On Saturday, June 16 at 7pm at the Berea Arena there will be a benefit concert to raise money for Arts Behind Bars. Mitch Barret, Melody Youngblood, Owen Reynolds and special guest Hasan Davis will be performing.
Arts Behind Bars is a cooperative effort between artists and communities to help incarcerated women become more able to be responsible to themselves and to others.
Why Arts Behind Bars? Why bring the arts to women in the Knox county jail?
Brenda Richardson, one of the artists participating in the programs explains, “Because, in making art, we ask ourselves questions about possibilities, offer ourselves suggestions, make choices to try something out and undergo the results of our decisions. At any point in the process we can be faced with the choice to continue or turn away.” Art offers opportunities to practice making the choice to finish.
Arts Behind Bars offers women who are incarcerated and, most often, also suffering from addiction, a safe place to practice finishing well. Practice in following through builds patience, enables persistence, and yields awareness of one’s own meaning for what is good or better or best.
Creating art is the process of creating and re-creating relationship with some flickering vision inside that wants to become a reality. ‘Being clean’ is a flickering vision for individuals, a lifetime of work communities must engage in with them.
“Over the years, bringing the arts to women in jails has deepened our respect for the creative process in that work. We know the statistics,” Brenda says, “Our hearts get broken every week as someone who left with such hope shows up in jail again. We are not strangers to personal loss and grief in the opioid crisis.”
She continues, “Still, we believe in transmutation. We have seen butterflies fly.”
Brenda, the other artists and many women participating in Arts Behind Bars are expecting a good turnout with their lineup of popular performers. Suggested donation is $20 or pay what you can. The Berea Arena is at 1835 Big Hill Road Berea, Kentucky.