Provided in partnership with Arts for Healing Justice Network (AHJN), VIP offers healing-informed, standards-based theatre-arts education and mentoring for incarcerated, system-engaged, and trauma-impacted minors. While guiding participants in the collaborative creation of original, socially-relevant theatrical material, this cutting-edge program curtails minors’ harmful tendencies and provides a safe, welcoming environment where mistreated youth learn to trust others, creating a gateway to other accomplishments.
“One thing I learned from this is, like, how to be open with others- work with others. When we wrote the play, I was impressed by myself. If I really put my mind to it, I can make a whole book. I feel like I could do it again without being shy or nervous. I was super nervous and shy – I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to do it. You know when you have a good angel and a bad angel on your shoulder? It was like that; “Don’t do it,” and I had the other one saying, “Do it and it’ll be worth it.” And I got over my stage fright.”
“It was so fun and all of The Unusual Suspects staff are super nice and cool and fun. I think being in jail and being away from a lot of things that keep us happy is hard, and you bring us fun and happy things. I didn’t really like acting before, it made me nervous, but now I like it. [The program] taught us to work as a team and be respectful to each other.”