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Rustbelt to Artistbelt : At the Crossroads in St. Louis, April 12-14, 2012
Arts-Based Community Development Convening
Transforming Post-Industrial Cities through Art and Innovation
April 12 through 14, 2012 - St. Louis

Stephen (Ronnell) Riggins

St. Louis, Missouri

Ronnell

Stephen (Ronnell) Riggins, Actor, Staging Reflections of the Buddha, grew up in St. Louis, and enjoys playing basketball. Not only is he pretty good at it, but it’s also a team effort that no one person can accomplish alone. Riggins is both mellow and quiet yet comes alive during performances. He lives for each day, and enjoys spending time with his children.

Presentation(s):

Staging Innovation: Uniting Theatre Arts and Social Work in a Museum Setting

Day 2 / Apr, 13 @ 4:15 pm
Lower Level : Room A

For five months the Pulitzer has partnered with Prison Performing Arts, St. Patrick Center, and Employment connection to present Staging Reflections of the Buddha, a community project inspired by our highly successful Staging Old Masters project of 2009. The project unites theater, visual arts, and social work to build connections between the art and all audiences while transforming lives and fostering connections between communities.

The program works with a group of former prisoners and homeless veterans training them to become actors through weekly workshops that also include art exploration and instruction, theatre exercises, meditation, and rehearsals. Concurrently, the actors work with St. Patrick Center and Employment Connection to apply their art experiences toward achieving their goals, which include but are not limited to, obtaining housing and employment and re-integrating into society. The workshops culminate in performances of an original work created by the actors.

After two successful Staging programs, the question is what happens next? Can we replicate the program again, and if so, in what capacity? Can the program be exported to another museum or arts institution? Can the program develop into an organization on its own?