Our guest blogger today is my friend, Emily Saliers, of the Indigo Girls. Around the same time I began work on The If Project, Emily began working with a women’s prison choir in Atlanta, GA. Though The If Project deals with the contemplative process of writing and the Voices of Hope deals with the power of music, the end result is the same – transformation.
I feel compelled to tell you about my experience with the Metro State Women’s Prison Choir in Atlanta. They are the ‘Voices of Hope’.
I was invited by the chaplain and choir director at the prison, Susan Bishop, to participate in recording a live cd of the choir’s performance. The performance took place in November, a year ago, and it was life changing for me and for many others.The ‘Voices of Hope’ sang for a packed house at Emory University’s cannon chapel.
I have learned so much from the women who sang there. I have learned about the transformative power of music. I have learned that creating and performing music together requires heart and discipline and teamwork. What the choir women of metro state prison’s ‘Voices of Hope’ has created is nothing less than a triumph of spirit and hard work.
We cannot know any woman’s story and experience within prison walls without having lived it ourselves. But each of us has a story to tell and a song to give.
The ‘Voices of Hope’ cd has generated many sales, all of which go to fund the children’s center at the Metro State Women’s Prison. The children’s center provides a nurturing and educational environment for kids whose mothers are incarcerated.
I feel forever grateful to have been part of the hopes and wishes and transcendence that creative outlet can provide for, not only women in prison, but for all of us.
Let all of your voices be heard.
You can find out more about Voices of Hope and purchase a CD here: