Who we are
Where It All Started
The Michael’s Daughter Foundation gets its name from the one-woman show Michael’s Daughter, written and performed by Ciera Payton, which highlighted her experience of having her father incarcerated. Throughout the play, Ciera depicted how the incarceration of a loved one impacted her life. Michael’s Daughter was performed in the Los Angeles Woman’s Theater Festival, American Conservatory Theater, and United Solo Festival in NYC.
Each performance brought on a number of audience members who too had loved ones behind bars. They would explain to Ciera how they related to the complexities of her story and urged Ciera to expand the show in more ways than one. Seeing how her story impacted others and ultimately became a healing tool for herself, Ciera saw the importance of storytelling for communities impacted by incarceration. Ciera wanted to give the gift of storytelling to young people, mainly those she encountered when she worked as an arts educator for inner-city schools. Thus began the birth of The Michael’s Daughter Foundation.
In 2013, Ciera created arts-based workshops for underserved communities under the Michael’s Daughter Project, which provided storytelling, creative writing, stage performances, and short filmmaking workshops for youth in various Los Angels areas. This became the basis to form The Michael’s Daughter Foundation. Artists Charise Sowells and Tyrone Davis also shared the same passion to use art as a way to bring healing to communities dealing with the effects of mass incarceration. Together they joined forces with Ciera and began to build upon what was created with the Michael’s Daughter Project and the result; The Michael’s Daughter Foundation.
The primary goal is to provide workshops and resources for communities impacted by mass incarceration through the use of the arts. To learn more please visit the Project page.
We'd Love To Collaborate!
The Michael’s Daughter Foundation continues to research ways to partner with national organizations and communities. We welcome any thoughts, ideas, or connections that you may have. Please connect with us and share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.