Who we are

Our vision is to create a world where arts and scholarship funds are easily accessible to youth and families dealing with the challenges of having a loved one in the prison system. Often times this impacts underserved and inner-city communities. The arts provide the power of creating something special and original, which results in a sense of accomplishment and confidence. The Michael’s Daughter Foundation wants to be a top source of arts programs, resources, emergency funds, and scholarship funds to those families in order to allow them to achieve their dreams and let their voices be heard.
The Michael’s Daughter Foundation is on the mission to provide free and low-cost enrichment programs to youth and families in underserved communities. These programs include, creative writing workshops, creating original plays, monologues and short films along with documentaries, and music. We provide these programs throughout the year in various Los Angeles communities and cities across the US. We are also committed to providing, resources such as financial wellness workshops, emergency funds, and scholarship money for college students impacted by incarceration and/or having a loved one behind bars.
Years In Service
Participants Reached

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.

Your Help

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 info@michaelsdaughter.org.

Meet The Team

Our Directors and Staff

President of The Board
Board of Directors
Board of Directors