Cardboard Opera

Building on Walker State Prison’s culture of transforming lives and creating beauty inspired by art and music from cardboard, Arts Capacity is excited to announce a collaborative musical, dramatic, and artistic production called Cardboard Opera. Inviting inmates of all backgrounds, including artists, craftsmen, writers, and musicians, to work together with Arts Capacity, our Cardboard Opera will make its debut in late 2022.

To the prisoners, cardboard is seen as refuse, trash thrown aside, and forgotten. Quite similar to the way many of them feel. What they create with cardboard is nothing short of miraculous as they create art from trash. This is the way of acknowledging their transformation from “trash” to beauty, from worthlessness to worth.

This violin is made of *cardboard* and was a gift to Holly Mulcahy at her first visit to Walker State Prison to perform.

In Holly’s words, “This violin is a symbol to me of how we build bridges, how we create community, how we use the arts to communicate and tear down walls. The arts are so incredibly powerful, and that discovery is an ongoing journey I hope we all experience.”

Meet the Team

Tim Hinck, Composer

Tim Hinck is a composer, pianist, and a former Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands. His musical compositions and multimedia performances have been presented across the country and abroad in Spain and the Netherlands. Hinck scored the music for the Emmy award-winning documentary From the Streets to the Stage; his opera Eve Apart premiered in Pittsburgh, PA in 2015, and his recent compositions have been performed by Houston’s ROCO Ensemble, the Chattanooga Symphony, the Ann Arbor Symphony, and at the Juilliard school. Read More

Kendra Preston Leonard  is a librettist, musicologist, and music theorist. She was the librettist for eight operas that have premiered since 2018, including five micro-operas with composer Lisa Neher for the 2021 One Voice Micro-Opera Project. Her works have been performed by the American Opera Project, Choral Arts Initiative, Opera Elect, and Hartford Opera Theater, among others. Read More