For over two decades, we have helped prisoners, former prisoners, and incarcerated youth build Second Acts through engagement with the arts.
"The beauty of what PPA is doing goes beyond what I can convey through written words alone. Do yourself a favor and attend one of their performances. It's an experience you aren't likely to forget.” -Adam
"The audience member becomes a witness to hard work, commitment, vulnerability, humility, and discipline. The PPA program allows inmates to acquire and build on those attributes, but more importantly, gives them something to take great pride in, to strive towards, and hope for a brighter future." -Nancy
"I loved the performance and it captivated my attention the whole time. I was ready for an encore instead of it ending. They did a terrific job!" -Rose
"It was clear the actors had developed a camaraderie, took pride in their accomplishments and drew strength from those relationships." -Sandy
"This process has allowed me to establish my own uniqueness and express myself in a different way." -WERDCC Participant
"I got to know people I wouldn't normally talk to." -NECC Participant
"PPA gives us a voice in society so we can show we're not worth giving up on or thrown away." -MECC Participant
"...Very eye opening, most of the men in the semester have been very honest with themselves and were open to the experience." -NECC Participant
"Doing this is fun because it's different. I love working with this group of women. We work hard together to make something amazing happen." -WERDCC Participant
"...It has taught me that there are people who want to help you, and give feedback that will make you better." -NECC Participant
"This is a wonderful opportunity to express myself to staff and peers while participating in a positive format." -MECC Participant
"...Made me feel I could accomplish just about anything I put my mind to." -NECC Participant
"PPA has let me know that regardless of what makes us all different, with communication, commitment, and a sense of humor we all can create something beautiful..no matter where you are." -MECC Participant
"Most will say that the end product, a play or performance, is the measure of success for PPA. I have found that the process by which the end result is achieved, is the actual prize. Patience, tolerance, cooperation, communication, sympathy, and empathy are all crucial pieces to the plays success. This is what re-entry is about. With your guidance and direction, [participants] are given a forum where they can express themselves, and receive feedback, while interacting with each other for a common goal."
-Jennifer Sachse, MECC Warden
"We began our association with PPA in 2003...Each of our [PPA] productions since has been a favorite event at the facility and it has been inspiring to see the offender actors work so diligently and enthusiastically to put on a good performance and display their many talents. It has also introduced many of them to the arts and has given them insights to Shakespeare and other authors that they previously may not have appreciated. I am pleased to support the PPA program and hope that it can continue to enhance our efforts to both enrich the culture and education of the [participants] and provide a positive incentive toward their successful reentry to civilian life." -Chantay Godert, NECC Warden
"[Participants] are able to learn through the arts, channeling creative energies in constructive ways and using the arts to provide an environment for self discipline, commitment and teamwork. Through strong and united partnerships like the PPA, the Missouri Department of Corrections empowers incarcerated women to be their best. You have my sincere respect and admiration for the work you do, and your continued commitment to the [participants] at Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center."
-Angela Mesmer, WERDCC Warden
"Many of our youth learn better through alternate forms of teaching such as those provided through the arts. This provides a unique opportunity for us to help the city in their efforts to reduce crime by teaching youth youth offenders positive, constructive skills that they can use to think better and be productive members of their community once they are released. A full 100% of youth that these programs will serve will return to the community. The question is, how we will we guide and redirect them while they are under our care. PPA helps us make positive changes."
-Nathan Graves, Court Administrator,
Twenty-Second Judicial Court
"PPA has done an outstanding job filling a critical void at the St. Louis City Justice Center. Prior to October 2015, Justice Center had no existing performing arts programming. PPA is totally committed in providing quality programming to our inmate population. Their services contribute to a safe environment due to having the inmates engaged in constructive activities. We continue to fully support their continued work with our certified juveniles and adult population."
-Adrian Barnes, Detention Center Superintendent, St. Louis City Justice Center