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Rhodessa Jones: The Medea Project

In the late 1980s, while working in the San Francisco County Jail, actor and performance artist Rhodessa Jones recognized that female inmates often responded to incarceration with feelings of guilt, depression, and self-loathing. Blending social activism and theater, Jones and her theater company Cultural Odyssey founded the acclaimed Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women to learn whether an arts-based approach could help reduce female recidivism. Jones brings her story to the Festival stage and talks about 25 years of working with women in the California prison system and of her recent outreach to female prisoners in South Africa.

Rhodessa Jones is co-artistic director of the San Francisco acclaimed performance company Cultural Odyssey. An actress, teacher, singer, and writer, Jones is also the founder and director of the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women. She has received many awards for her work including an Honorary Doctorate from California College of the Arts, a GOLDIE Lifetime Achievement Award, an Otto Rene Castillo Award for Political Theater, and a San Francisco Foundation Community Leadership Award.

Recorded Sunday, November 7, 2010 at The Art Institute of Chicago.

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