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  • Prison Performing Arts

PPA Speakers Series - Maria Ojascastro

Updated: Aug 8, 2022

Join Missouri Humanities and Prison Performing Arts at an in-person presentation and hands-on class presented by Maria Ojacastro!

Learn about how the participants of the Arts and Healing Program created self-portraits as a part of their transition out of the criminal justice system, then exercise your creativity, sharpen your observation skills, and share a glimpse of your own life.

Art for Well-Being instructor Maria Ojascastro will give step-by-step instructions on how to draw your eyes. She’ll then provide magazines to find words, phrases, and images that you’ll include in a collage that gives a glimpse of this moment in your life.

Maria Ojascastro is passionate about using art for self-expression and to encourage change and awareness. She co-founded Arts, Writing, and Expression Collaborative (AWE) to provide expressive art and writing opportunities to individuals transitioning out of the criminal justice system. In 2020, she partnered with Prison Performing Arts to launch the Arts and Healing program at the Transition Center of St. Louis. The self-portraits the participants create with Ojascastro help them envision their lives as productive citizens post incarceration.

Ojascastro has taught educators, medical and mental health professionals, cancer survivors, and victims of trauma for PALM Health, Prison Performing Arts, the Missouri Institute of Mental Health, the Kemper Art Museum, the Cancer Support Community, Washington University, St. Louis University, Webster University, the Center of Creative Arts, Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, Siteman Cancer Center and other cultural, mental health, medical, and educational institutions both regionally and nationally. She has taught art to individuals with developmental delays, hearing impairments, significant medical conditions, dementia and learning disabilities, as well as typically developing and gifted students.

Arts & Healing is supported by:

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