For Immediate Release
March 17, 2023
Formerly incarcerated persons welcome to participate
PITTSFIELD, MA — 2nd Street has opened registrations for free workshops focused on drawing, creative writing and poetry. The workshops, open to formerly incarcerated men and women in Berkshire County, are associated with the new programs Insight Out and Using Our Outside Voices, created by 2nd Street in partnership with Berkshire Museum and Berkshire Community College.
All workshops will be held at 2nd Street, located at 264 Second Street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. To register, call (413) 443-7220, ext. 1275.
Drawing workshops: Tuesdays, April 4 through May 23, 4:30-6 pm. Workshops will be led by Phyllis Kornfeld, who has taught art in correctional facilities for 40 years, including at the Berkshire County Jail. She is the author of Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America.
Creative writing workshops: Wednesdays, April 5 through May 24, 4:30-6 pm. Workshops will be led by Liesl Schwabe, Berkshire Community College Coordinator of Writing Across the Curriculum. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books and many other publications and anthologies.
Poetry workshops: Thursdays, April 6 through May 25, 4:30-6 pm. Workshops will be led by Benjamin Grimes, a review writer and copyeditor for Muzzle Magazine. His work has appeared in New Ohio Review and is forthcoming in Sycamore Review.
About the programs
Insight Out, created as a result of a partnership between 2nd Street and Berkshire Museum, will culminate in a juried exhibition of visual art created by presently or formerly incarcerated individuals. Artists of all skill levels are encouraged to submit entries. The exhibition will be on view at Berkshire Museum September 2–October 1, 2023.
Using Our Outside Voices is a literary project that will result in the publication of a collection of poetry, short fiction, essays and other original work written by presently or formerly incarcerated individuals. The project is part of a partnership between 2nd Street and Berkshire Community College (BCC). Works submitted for consideration in the inaugural journal, which will be printed in September, will be judged by a team led by the editor of Zine, the BCC student literary journal. The team will also include at least one formerly incarcerated individual and at least two BCC students.
For more information about the initiatives, visit www.2nd-street.org and click the Special Projects tab.
About 2nd Street
Second Street Second Chances, Inc., better known as 2nd Street, supports formerly incarcerated persons in Berkshire County and connects them with the tools, programs and support they need to successfully reenter their community. 2nd Street is committed to treating formerly incarcerated individuals with respect and encouragement; providing them with job readiness skills and access to employment opportunities; preparing them to become productive and contributing citizens; and educating and advocating for communities to embrace them as such. Services and referrals include medical and mental health resources, substance use disorder services, financial resources and literacy, transportation, family reunification, housing, job training and employment, and legal services. Visit 2nd Street at www.2nd-street.org.