[PAST EVENT] 20th Annual Minnie Braithwaite Lecture with Rhodessa Jones
April 5, 2016
7pm - 8pm
This lecture examines the use of theater as a "healing tool" in order to begin the process of creating a dialogue about the conditions directly affecting our daily lives: racism, sexism, homophobia, addictions, and fear. In 1989, on the basis of material developed while teaching classes at the San Francisco County Jail, Rhodessa Jones created "Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women," a performance piece based on the lives of incarcerated women. During the work's creation, Jones and jail officials were made aware of issues such as guilt, depression, and self-loathing that were specific to female inmates and contributed greatly to recidivism. Based on this observation, Jones founded THE MEDEA PROJECT: THEATER FOR INCARCERATED WOMEN to explore whether an arts-based approach could help reduce the numbers of women returning to jail. In 2008, THE MEDEA PROJECT joined forces with The Women's HIV Clinic at the University of California San Francisco to create theater that explores what it means to live with the virus in the twenty-first century. For the past eight years, THE MEDEA PROJECT/HIV CIRCLE has performance shows all around the United States, sharing the Truth and the stories of what it means to be female and infected or affected. In her passionate, provocative oratory style, Jones will assess the process of art, creativity, and creative/cultural survival in the twenty-first century.