From the Alexandria Gazette Packet – Voices to be Heard

“We are extremely grateful for Heard’s continued outreach and engagement with those in our custody.”

— Sheriff Dana Lawhorne

And we are grateful to the Alexandria Gazette Packet for promoting the winners of our writing contest with the Alexandria Adult Detention Center. You are always so supportive of our work! Btw, did you know that you made Mr. Pixley and Mr. Talbert’s day? They were each given a copy of your article and were sooooo happy! Thank you for allowing them to be heard! Scroll down to page 7 to see our winners!


From – Tales of regret and hope win in creative writing contest at the Alexandria Jail

In his award-winning poem “I Cry”, Anthony Talbert laments over being incarcerated in the Alexandria Jail.

“Growing up I was told that the eyes are the windows to the soul,” reads Talbert’s poem. “So I cry to cleanse my soul of all the torment it holds.”

You can’t not be moved by Talbert’s first-place poem and the tears he sheds for everyone – you, me, Jesus, himself. You can read his entire work and more about our writing contest in


Tales of regret and hope win in creative writing contest at the Alexandria Jail

Annual Writing Contest Offers Alexandria Inmates Creative Outlet, Opportunity to be Heard

“We are extremely grateful for Heard’s continued outreach and engagement with those in our custody,” Sheriff Lawhorne said.

And we are grateful to you, Sheriff Lawhorne, for inviting us back to hold our annual writing contest with the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center again. Once again we laughed, cried, and were generally blown away by the honesty and courage of our authors. Congratulations to your winners, and a special shoutout to Caudron Megary, Blackburn Wealth Management Group for sponsoring this event.

The list of winners and a link to the first-place winning poem (and it’s amazing!) is here.


Making Change with Catherine Read

We always love our time with Catherine Read, the genius behind and a true walk-the-walk social activist. Catherine is also a strategist, activist, advocate, speaker, trainer and a host of two weekly television shows and a live radio show on the Fairfax Public Access Channel. I was privileged to be her guest on one of those radio shows, Making Change, on March 18, where I spoke about Heard’s exciting plans for world domination, or at least for sharing how we are ready to help those in need in all communities through art.

“10 Questions” with Barbie Sweeney, Residential Coordinator, Domestic Violence Program

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it was our honor to interview Barbara Sweeney, the City of Alexandria Residential Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Program. Barbie, as we call her, runs the city’s domestic violence shelter and does so much more. Did you happen to walk through Market Square any evening this month? It’s awash in purple to bring attention to this most important cause.

Barbie talks about how COVID-19 has impacted domestic abuse, what signs to watch for, how to help, and so much more in our video and our “5 More Questions” follow-on story.

Alexandria’s HEARD: Jane Collins Brings Art to the Marginalized

You saw the video of our executive director, Jane Collins, in the hot seat with Susan Fleischman of The Zebra admitting to her love of Ben & Jerry’s, Law & Order: SVU and how badly she needs a nap on The Zebra’s Facebook Live! show. All of the guests who Jane grilled with her “10 Questions” show got their revenge!

Oh, and Jane also talked about Heard of course, and how she will help you start a similar program in your community. Just five steps, and Jane will guide you along the way.

Didn’t see it? Our friends at The Zebra followed up with this cute print story, written by Orrin Konheim.