Prisoners celebrate arts graduation
The Northland Regional Corrections Facility at Nga¯wha¯ once again welcomed guests on Friday to witness the graduation of Level 4 Graphic Design and Small Business certificate programmes students.
The programme included a performance by the Redemption Choir, whose original songs earned a standing ovation, and a play about the 28th Ma¯ori Battalion that left barely a dry eye in the house.
The play was based on the service of Hokianga man Harding Waipuke Leef, evolving from stories one of the inmates had heard from his family. His story was researched online, and the information gathered was worked into a script.
The Redemption Choir was an outcome of Power of Song workshops with Tina Cross in May this year, while the men who wrote and performed were part of the Redemption Performing Arts Group.
Guests were also given an overview of the programmes delivered at prison, designed to aid the inmates’ education and rehabilitation, and preparing them for reintegration into the community and employment on their release. The function also strengthened the prison’s network partnerships with community stakeholders. Members of the Redemption Choir supporting each other in hitting the high notes. One of the art works, giving a powerful message on a past life.