Thank you for your support of Flyaway Productions!
Our Show is in 1 Month!
In this Newsletter:
Performances: If I Give You My Sorrows
Features: Betty McKay, Lisa Strawn, and Tomiekia Johnson
Panel: Curating from the Inside
Exhibit:The Only Door I Can Open
Watch: GIRLFLY 2023 on Video
Flyaway Performances: If I Give You My Sorrows
October 6-15, 2023 Fri. 10/6 at 7:30pm (Panel Discussion to follow) Sat. 10/7 at 7:30pm and 9pm Sun. 10/8 at 7:30pm Wed. 10/11 at 7:30pm Thu. 10/12 at 7:30pm Fri. 10/13 at 7:30pm (Panel discussion to follow) Sat. 10/14 at 7:30pm and 9pm Sun. 10/15 at 7:30pm
Space 124 401 Alabama Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Flyaway is working hard in Space 124 to shape this important new work, IF I GIVE YOU MY SORROWS. Viewing is intimate and up close for this show so early ticket purchasing is recommended.
features three currently or formerly incarcerated activists:
Betty McKay, Lisa Strawn, and Tomiekia Johnson
Betty McKay was incarcerated for 27 years. During that time, she learned what it meant to be unseen, unheard, and considered less than human, not worthy of a name simply a number. She chose to stand then, and she choose to stand now for women and justice. Today she is an Organizer for Essie Justice Group, a motivational speaker, a consultant, a certified policy organizer, and a healing to advocacy facilitator. Her mission in life is to shine the brightest light on the truth about the carceral system and end mass incarceration aka “the new slavery.”
Lisa Strawn has been out of prison for almost three years after spending 25 years as a Transgender woman living in men's prisons. While in prison, she did a spot on Orange Is The New Black Podcast, From Where She Stands, episode 3. She is solely responsible for the first-ever Transgender Day Of Remembrance at San Quentin. She has appeared on many podcasts, including one by Ashley Asti, and was featured in the book, Letters from Prison I Have Waited For You. She produced stories for The Beat Within, Prison Health News and has stories in Black and Pink, Ultra Violet, The Word Is Out, The Fire Inside, and San Quentin Newspaper. She does a weekly Zoom with the Openhouse Trans Resilience group, and works with Seniors over the phone at The Curry Senior Center.
Tomiekia Johnson is a black woman born in Torrance and raised in Compton, California. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration (criminal justice) on a basketball scholarship from Cal State Dominguez Hills. She is a certified minister of the Gospel, a distinction obtained while wrongly incarcerated in the Central California Women’s Facility, where she is currently housed. Tomiekia has published as a prison journalist in publications like Prison Journalism Project and the Spotlong Review. Her poem “Queen Restored” sold at auction and she wildly impressed judges, staff, and peers with an art exhibit she curated for Black History Month 2022.
The Only Door I Can Open
Supported by Empowerment Avenue and MoAD, this in person exhibit by Women Exposing Prison Through Art and Poetry accompanies the show. See the exhibit after all the shows, and before the Friday/ Saturday evening shows. The gallery space is a few steps away from the performance space.
Learn more about Women Exposing Prison through Art and Poetry at this In Person panel at MoAD!
Curating from the Inside
October 4, 2023 Wednesday, 6:30pm-8:30pm
MoAD 685 Mission St (at 3rd) San Francisco, CA 94105 Ground floor of the St. Regis
This conversation celebrates the launch of the digital exhibition The Only Door I Can Open: Women Exposing Prison through Art and Poetry on MoAD's website. It explores the challenges faced by women at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla where both the co-curators and all of the artists for this exhibition reside, while uplifting the empowerment that telling their own stories can bring. Ultimately, the partnership between MoAD, Empowerment Avenue and Flyaway Productions seeks to bring light to the conditions of incarcerated women, to humanize and connect them with those on the outside, and to insist on radical prison systems change that especially impact BIPOC women.
Joining in conversation are Robin Levi, co-editor of Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives From Women's Prisons; Rahsaan Thomas, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin, the founder and executive director of Empowerment Avenue and a producer on the award-winning podcast EarHustle; Asia Johnson, a Los Angeles based writer, storyteller, and filmmaker who has worked with several organizations in the criminal justice reform space; Rachel Nelson, director and chief curator of the Institute of the Arts and Sciences at University of California, Santa Cruz and co-director of Visualizing Abolition, an arts-based public scholarship initiative on prisons, art, and the movement for abolition; and Anna Ruiz, a contributing artist to The Only Door I Can Open: Women Exposing Prison through Art and Poetry.
Photo Credits: 1) RJ Muna of Megan Lowe for If I Give You My Sorrows - 2023; 2) RJ Muna of Sonsherée Giles for If I Give You My Sorrows - 2023; 3) Betty McKay; 4) Lisa Strawn; 5) Tomiekia Johnson; 6) Artwork details left to right: Anna Ruiz, From Past; Liz Lozano, Illusions; Vegas Bray, Vegas In Paradise, Photo: Minoosh Zomorodinia; 7) Rapt Productions of GIRLFLY 2023