Give a Beat has announced an initiative that mixes music courses with post-incarceration reentry. The social justice organization has launched a fundraiser called All Hands on the Decks to support their mentorship program for former prisoners.
A promotional video for the campaign shows footage an interviews from Give a Beat’s “Prison Electronic Music Program” at the California City Correctional Facility. Students were taught how to DJ and produce music in addition to guidance on navigating the music industry. The initiative as a whole also advocates for justice system reform, voting rights, and other adjacent causes.
Give a Beat has partnered with Defy Ventures and California Mentoring Partnership on the program. Its pilot program, “On a New Track,” was made possible through the California Arts Council‘s Reentry Through The Arts grant, and will take eight former prisoners as students beginning in January of 2021.
“Defy is excited to partner with Give a Beat to bring opportunities in the music industry to formerly incarcerated individuals in our program,” said Defy Ventures Director of Development and Marketing Mariah Dickinson in a statement. “There’s no better city than Los Angeles in which to train people in a musical field, and people with criminal histories have incredible talent to share with the world if given the chance to do so.”
All Hands on the Decks is only the most recent campaign launched by Give a Beat. In 2018 the organization also launched a youth music production and DJ program in conjunction with Project Kinship, and earlier in 2020 they partnered with Save The Music on the J Dilla Music Tech Grant.
All Hands on the Decks will run until October 20th. Donate or find more information via Flipcause.