. Participants are never turned away. All who want to (and maintain a record of good behavior) are welcomed and taught. People across groups spend time working on memorizing lines and analyzing text. This moves people from social groups divided racially to ones where they share a similar interest. That interest is learning and self-improvement, subtly disguised as tragedy, comedy or creative writing. Participants delve into the great unknown together and when they are released, many of them continue together as part of the Alumni Company.     I’ve seen amazing things come out of these small troupes of folks. We’d like your help to amplify the signal.     It would be an honor if you considered attending our annual fundraiser. Thursday, September 27, 2018. Thank you for your time. Please join us - CK

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