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Stories That Speak to Us: A conversation with Piper Anderson and Sylvia Ryerson

On Thursday, September 28, 7:00 pm, join founder of Mass Story Lab Piper Anderson and documentarian Sylvia Ryerson as they discuss the power of storytelling as an instrument of justice, moderated by the Director of John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) Jordana Dym.

This event takes place in Davis Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

States of Incarceration is organized for the Tang Teaching Museum by Rachel Seligman, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs, Tang Teaching Museum, and Eric Morser, Associate Professor of History, Skidmore College with Skidmore College students from the course “Adventures in Public History: The Prison Project.” The exhibition is supported by National Endowment for the Humanities, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and at Skidmore College by Project VIS, the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative, and the Skidmore College History Department. For a complete list of public programs, visit the States of Incarceration exhibition page.

About Piper Anderson

Piper Anderson is a writer, educator, and cultural worker who has spent more than 16 years leveraging the tools of art-making and community engagement to create social impact. Her work has taken her to over 30 U.S cities, Mexico, and Rwanda delivering creative responses to racial and gender injustice. Her commitment to ending mass incarceration began in 2001. Realizing the destructive impact of prisons and policing on her community, Anderson became Blackout Arts Collective’s Lyrics on Lockdown National Tour Coordinator and directed the cultural campaign that reached more than 25 U.S communities creatively catalyzing a dialogue about the impact of the prison system on communities of color. In spring 2016, Anderson was awarded a TED Residency to develop an innovative art-and-design project called Mass Story Lab. One of her proudest moments was being a part of the founding of NYU’s Prison Education program, which offers an associate degree to men at Wallkill correctional facility. She continues to serve on the faculty and steering committee for that program. Anderson attended The New School where she was a Riggio Writing Democracy Fellow and received her masters in Applied Theatre from CUNY’s School of Professional Studies.

About Sylvia Ryerson

Sylvia Ryerson is an independent radio producer and musician. From 2010–2015 she lived in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky and worked at Appalshop, the nationally recognized media arts and education center in Whitesburg, KY. She is now based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has aired on NPR, been featured on Here and Now, The Takeaway, The Marshall Project, Transom.org, and spotlighted by the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Her research and coverage of prison expansion in Central Appalachia, building from her award-winning undergraduate thesis at Wesleyan University, has been quoted widely. She currently produces The Runner's World Show, a podcast from Runner's World Magazine, and is developing a new radio series titled “Restorative Radio NY” in collaboration with families that have loved ones incarcerated in upstate New York. In 2015 she completed a pilot series of Restorative Radio, working with nine families across the state of Virginia to co-create "audio postcards" that were broadcast over public airwaves to reach their relatives incarcerated far from home. Find out more about the Restorative Radio project here and here. Before moving to NYC, Sylvia served as senior reporter and Director of Public Affairs for Appalshop’s community radio station WMMT-FM, and led the station’s citizen journalism project.

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