Prison Wings the Website

"When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded. If anything, the needs for identity and self-respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison environment. Whether an O. Henry authoring his short stories in a jail cell or a frightened young inmate writing his family, a prisoner needs a medium for self-expression." 
     -- Thurgood Marshall 

Christmas At New Folsom: Holiday Voices From Home

Christmas House by Danny PurgasonOn Christmas Day at 6 PM, join Cheri Snook as KVMR celebrates with families around the globe as we cross the bridge into the walls of New and Old Folsom Prison. Join us, as families and friends unite in bringing their personal greetings of Hope and Peace to their loved ones incarcerated. Through KVMR's airwaves we bring an abundance of Peace and Love, all through the magic of community radio. Merry Christmas to all.

Click here to listen to
Christmas At New Folsom: Holiday Voices From Home

Click here for the podcast of
Christmas At New Folsom: Holiday Voices From Home

  Photos of Into the Light concert, 2006.
Wed 23 Nov 2005 Live at the prison!June 22 2005: "Freedom For The Prisoners" MP3s
My Name is Danny Purgason (Oct 2006)July 01 2005: "Off the Hook Radio" MP3s

Feb 11 2007::
Alaska Goddesses, Melissa Mitchell, Corinna Delgado, Shawn Zuke, with Diane Patterson, Organic Flood, Root Down One, Grace Fae & campaign for "need more love" with the Ginger Ninja's &, Call: 530-271-1436
Bring a chair or blanket

“Community partners such as KVMR Radio and professional artists who volunteer their time and share their resources have become a major factor in continued delivery of high quality arts programming for the prison community. It is a partnership endowed with the power to change and literally save lives” say's Jim Carlson CSP Director.

They come as far as Alaska to join with local musicians and poets with a common bond they share with New Folsom Prison's Arts Program and Inside Circle Foundation.
Corinna Delgado makes her first appearance in the prison chapel to perform and teach along with Melissa Mitchell, who previously opened for Michael Franti both inside the prison 2005, along with Diane Patterson on Kvmr Radio, also June 2006 Benefit for ICF.
"Corrina’s life has not been easy", say’s Tom Begich, "but she has persevered and triumphed over adversity and now serves as a role model for youth and others. She is living proof that, with will and faith, a person can succeed at all that they desire.
As Mistress of Ceremonies for the Mayor’s Arts Awards she served as a role model and key representative of what we value and hold most dear – stories of success. We are honored in Alaska to have her as one of our outstanding poets.”
Members of Organic Flood and Root Down One have entered the prison program sharing there gifts of words and music. These musician's and poets join together to celebrate life with music and joy in the evening of supporting Inside Circle Foundation with Director Rob Allbee.
The Inside Circle Foundation (ICF), a not-for-profit organization created by inmates and ex-convicts, is dedicated to the personal growth of men in prison. The immediate goal is a reduction of prison violence and lower recidivism when inmates parole. The long- term goal is to let these men heal, and achieve meaningful lives.
The ICF helps inmates create environments in which prisoners can safely work and explore the issues that have prevented them from living up to their full potential as human beings.

More on the Artist's and the New Folsom Prison stories and past events with Michael Franti and 2 X Grammy Winner Mary Youngblood

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A KVMR Community Radio / Arts Project with
California state prison
Last Update:
Tuesday, February 13, 2007 12:52:50 AM
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Universal Tapestry
Nevada City, California
Special was 7:30pm
May 22 2005

KVMR in Folsom Prison?
It all started in August 2004, when a KVMR listener heard a message-in-music on the Friday early-morning show "Universal Tapestry" hosted by Cheri Snook. The song that spurred Dr. Jaime Wiedell to contact Jim Carlson, Arts Facilitator for the "Arts in Corrections" program at CSP-SAC New Folsom Prison, was "Medicated Family" by Buddy Tabor, an Alaskan artist featured often on Universal Tapestry. Within a week of hearing the song and with the help of Cheri Snook, Buddy Tabor had been invited to perform for the Arts in Corrections class. The subsequent concert was a great success, and was covered by KVMR's News and Public Affairs Director, Mike Thornton.

Little did anyone know what that early-morning phone call would lead to, but communities have a way of coming together once doors are opened. A collaboration has since blossomed between KVMR and the prison, thanks to the facilitation and outreach work of producer Cheri Snook and the advocacy of Jim Carlson. In December, Cheri produced the first-ever recording of the inmates' performance of the story of the life of Christ, featuring all-original songwriting by inmate Marty. KVMR aired this groundbreaking program "The Road, by the Men in Blue" on Christmas Eve 2004, which was well-received by KVMR listeners that evening. Part 2 of "The Road" was presented on Easter Sunday (March 27, 2005) on KVMR. Cheri has also produced a number of live performances at the prison, beginning with Buddy Tabor, and including Flowmotion and Kimberly Bass. Plans are in the works to bring Grammy award-winning Mary Youngblood into Folsom for a performance and flute lessons.

With the permission of the Administration of CSP-SAC, the poetry of some of the inmate participants has been documented and shared with the public on KVMR. The poetry classes continue to expand into a living, breathing program with assistance of local poets Loraine Webb, Grace Totherow, and others.

Ninety percent of our prison population will re-enter society. Research conducted by the California Department of Corrections indicates that prisoners involved in on-going arts programs show a seventy to eighty percent reduction in violent and disruptive behavior while in prison, and are sixty-nine percent less likely to return to prison once released. And, while there is institutional support for the Arts in Corrections program, it has been de funded statewide. Artists must participate in a volunteer capacity. Statistics aside, our human community will do well to acknowledge prisoners beyond the numbers. In Lights On in the House of the Dead, Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit Priest who served time in prison because of his anti-war activities during the Viet Nam era, writes: "It remains important that prison be regarded as a boot camp for spiritual change."

Many thanks go out to Jim Carlson, Fred Schroeder and Warden Kearnan at the prison for their support.. to Cheri Snook of KVMR.. to all of the wonderful local artists who have taken the time to participate in this unique program.. and above all to the inmates, who have shared their hearts and souls with the KVMR community. Community radio has a special ability to reach out through the airwaves and inspire human connections, and KVMR is proud to provide a voice, and an ear, for men often forgotten behind walls of stone and razor wire.

Folsom Prison Easter show on KVMR An upbeat toe-tapping, hand-clapping Easter concert that features original music about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was aired 2-5 p.m., Easter Sunday, on KVMR Radio (89.5 FM). Seven inmates at the facility created the concert, which was recorded live by KVMR March 13 in the prison's chapel. A collaboration between the radio station and the prison has evolved, with KVMR broadcasting the first-ever recording of the inmates' performance of the story of the life of Christ on Christmas Eve 2004. The station's broadcast producer Cheri Snook has also produced live performances at the prison with local musicians. In a release prepared by KVMR program director Steve Baker, it said that statistics show that prisoners involved in ongoing arts programs show a substantial reduction in violent and disruptive behavior while in prison and have less recidivism.

Letter from the prison

“There is definitely a 'force of good' happening here within these walls that is transforming convicts lives and allowing us to grow together through our work and prayers into a real micro community of all races being in harmony with in certain spaces that are safe to do so, yet that translates back out through each individuals life into the daily walk and into the world. Day by day step by step. Eventually humanity may heal all the wounds and one love may reign but it begins at home inside us all. Within these cages men are offered a new way those ready are taking it up, those not quite sure are witnessing the changes these men are living happening, to them and they too step up! One life at a time, and the world remade. I state that with belief for living here within the “cities of a worlds shadow”-thieves, murderers, dope dealers, junkies and hustlers all caught in the wrong place at the wrong time & falling into the cracks of a system that swallow them up- these human beings are awaking from a life battered, bruised, used, lost, thrown away neglected, tortured, hated, rejected-“access denied in life!” These people I am witness to a rebirth into new lives into through grace, forgiveness, love and life from their desire to feel and be renewed to be some use in life other than perpetrating cycles of death. I see people of different race & gang connecting and finding common ground and through it is a mere fraction of the population- it begins-and grows!

Thanks to the Arts in correction and community radio and KVMR for lending a ear to brings the sound of music and real people to us all. Making changes in society for a people in the humanverse.”


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