Friday, November 4, 2022

Unmuting: Voice in Justice Impacted Art
Friday, November 4, 2022
Trinity College

Click here for the digital program

The Symposium focuses on discovering voice and being heard within a carceral setting and upon return to the community. It explores why justice-impacted art matters, how it effects change, and the difference it makes. What does it mean to find voice? How can the voice of incarcerated people be heard on the outside? Can unmuted voices effect change in the system?

The day includes four sessions: writing; visual arts; hands-on workshops for making art; and a performance by the Justice Dance Performance Project. The day ends with a wrap-up session to reflect on the day with a reception to follow.

Sheila Fisher, Professor of English Emerita, Trinity College
Judy Dworin, Executive and Artistic Director, Justice Dance Performance Project, Professor of Theater and Dance, Emerita, Trinity College
Joe Lea, Library Media Specialist (retired) York CI, Visiting Lecturer in Human Rights and Co-Director Trinity Prison Seminar Series, Trinity College


8:00 am-3:30 pm        Registration – Foyer outside Washington Room (open until 3:30 pm)

8:00 – 8:30 am            Breakfast – Alumni Lounge and Mather Art Space


8:45-10:15                      Session I:  Writing: “Finding Voice”

Caits Meissner, Director, Prison and Justice Writing, PEN America
Nicole Shawan Junior, Deputy Director, Prison and Justice Writing, PEN America
Spoon Jackson, Artist, Writer, CSP Solana

Location: Rittenberg Lounge (Mather Campus Center) * Sheila Fisher: moderator

10:15-10:30                   Break

10:30-12:00                  Session II: Visual Art: “Representing Voice”

Wendy Jason, Founder/Co-Director, Justice Arts Coalition
Isaac Scott, Founder & Executive Director of The Confined Arts at Columbia’s Center for Justice and at the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School
Lisette Oblitas, Administrative Assistant, The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University

Location: Rittenberg Lounge (Mather Campus Center) * Joe Lea: moderator

12:00-1:00 pm            Lunch for All Lunch Registrants

Hamlin Hall (Outside of Mather Campus Center by a few steps!)

1:15-2:45                    Session III: Experiential Arts Workshops: “Where I’m From”

*You will receive a randomized assignment to a workshop when you pick up your registration materials on November 4 in order to create an equal distribution of participants among the three workshops.

Workshops leaders:
Kathy Borteck-Gersten, Associate Artistic Director and Teaching Artist, Justice Dance Performance Project
Nicole Shawan Junior, Founder & Executive Director of Roots. Wounds. Words. and Deputy Director of Prison and Justice Writing, PEN America
Diana Aldrete, Assistant Professor of Language and Culture Studies and of Human Rights, Trinity College

Experiential Workshop Sessions: 1:15-2:15pm followed by group sharing: 2:15-2:45

Location: Terrace Rooms A, B, and C (Mather Campus Center) * Joe Lea: Moderator

2:45-3:00                    Break

3:00-4:45                    Session IV: Culminating Performance and Reflection: “Claiming Voice and Being Heard”

Performance by the Justice Dance Performance Project

Robin Cullen, JDPP Teaching Artist and Stepping Out Performer
Tracy Shumaker, JDPP Stepping Out Performer and Participant in New Beginnings
Victoria Steele, JDPP Stepping Out Performer
Robin Ledbetter, JDPP Stepping Out Performer
Yalines Torres, JDPP Administrative Fellow and Stepping Out Performer
Tyran Sampson, JDPP Stepping Out Performer and Participant in New Beginnings
Suzi Jensen, JDPP Programming Coordinator, Teaching Artist, and Guest Performer
Lisa Matias, Founding member of JDPP Ensemble and Teaching Artist, Visiting Lecturer in Theater and Dance, Trinity College

Performers’ reflections and audience talk-back moderated by Judy Dworin

Location: Washington Room

4:45-5:00                    Break

5:00- 5:45                   Wrap up: “What Have We Heard?”

Respondents and discussion leaders:

Babz Rawls Ivy, Editor-in-Chief of the Inner-City News and Host and producer of LoveBabz LoveTalk show 103.5 WNNh-LP Community Radio
Adam Morse, PhD in Cultural Geography, University of Oregon, Instructor of Geography at Western Connecticut State University.

Location: Rittenberg * Sheila Fisher: Moderator

5:45 – 6:30                Closing Reception for Everyone

Terrace Rooms A-C
Book sale and signing