Best Artist/Activist Working with Prisoners San Francisco 2013 - Rhodessa Jones
The daughter of migrant workers, Rhodessa Jones has always been drawn to what she calls "outsider art." She found her calling in working with women on the inside, and Jones founded the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, doing theater and storytelling with women in prison. Jones went into prison to teach aerobics, but found the inmates resistant and lethargic. So, she started forming circles where the women could talk with one another about their lives. Jones herself did a one-woman show about her experiences in jail, Big Butt Girls and Hard Headed Women, which solidified her belief that art can transform. Along with performing with the female inmates of San Francisco, Jones has also gone to South Africa to work with women in prison and conducted workshops with the Women's HIV Program at UCSF Medical Center, putting on Dancing with the Clown of Love with them in 2010.