A brand-new ensemble theatre program, a documentary film, on-going in-jail classes — 2013 gave Conspire Theatre much to celebrate!
Here are some of the voices from participants and audience members this year:
“This is one of the most moving performances I’ve ever seen on incarceration. These women made compelling, honest, artful work that every person should see. Take this to high schools, to detention centers, to the Capitol – and THANK YOU.”
“Eye-opening, powerful, and inspiring.”
“It gives me a sense of belonging and a way to give back to the community, while connecting with people who share my story.”
Through our theatre programs, we provide a creative approach to healing from trauma, increasing self-esteem, and reducing internal and external stigma. Individual donations from people like YOU are our greatest source of funding. It’s not too late to make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue our work in 2014.
Where did your support go this year? We’re so glad you asked!
*ALL YEAR: Our Rehearsing Possibilities classes at the TCCC continue! Our star facilitators, Olivia Jimenez and Blanca Caldas, along with Kat Craft and Michelle Dahlenburg, taught theatre and creative writing classes for hundreds of women at the Travis County Correctional Complex.
*JULY: Launch of Performing Possibilities! We undertook our most ambitious project yet, and created Performing Possibilities, a new ensemble theatre program for women who have experienced incarceration. With 4 brave women and host of wonderful volunteers, we created a show about their lives and experiences with incarceration in just 2.5 days. Lauren, Margie, Ashika, and Dara performed for a sold-out audience at the Off Center, and will continue performing in 2014!
KLRU’s Arts in Context began filming for a one-hour documentary on Performing Possibilities for their series Arts in Context: Filming still continues, and the documentary is scheduled for release in March 2014!
*AUGUST: Conspire was granted 501(c)3 status! After a lot of paperwork and help from Texas C-BAR, Conspire Theatre is now an independent 501(c)3 organization! Many thanks to C-BAR and to the Austin Creative Alliance, who sponsored Conspire from 2009-2013.
*SEPTEMBER: Performing Possibilities presents at the Sheriff’s Vision Summit on the Future of Reentry: Performer and board member Lauren Johnson and Artistic Director Michelle Dahlenburg led activities, an interactive performance, and discussion about the use of the Performing Possibilities project in helping women return to their communities after incarceration.
*NOVEMBER: Performing Possibilities performs at Servant Church: This performance was followed by talkback featuring Ana Yanez-Correa of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. We thank Servant Church for their long-standing support of Conspire!
*DECEMBER: We received a grant from Mary’s Pence to continue Performing Possibilities – thank you, Mary’s Pence!
*Farewell: Artistic Director Kat Craft leaving Conspire: After almost five years, founder and Artistic Director Kat Craft is leaving Conspire in the very capable hands of Artistic Director Michelle Dahlenburg. Kat and Michelle have worked together since 2010, when Michelle first joined Conspire Theatre as a workshop facilitator and Associate Director. Kat is excited to see where Conspire goes next, and is especially thrilled to know that Conspire’s new show with formerly incarcerated women, Performing Possibilities, has several exciting performances planned for 2014. We thank Kat for her hard work and dedication to women who have experienced incarceration, and wish her the best of luck in her future pursuits.
Have ideas for places for Performing Possibilities to perform? Interested in getting involved as a volunteer or board member? Have a funny cat video to share? Please contact Michelle at email@example.com.
Thank you to all our Co-Conspirators this year! We truly could not do this work without your support. Every dollar, every hour you volunteer makes a huge difference. Please consider making an end of year donation, and we look forward to seeing you in 2014!
Thank you again, and Happy New Year!