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Westchester Community Foundation Screens 'Dramatic Escape' At Jacob Burns

Laura Rossi, executive director at the Westchester Community Foundation, with Katherine Vockins, executive director of Rehabilitation Through the Arts, and Robert Sanchez, a graduate of the RTA program
Laura Rossi, executive director at the Westchester Community Foundation, with Katherine Vockins, executive director of Rehabilitation Through the Arts, and Robert Sanchez, a graduate of the RTA program Photo Credit: contributed
Nick Quested, director of "Dramatic Escape"; Laura Rossi, WCF executive director; Katherine Vockins, RTA executive director; four former RTA participants; and Edie Demas, executive director of Jacob Burns Film Center
Nick Quested, director of "Dramatic Escape"; Laura Rossi, WCF executive director; Katherine Vockins, RTA executive director; four former RTA participants; and Edie Demas, executive director of Jacob Burns Film Center Photo Credit: contributed
Edie Demas, executive director at the Jacob Burns Film Center; Katherine Vockins, executive director of RTA; Laura Rossi, executive director at the WCF; and a graduate of RTA
Edie Demas, executive director at the Jacob Burns Film Center; Katherine Vockins, executive director of RTA; Laura Rossi, executive director at the WCF; and a graduate of RTA Photo Credit: contributed
Tara Seeley, Laura Rossi and Robin Melen, of the Westchester Community Foundation
Tara Seeley, Laura Rossi and Robin Melen, of the Westchester Community Foundation Photo Credit: contibuted

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- A sell-out crowd of 200 came to see "Dramatic Escape" at Pleasantville's Jacob Burns Film Center on Feb. 18 and hear inspirational stories of the men behind the bars of Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

The film was the 20th in the Westchester Community Foundation's Community Matters series with Jacob Burns. It documented the production of "A Few Good Men" at Sing Sing, led by Rehabilitation Through the Arts.

The film followed the prisoners from auditions to final curtain, and it examined the effect of the arts program on their personal journeys to rehabilitation and redemption. Several graduates of the RTA program -- including the lead player in the film -- attended the screening. He spoke passionately about profound changes they experienced.

After the film, Westchester Community Foundation Executive Director Laura Rossi led a panel discussion with Katherine Vockins, executive director of Rehabilitation Through the Arts, and Robert Sanchez, a graduate of the RTA program. The discussion provided a deeper, emotional discussion of the film and the impact RTA had on them during their time in Sing Sing.

A reception followed in the Jane Peck Gallery, where discussions about film, arts, redemption and incarceration continued. Attendees also had the opportunity to write messages to incarcerated men, sharing their reactions to the film and asking questions about future RTA productions at Sing Sing.

The next Community Matters film will be "Poverty, Inc.," on Thursday, May 5, at 7 p.m., followed by "Bikes vs. Cars" on Sunday, June 5, at noon.

For more information about Rehabilitation Through the Arts, check out its website or Facebook page.

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