CIM DAY 4: Excerpts from Transcript

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    

 

Before the start of class, Danielle explains that she will be conducting filmed interviews to those that wish to participate. Ashley passes out permission to photo/video forms to those that have not previously filled one out. Annie lets the class know that today and next week will be focused on working on the components of the project.

Here are the interview questions that Danielle passed out to everyone:

 

What does Art mean to you?

What has art meant to you specifically while being incarcerated?

How long have you been in the program and what classes have you taken?

Can you talk a little bit about the process of this project, what you all have been doing?

How did you feel about working in a group rather than individually?

What is it you gained from this project that you perhaps didn't realize you would?

Annie: “How do you think the project is going so far? What is working and what do you think is not working?”

Everyone seems to be happy with how the project is going so far, the class agrees the rest is just preparation. Annie shows the class the invitation for the final presentation and asks who would like some to send to family.

 

Phung:

You guys are creating something greater than anyone could have done on your own, you are showing mutual respect for each other which is something that can be hard to do in a collaborative project

 

Annie asks class if each group can show us what they have ready.

 

Angel reads a draft of the narrative he has so far, there are three parts which play out as scenes that the performers interpret, while the musicians play music.

 

Annie:

“I was really impressed that you were able to write such a clear comprehensive story that can represent everyone here. How many of you feel represented in Angels story?

 

[Everyone raises hand]

 

[Angel continues reading part 2]

 

Johnny: “I feel the narrative is very harmonious in thought”

 

Annie: “I like how you included all the reasons you chose to change, I think it is very representative of everyone”

 

[Angel reads part 3]

 

Christina: “The phases and transitions between each part works well I think.”

 

Next the performers share what they have so far

 

Johnny: “We have a performance outline [which is handed out to everyone], our performance is more of a poetic descriptive form rather than a scripted one. The performance consists of 3 scenes the first is about past lifestyle, musicians play a tune while one person reads their poem, the performers express those emotions, scene 2 the musicians play song while performers interpret, scene 3 is continuing transformation”

 

Phung: “I love that it is structured and expressive at the same time.”

 

[Jorge shares the poem he wrote that goes with scene 2]

 

[Johnny shares idea about sometime during the performance taking a negative word from the installation and throwing it aside and then taking a positive word and walking away with it]

 

[Stan shows examples of placards he has made so far, the shade of blue paint he used is the same shade of their CDCR uniforms]

 

Johnny: “Stan are we still having words cast shadows on the wall?”

 

Stan: “I thought we were moving away from a light-show, does anyone want some sort of light-show?

 

Johnny: “I think it could be cool to have words casted on the actors during the performance”

 

[Participants agree to meet in gym on Monday at 10:30 to work on installation and rehearse performance]

 

[Annie lets groups know what they should work on during their week, for writers edit and type up stories/ poems by next class, performers should finalize performance, Construction group should have all words complete by next class so we can start setting up the installation, also everyone should have their placard completed by the next class. The reveal date is July 22nd,]

 

[In the remaining hour before lunch groups work on their projects and Danielle conducts her interviews with those that wanted to do it]

 

 

Second Half

 

[The second half of the class was dedicated to studio time, the majority of the participants and myself are working on the words for the installation, a few people are cutting out the rest of the words while others are cutting paper as well as gluing the paper to the letters. The performers are sorting out the details and towards the end of the class give Christina and I a run through of the performance which was really nice. Johnny talked us through each part of the performance and it is coming together very nicely. 

 

I asked the participants if they were planning on submitting art for the CB1 show, a few of them said they did not have anything worth submitting, but I encouraged them to submit something if they really wanted too, participants Lee and Jason both submitted some really good artwork as while as other participants.

 

For almost all of the second half Christina and I were helping everyone with the installation words which is why there isn't any dialogue notes. I talked with participant Angel for a while about his storyline, he had concerns that it was too lengthy and wanted some help narrowing it down. I let him know that the story does not need too much editing, but if he wanted to shorten it he could probably combine some synonymous words to just one word which I was able to help him do. Participant Jorge and I worked on selecting scrapbook papers that would contrast with the other words and look good from a distance. By the end of the class a lot of progress had been made, Almost all of the words for the installation are completed and the performance just needs to be rehearsed and the details finalized.]

This project is generously funded by a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Grant in the category of Multidisciplinary and Presenting — Additional support comes from Arts in Corrections, an initiative of the California Arts Council and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. This project would not be possible without the support of the Department of Art, the College of Arts and Letters, and Research and Sponsored Programs at CSUSB. Accounts and administrative services were provided by the University Enterprises Corporation in association with CSUSB

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The Prison Arts Collective works to expand access to the transformative power of the arts through collaboration and mutual learning that supports the development of self-expression, reflection, communication, and empathy through providing multidisciplinary arts programming in correctional institutions.

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