We believe that, in America, mass incarceration is so widespread that it requires action from every community and industry. It’s a generational, systemic and unfair condition that’s negatively impacting society.
Give a Beat harnesses the power of the electronic-music community to offer unique programs that address incarceration from a micro to macro scale. The four pillars of our programs align with social-justice activist, Bryan Stevenson’s belief that the best way to affect change is by getting proximate, changing the narrative, being uncomfortable, and maintaining hope.
We are addressing the incarceration crisis on three levels:
Uplifting the voices of incarcerated people and providing a pathway to learn and express themselves musically
Building upon the original fundamental values of the electronic-music community and channeling them into action
Providing programs for communities struggling with incarceration that offer hope for the future
MUSIC IS OUR SHARED HUMANITY
By connecting a growing population affected by incarceration with music industry professionals, Give a Beat aims to develop a cycle of change that encourages those incarcerated to harness their creative talents andactivates electronic-music community members to be advocates for justice.
PRISON ELECTRONIC MUSIC PROGRAM
Give a Beat was awarded two contracts from the Arts in Corrections program under the California Arts Council for the 2019-2020 season.
Arts in Corrections (AIC) programs are designed to have a positive impact on the behavior and attitudes of people experiencing incarceration by promoting interpersonal and social transformation both inside and outside of the boundaries of their institutions. California’s AIC programs are made possible by funding from the Division of Rehabilitative Programs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Administered by the California Arts Council, AIC 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, AIC has provided programs in all 35 state adult correctional institutions.
Arts programming has powerful benefits, proven by the success of the AIC programs. Music Education provides people experiencing incarceration with an immediate, direct, and positive impact on their personal health and welfare.
Give a Beat is currently conducting programs in two facilities: California City Correctional and Kern Valley State Prison.
Each student will learn about:
Music as a mood-shifter and peace-builder, promoting conflict resolution.
Their own unique style and sound expression.
How electronic music was founded in diverse communities and attracted people of all different cultures. This laid the groundwork for the large, entrepreneur-driven industry it is today.
The role of the DJ - creating a vibe, bringing together diverse people, dancing together, connecting, and healing.
How to be an entrepreneur - build a personal DJ brand to promote themselves.
The goal of this Give a Beat program is for each student to recognize their own unique style and sound expression and to understand the historical context of electronic music. It is also designed to help our students return to the workforce with skills that are desired and respected.
DJ/BEAT MAKING WORKSHOPS FOR YOUTH
OVER THE LAST 4 YEARS, GIVE A BEAT HAS DELIVERED OVER 50 WORKSHOPS TO APPROXIMATELY 600 YOUTH IN PARTNERSHIP WITH 10 ORGANIZATIONS. THESE COLLABORATIVE PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS SPECIALIZE IN SERVING RESILIENT YOUTH WHO FACE MULTIPLE CHALLENGES.
These workshops are designed for boys and girls ages 12 to 19. They take place inside juvenile halls and camps in Los Angeles - as a part of Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network programming - and at re-entry focused organizations such as the Orange County based organization, Project Kinship. We have provided additional programs in partnership with New Village Girls Academy, LA County Parks and Recreation, A Place Called Home, and YouthBuild Charter at the Youth Justice Coalition – facilities that are located in areas heavily impacted by incarceration.
Our DJ/Beat-Making workshops introduce youth affected by incarceration to the fundamentals of DJ technique and performance, building the skills and confidence to pursue a career in music.
Students develop a hands-on understanding of DJing as a creative art form and expression. Taught by successful DJs, these workshops explain the software, hardware and techniques used by professionals.
Students also learn about the role of the DJ; creating a positive environment, bringing together diverse people to dance together, connect, and even heal. Plus, they will learn about various career options within the larger scope of the music industry. The skills and experiences gained during Give a Beat’s workshops are applicable to real-world scenarios and are transferable to multiple settings and other career options.
"ON A NEW TRACK" MENTORING PROGRAM
This pilot program is a 1-1 mentorship that will connect creative artists and individuals to youth, ages 16-24.
By connecting previously incarcerated youth with successful artists, one on one, we aim to develop a cycle of change that encourages young people to harness their creative talents andactivates electronic-music community members to be advocates for justice.
A Harvard study, Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience, finds that “This combination of supportive relationships, adaptive skill-building, and positive experiences constitutes the foundations of what is commonly called resilience.” We will measure the improvements in these key areas by conducting evaluations with participants of the mentoring program.
The primary aim of the “On a New Track” mentoring program is to empower our incarcerated youth by building and affirming their artistic talents and by developing their entrepreneurial skills in order to improve employment outcomes. Mentors will also benefit from this relationship as they learn from their mentees’ experiences with the justice system and become better advocates for social change.
DO YOU GIVE A BEAT? EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY
Is the electronic music industry doing enough to help our incarcerated population?
Give a Beat was founded to positively energize the electronic-music community around the devastating impact of mass incarceration. We are working with like-minded organizations, empathetic artists, volunteers, and businesses to create opportunities for social change and to restore dignity to those who have experienced injustice.
Give a Beat interacts and engages directly with the electronic-music community by activating at music festivals through panels, tabling, and fundraising.
Over the years, we have partnered with dozens of music influencers; artists (Arabian Prince, Madame Gandhi, Soul Clap, Oscar P, and many more), festivals (Movement Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Dirtybird Campout, Westcoast Weekender, etc.), promoters, and brands. Check out our Business Partners and Artists pages to learn more.
As part of a community that fosters peace, love, compassion, understanding, and unity, we believe that music creates a culture of inspiration and hope that facilitates authentic and lasting personal and professional connections. We call on all members of the electronic music industry to help us spread the positive elements of electronic music culture to those who need it the most.