Breaking down prison walls for incarcerated women
Though she's been at this only two years, Craft can see the difference this work makes for these women. So can the Travis County Sheriff's Office, which is why the social services program coordinator has invited Conspire to start a new class for women in maximum security. Craft is eager to accept, but it requires her to raise additional funds to pay for more facilitators, workshop supplies, and gas to get to the jail and back. She's pegged the cost at $3,000 and launched a campaign at IndieGoGo to secure the scratch. As of Monday, Aug. 22, Conspire was two-thirds of the way to its goal. The company has until Sept. 1 to raise the rest.
Look, the past three decades have seen a staggering increase in the number of incarcerated women in the U.S. – from 12,331 in 1980 to 114,852 in 2008 – and Texas alone houses more female inmates than the entire country did 31 years ago. This is a large and growing population in need, and Austin is fortunate to have a corps of committed artists willing and able to offer a service that's proven to be valuable. If you believe these inmates deserve something better than getting lost in the dark pit of our criminal justice system, then this project deserves your support. After all, as Dahlenburg says in a video about Conspire, "At the heart of this work is reminding women inmates that they have not been forgotten." You can see the video and make a donation at www.indiegogo.com/conspireheatre. For more information, visit www.conspiretheatre.org.