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Jennie Harney-Fleming, Phillip Attmore and More Bring Incarcerated Artists' Work To Life In Virtual Collaboration Event

Additional artists taking part include Cellus Hamilton, Afra Hines, Quilan "Cue" Arnold, Brandon Contreras and more.

Jennie Harney-Fleming, Phillip Attmore and More Bring Incarcerated Artists' Work To Life In Virtual Collaboration Event

Shining Light, a non-profit organization that brings arts and personal development programs to prisons and jails throughout the country, has partnered with Broadway actors, professional musicians and dancers, and independent filmmakers to produce 10 original creative works written by men and women in prison.

"Creations of a Caged Bird Volume 2" features performances from recording artist Cellus Hamilton, Jennie Harney-Fleming (Broadway's Hamilton, The Color Purple), Afra Hines (Broadway's Hadestown, Shuffle Along), Phillip Attmore (Broadway's Hello, Dolly! Shuffle Along, After Midnight), Quilan "Cue" Arnold (Camile A. Brown and Dancers), Brandon Contreras (In the Heights National Tour), Michael Ray Fisher (Elf National Tour), Joshua William Green (Broadway's Finding Neverland), Jay Poff (Rocktopia on Broadway), Reji Woods (Rocktopia on Broadway), Denver Taylor (Lifetime's Salt-n-Pepa), Nikolas Mercado, Frank Murphy, Richard Myrie, Simon Phillips, Rosa Procaccino, De Juan "Spoken Musik" Rosado and Stephanie Yu.

Original scripts and concepts created by: Calvin, Carlos, Cheo, David, John, Kenny, Leonard, Melissa, Michael, and Rachel, all of whom are currently incarcerated in Pennsylvania. These individuals participated in Shining Light arts-based programs prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. With prisons and jails largely still experiencing 23 hr/day lockdowns, no in-person arts enrichment programs are available. Shining Light invited participants of its pre-pandemic programs to submit scripts and music for production, from which these 10 pieces were selected.

Each incarcerated writer was paired with a professional artist in their genre and collaborated with them over Zoom, phone call, or letter to develop their concept and provide production guidance. These videos will be sent back inside Shining Light's partnering facilities where they will be seen by the original creators as well as up to 50,000 incarcerated men and women throughout six states, Chicago's Cook County jail system, and New York City's jails, including Rikers Island.

The directors and musicians who met with the incarcerated artists were: Quilan "Cue" Arnold, Phillip Attmore, Joy Attmore, Michael Ray Fisher, Cellus Hamilton, Madeline Johnson, Nina Law, Jay Poff, Angelica Richie, Stephanie Yu and Peter Kope, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Attack Theatre, a Pittsburgh-based dance theater company that worked in collaboration with Shining Light to produced the 10-minute short film featured within this anthology, "Hope in Hardship."

The public is invited to watch the online premiere of these videos Friday, May 21 (8pm EST) and Saturday, May 22 (8pm EST), or watch and participate in a facilitated discussion after the screening Sunday, May 23 (4:30pm EST).

Registration and more information at: shining-light.com/ccb-vol2

Check out a preview of the event below!


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