News & Events

Chicago, April 22, 2019

Daily North Shore Profiles Robinson Ahead of Piven Theatre Workshop Gala

Daily North Shore profiled Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP partner Brenda Robinson ahead of the annual Piven Theater Workshop (PTW) Gala, where Robinson is this year's honoree.

Robinson will be recognized at the "Once Upon A Stage" Gala for her work and support in helping PTW launch and operate its EPIC Program at the Cook County Jail, where PTW teaching artists work with incarcerated women awaiting trial. The program is designed to enrich, inspire, and uplift the lives of participants, while building community and a sense of trust. The EPIC project has been highly successful with a waiting list of more than 80 women.

According to the article: 

But getting PTW into Cook County was no small feat. “Historically, there had been no program like this at the jail,” says Robinson.“And there was no access point for a group like Piven to get in there. But because my family, through the work of my uncle Jesse Jackson, had been going to Cook County Jail for over 50 years, I had a relationship with them that allowed me to facilitate Piven’s entry into Cook County in less than a month.”

Because the causes, projects, and issues Robinson supports are focused on social justice, gender equality, or the arts—especially programming that impacts underserved and minority communities—she went on to personally underwrite the EPIC program for its first two years.

“For me, it is about giving voice to things that matter,” she says. “And Piven does an exceptional job at this. There are a lot of theater companies in Chicago, each doing their best to make a mark in their community. But what makes Piven unique is that it exhibits such a high level of interest in tackling social justice issues through its work. I’ve been continually impressed by the level of engagement and sincere commitment Piven has to better its community and, as a theater company, to make itself accessible to the underserved.”

To read the full article, please visit Daily North Shore website.

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