WE ARE SENTENCED TO
WE USE CREATIVE PROCESS & PERFORMANCE TO EXPAND PERSPECTIVE
AND INSPIRE LIFE CHANGE IN PRISON AND BEYOND.
FOR OVER 20 YEARS, WE'VE BEEN IN AND OUT OF
60 DIFFERENT CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES. ON PURPOSE.
Eventually... In 1996 we set out to bring hope and expand our perspectives by going into difficult places, right in our own neighborhood. Starting in rehab centers and homeless shelters, we wound up in the places we pay to keep people hidden. And we couldn’t stop going back!
Some of those places you may be familiar with - San Quentin & Rikers Island - and most you’re probably not. For many years, we recruited students to perform in prisons and jails with us, to add to the impact and to develop their faith and leadership. Then we began to wonder what would happen if we offered the people in our audiences the same opportunity.
What if incarcerated men and women could see something different when they looked in a mirror? Maybe confidence. Maybe potential. Maybe just something more than a number. Most importantly, someone who is a valuable part of society and a person with a purpose. What if they could recognize God’s image inside themselves?
And what if, rather than us bringing the message in, we could work together to help them deliver it themselves? Would these grown men and women engage in creative, artistic processes? In worship and faith discussions? Would they want to serve their peers? Would they work together? Would they work with us?!
Turns out, they would! We discovered the ministry of authentic presence, combined with artistic excellence, extravagance and the love of God, provides an experience that brings transformation not only to the participants, but to others they interact with. And we discovered that at our core, we are really all the same.
So we bring our best in order to bring out the best in the men and women we get to work with. And our passion for restoring humanity where it has been lost or stolen is growing every day!
[one month after a workshop]
The change in the workshop participants is remarkable -
they hold themselves differently.
The negative side that only we get to see is gone.
Major Marcella Moore
Deputy Warden of Security
Riverside Correctional Facility
Both at a state and city level, we've been trusted to bring our programs to facilities all across the country.
Men & Women have participated
Each workshop allows about 30 men or women to work with our professional artists to create original presentations.
Positive change in participants
93% of the those who participated expressed new interests, a more positive view of themselves, and increased confidence.
There are 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States, and we're committed to working with as many as we can. We bring our workshops to facilities, free of charge, and that means we depend on a committed team of friends & supporters to make each workshop happen.
Want to catch up on what we've been doing, where we've been going, and who we've been talking to? Take a look at our e-newsletter or scroll down to sign-up for updates. And feel free to contact us directly, also!
Not many people know what we're doing, and we can't tell everyone on our own, so click here for some of our latest videos to share. Use your own influence to let others know what's happening by following us, retweeting us, and just keeping your ears open for opportunities to share.
We can tell you all about what we do, but nothing compares to experiencing it for yourself! If you're interested in attending one of our Impact Workshop performances, let us know. We'd love to have you in the audience!
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW TO GET A BETTER IDEA
OF WHAT WE DO AND WHY WE DO IT
Introduction to Shining Light