The film "Follow Me Down, Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians" will be shown at Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission Street, Suite 109 in San Francisco on Sat., Jan. 12, 2013 at 7 pm as a benefit for the William James Association Prison Arts Project. Bread & Roses Program Director Carolyn Gauthier will participate in the Q & A after the film with other panelists.
Bringing live music to prisons and jails was a passion for Bread & Roses’ founder the late Mimi Fariña. After she died in 2001, she asked that we continue this work in her name for both adult and juvenile detention audiences. Some of her most memorable early experiences of performing for institutionalized audiences were at Soledad, Folsom and San Quentin prisons in the 1970s.
Over the years Bread & Roses has had a long-term working relationship with San Quentin State Prison in Marin County. We have presented large shows on the yard with Michael Franti & Spearhead, Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’ and others through the years. In addition, Bread & Roses has brought in performers to do workshops with some of the inmate musicians through the Arts-in-Corrections Program. Roy Rogers, Rhiannon, Audrey Auld, Gabe Harris’ Rhythm Village, members of SoVoSó and Mark Hummel are some of the performers who have participated in this program.
Recent collaboration with the William James Association has allowed us to provide these services to incarcerated musicians at San Quentin through their Prison Arts Project (PAP). The screening on Saturday, January 12 will benefit PAP's ongoing programs and Bread & Roses continuing partnership with the Association.
“Follow Me Down, Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians” was shot over two years in three Louisiana prisons. The film weaves together interviews and performances of extraordinary inmate musicians. It plays like a concert film, but instead of bright lights and big stages, these musicians rap in okra fields, soothe themselves with R&B in lockdown and create gospel harmonies on the yard.
After the screening there will be a Q&A with the filmmaker Ben Harbert, former prison musicians, music teachers and Bread & Roses Program Director Carolyn Gauthier. Please join us in supporting music programming for men and women in jails and prisons who have little access to the arts and its redemptive power to provide hope and healing for those who need it most.