Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Conspire Theatre

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When it comes to volunteer work, a prison may not be the first place that comes to mind for giving back.

However, a small group of volunteers with the nonprofit Conspire Theatre works to inspire creativity for women behind bars.

Behind bars, people lose time with their families, touch with society and freedom. Katherine Craft and Michelle Dahlenburg with Conspire Theatre believe they shouldn't lose the power of their minds and hope for the future.

"Whether they're incarcerated or released, they can still use the creative coping skills that we all learn together in other parts of their lives," Dahlenburg said.

In a prison system they believe is broken, Conspire Theatre says they've found ways to bring some "correction" to correctional facilities by giving women a fun way to express themselves with theater and creative writing.

"From the first week I've been there I've been able to see immediately how effective using arts education, specifically for us, theater and creative writing, can be at unlocking people's creativity," Dahlenburg said.

Volunteers try to break down stereotypes about incarcerated women and share their love of the arts with them.

"I love hearing their stories and seeing them discover that they're creative," Craft said. "They're so welcoming to us and happy that we're there. It's like, 'Yay! Conspire is here. We feel so welcomed and accepted and the women tell us it's their favorite class."

Conspire Theatre serves women in prisons around Central Texas.

They want to branch out and serve more communities. Click here for more information.

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