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Judy Dworin Performance Project Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts & Humanities Councils & Agencies

Mission: Judy dworin performance project (jdpp) is a nonprofit organization of professional artists who on stage, in schools, in prisons and in the community innovate, inspire, educate and collaborate. Jdpp harnesses the arts as a powerful catalyst for creative expression through performance, community building and positive change. Originally an umbrella for independent artists, over the years the organization has developed three distinct programmatic offeringsthe ensemble, the moving matters residency program, and the bridging boundaries arts intervention program.

Programs: The ensemble premiered its 20th full-evening piece, "brave in a new world", in september 2016, and has toured excerpts since, reflecting on the collateral effects of incarceration and performed by returning citizens as well as the ensemble. Open rehearsals began in june, 2018 of jdpp's latest piece, a site-specific work at hartford public library focusing on immigration. In its 29 year history, the award-winning jdpp ensemble is known to inspire change through innovative, movement-based, multi-arts performance that examines social and personal issues of our time. The ensemble has performed locally, regionally and internationally and is a uniquely qualified group of performers who are also committed and experienced teachers.

jdpp's unique bridging boundaries arts intervention program couples arts intervention with social work outreaching to those affected by incarceration. The program was featured in a cptv documentary "making me whole prison, art & healing" in october 2017 and has been viewed by over 20,000. Jdpp was one of six organizations in the country to be selected for a mellon foundation and mid-america arts alliance grant to make the film. It features jdpp's performance outreaches to women at york correctional institution and returning citizens; dads and their children at cybulski ci reintegration center; and jdpp's innovative work with children with parents in prison. Not included but integral to jdpp's bb outreach is the york ci moms and kids program.

the moving matters residency program has had a 23-year history at parkville community school where it engages the entire school in a 12-week residency culminating in over 450 children presenting a joyous performance at trinity college for schoolmates, families and community members. This program, described as a national model in arts evaluations, is a highly successful partnership between jdpp, trinity college and parkville. In addition, jdpp has offered shorter term residencies through hartford performs and at such schools as watkinson school and anna grace, among others. Jdpp's moving matters program brings dance/theater into schools through collaborative projects and arts education programs that explore movement and the creative arts as tools for learning and personal growth.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was so moved by a performance of “In My Shoes” that I was inspired to give to the Judy Dworin Performance Project [JDPP]. “In My Shoes” brings the voices of the women at York Correctional Institution to the public. Six guest artists - some of whom were previously incarcerated, and another who is a child of a parent who was incarcerated - perform with JDPP’s professional ensemble members to tell the story of the walk to, through, and out of prison. My reaction to their spoken words, dances, and songs was so visceral that I didn’t even realize I had been holding my breath until the tears welling up in my eyes began to fall down my cheeks.

I was overcome by these women who had such courage to share their own and others’ painful stories and bare their souls. They were so brave; I wondered if I were in their shoes, if I would have had the personal fortitude to deal with what happened, to move on with my life, to try to learn how to be free.

Because this touched my heart, I knew I wanted to do something to express my gratitude to the performers and to JDPP. I wanted to thank the performers for the privilege of being witness to their heartfelt transformation. And I wanted to thank JDPP for creating such beautiful and important art. And I felt so good knowing that I would be helping them to continue to enrich my life and the lives of others. #MyGivingStory #GivingTuesday #JDPPMoving4Change

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Walls Are For Art

I give to Judy Dworin Performance Project (JDPP) because I know . . .

nearly two thirds of incarcerated women are mothers.

one in fourteen U.S. children has or has had an incarcerated parent.

Children are the collateral damage of our national plight of mass incarceration. When their parents are incarcerated, children suffer. These broken and underserved children become broken and underserved adults, greatly at risk of becoming incarcerated.

As a society we can, and must, do better to uplift families and to end mass incarceration. I give to this organization because The Judy Dworin Performance Project has created and implemented successful programs that challenge mothers to reflect upon and move beyond the wreckage of their pass, inspire children to work through the shame of having an incarcerated parent, and nurture the relationships of moms and kids. On the horizon is a dads and kids program. Using the arts as a catalyst for change, these programs truly help to heal families and strengthen communities, which are real strides toward transforming our failing justice system.

I have enough faith in humanity to think that if more people could see and feel what prison really is, we would not have prisons. Seeing inside prison is not possible because we, the public, are never invited in. Or, are we? Through multi-arts performance, JDPP brings to the public stage an emotional, authentic experience of life behind the walls, including performers who, while incarcerated, worked with JDPP on the inside. I became aware of the dysfunction of our justice system first hand, about twenty years ago, when I was incarcerated. Believe me, taking in this performance is as inside as you can get, without losing your freedom. I give to Judy Dworin Performance Project to uplift families and end mass incarceration. I believe that if you could feel what prison is like, you would want change, too. You would be ashamed, as was I, of who those walls are really separating. #JDPPMoving4Change#MyGivingStory#GivingTuesday

Review from #MyGivingStory