• For Immediate Release:                  
    Give a Beat Becomes a New Coordinating Organization 
    For California Arts Council’s Arts in Corrections Program 
    With the Launch of the Prison Electronic Music Program
    A Year-Long Course in Two California State Prisons
    Through June 2020
    LOS ANGELES, CA – October 2, 2019 – Electronic music-based nonprofit Give a Beat launched the Prison Electronic Music Program in two California correctional facilities in July 2019 as part of a contract awarded by California Arts Council’s Arts in Corrections (AIC) program. The goal of Give a Beat’s year-long program—which focuses on the fundamentals of DJing and beat production—is to help students develop their own sound expressions and technical acumen while also learning business development and music history. It is designed to help students return to the workforce with valuable technical, social, and entrepreneurial skills. Led by passionate DJs and music producers, currently the course is being taught at California City Correctional Facility (CAC) and Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP). This first Prison Electronic Music Program will run through June 2020. It is Give a Beat’s most expansive and long-term music production offering/course to date. To learn more, please visit https://www.giveabeat.org/programs/#prison-electronic-music-program.
    “Give a Beat’s use of electronic music to transform the lives and well-being of youth and adults who experience incarceration is an energizing addition to the Arts in Corrections program,” said Anne Bown-Crawford, Executive Director, California Arts Council. “Their work continues to shift the cultural narrative and perception of those experiencing incarceration in many California communities.”

    The Prison Electronic Music Program is an introductory course touching on all aspects of DJing and/or music and beat production. Give a Beat is the first arts organization in California to bring in a six-week, four-hour per session curriculum focused on electronic music for rehabilitative arts in prisons. The course repeats five times throughout the one-year contract designed for 12 participants per course. The curriculum focuses on basic technical skills, business development, electronic music history (hip-hop, house, techno and Jamaican dub) and individual empowerment through freedom of expression. On the final day of class, the students perform their DJ sets and/or showcase the composition that they have produced in the class.
    Due to the complexities of bringing technology into prisons, the instructors go in with a basic (and lightweight) setup of Native Instruments Traktor S2, Ableton Push 2, 5” powered monitors and headphones with splitters. Give a Beat decided to use PC’s to power Traktor Pro 3 and Ableton 10 due to affordability and teaching on an inexpensive setup if the students decide to pursue this craft upon their release.
    The workshops focus on the needs of the individual prisons and corresponding population. California City Correctional Facility is a level 2, medium-security facility, where most individuals will be released within two to five years. Give a Beat brings in two professional DJs to teach only DJing since some of the participants can pursue this as a quicker source of income upon release. 
    Kern Valley State Prison is a level 4, maximum-security facility, where most individuals are serving much longer sentences. Music production is offered here to provide a creative outlet for mental, social and emotional needs for those who won’t be released for years, while simultaneously teaching DJing to all. The students are able to learn both crafts each week, and can choose to focus on one or the other if they have a deeper desire. To qualify to take the courses, students must be on track for parole and of exemplary standing within the prison.
    Give a Beat’s programs are aligned with social justice activist Bryan Stevenson’s strategy outlined in his famous ‘How to Change the World’ speech: “The best way to affect social change and get people to become enrolled in criminal justice reform is by getting proximate, changing the narrative, being uncomfortable and maintaining hope.” The Prison Electronic Music Program practices this strategy by connecting professional musicians to work with incarcerated people to help develop tangible skills that can be used professionally upon release, and to share these stories of disenfranchisement to transcendence with the public, engaging hearts and minds that can open up larger pathways to changing policy.
    “We believe that mass incarceration requires a call to action from every sector and community,” states Lauren Segal, Founder, Give a Beat. “This is not one of those abstract issues that are too big, too far away to do something about. There are a plethora of meaningful ways to get involved that can make a world of difference – from proactively hiring one person with a felony conviction to advocating for large-scale policy change and everything in between. Give a Beat is doing our part with our niche industry and unique community.”
    Give a Beat
    Give a Beat connects the electronic music community with youth and families affected by incarceration. By providing young people with access to professionals in the music industry and related arts, the nonprofit encourages young people to pursue creative career opportunities.
    Founded in 2014 on the positive elements in electronic music culture, such as peace, love, empathy, understanding and unity, Give a Beat approaches its programs with these values in mind. Electronic music was created by and for the disenfranchised to have a community in which they felt included, accepted and loved. Give a Beat believes in paying homage to the Black visionaries who created this genre and cultural phenomenon by imparting these values to those that are most disenfranchised and dehumanized today.
    Since its inception, Give a Beat has provided more than 50 workshops to approximately 500 youths in partnership with 10 organizations — in juvenile halls, community centers and after-school programs. Give a Beat has also been involved in dozens of electronic music-based community events, panel discussions, and artist- and theme-related online campaigns with the aim of building a movement powered by music, unity, compassion and justice.
    Arts in Corrections
    Arts in Corrections is a partnership between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Arts Council designed to have a positive impact on the behavior and attitudes of people experiencing incarceration, promoting interpersonal and social transformation both inside and outside of the boundaries of their institutions. The partnership is made possible by funding from the Division of Rehabilitative Programs at CDCR. Administered by the California Arts Council, Arts in Corrections programs provide the full spectrum of art disciplines, with organizations offering instruction in visual, literary, media, performing and cultural, folk and traditional arts. Since June 2017, Arts in Corrections has provided programs in all 35 state adult correctional institutions. Learn more – https://www.artsincorrections.org.   
    • Give a Beat – https://www.giveabeat.org
    • Give a Beat’s Prison Electronic Music Program – https://www.giveabeat.org/programs/#prison-electronic-music-program
    • California’s Arts in Corrections – https://www.artsincorrections.org
    • Give a Beat Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/giveabeat
    • Give a Beat Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/giveabeat
    • Give a Beat Twitter – https://twitter.com/igiveabeat
    • Give a Beat Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/giveabeat
    • Participating Rehabilitative Arts Organizations – https://www.artsincorrections.org/providers
    • Give a Beat’s Programs – https://www.giveabeat.org/programs
    • The Marshall Project – https://www.themarshallproject.org
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    For more information, photos, or to schedule an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

    Posted on October 2nd, 2019 lynn-hasty No comments

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