My Big Secret: Parental Incarceration and Children’s Wellbeing
October 17, 2023 5:00 PM
My Big Secret: Parental Incarceration and Children’s Wellbeing

The arrest of a parent can have long-lasting negative effects on children, including on their socioemotional wellbeing, academic performance, behavior, and health. In the United States, according to the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates, nearly half of all state prisoners and close to 60% of federal prisoners are parents of a least one minor child. Yet, it’s a topic that is rarely heard or talked about.

Join Embassy of Sweden and Imagination Stage for a panel discussion about the long-lasting impacts of mass incarceration, how to reduce barriers to family connections for those in prison, and the ways that art can be used to support children of incarcerated parents, all framed within the context of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

5:00 pm   Doors Open  

5:30  pm   Program begin      

6:30 pm    Post Network Reception

The evening will begin with a theatre performance by Swedish Theatre Company Gyllene Draken featuring excerpts from the play My Big Secret about a young girl whose father is in prison. The play, written by Lucas Svensson and directed by Michael Cocke, is based on actor’s Aja Rodas’s childhood experience growing up with an incarcerated parent, and the feelings of guilt and loneliness it caused.


• Sgt Sonia Flipping, Youth Division, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia

• Daniel Hill, Street Outreach Network, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services

• Aja Rodas, Performer, Gyllene Draken Sweden

• Anna Ekberg, Family Support Counselor, Solrosen Sweden

Moderated by Travis Brown, Imagination Stage Theatre for Change

This event is part of the Kids Euro Fest - one of the largest, most unique festivals for children in the United States, bringing some of Europe’s most talented children’s entertainers to the DMV area every year. With programs for both the general public and school groups, more than 6,000 children and their families enjoy Kids Euro Fest programs each year.

Photo: Magnus Pajnert.

We hope you can join us! 

Register here