Wednesday, Jul 22, 5-6 PM

Inter[SECTOR]: “Decarceration and the Arts” (Part VI)

Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans

Decarceration and the Arts (Part VI) with Jo Kreiter and Zoe Boekbinder Wednesday, July 22, 5 pm CDT on Facebook Live ** The broadcast will be live at the CAC's Facebook Page -- see link on this page to tune in ** Join us for the next episode of the CAC's "Decarceration and the Arts" conversation series on Facebook Live! Jo Kreiter, Artistic Director of Flyaway Productions, will be joined by Zoe Boekbinder, creator of the Prison Music Project, to discuss how the arts can contribute to the humanization and abolition of incarcerated peoples, given the systemic racism that pervades every aspect our nation's criminal justice system. "Decarceration and the Arts" is an ongoing conversation series with San Francisco-based artist Jo Kreiter, Artist Director of Flyaway Productions and creator of the "The Wait Room", a spectacular aerial work that depicts the trauma and challenges faced by families with incarcerated loved ones, which will be presented at the CAC in Spring 2021. In an effort to build community dialogue ahead of the performance, Jo engages with local and national artists and activists on the front lines of ending mass incarceration. ABOUT JO KREITER In 1996, Jo Kreiter founded Flyaway Productions, an apparatus-based dance company that advances social issues and explores the range and power of female physicality. Under Kreiter’s artistic direction, Flyaway creates dances on architectural and fabricated steel objects raised off the ground, with dancers suspended from two to 100 feet in the air. Kreiter/Flyaway are recipients of four Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, as well as awards from institutions like the Center for Cultural Innovation, the California Arts Council and the Creative Work Fund. In the book Moving Sites: Investigating Site-Specific Dance Performances (Routledge, 2015), Kreiter’s work is referenced as an example of “the politically-driven work of the experienced and prolific site dance artists.” Her work, "The Wait Room," is a dance performance installation that exposes the physical, psychic, and emotional burden of incarceration for women with imprisoned loved ones. Via a series of custom-made chairs suspended by a counterweight system, the project invokes the balancing act women have to maintain when stripped of emotional and economic support from their partners and family. Learn more at ABOUT ZOE BOEKBINDER In 2005 Zoe formed a band, with their sibling Kim Boekbinder, called Vermillion Lies. Over the five years that they played together they released two albums, “Separated by Birth” (2006), and “What’s In the Box?” (2008). Their sibling still plays music and makes albums. From time to time they still collaborate. In 2009 Zoe decided to release an album of songs on their own. They recorded with their friend and producer, Cesar Alvarez, in Brooklyn, NY. Thus, “Artichoke Perfume”, was born. Two years later came their second born, "Darling Specimens", produced by Shenandoah Davis in Seattle, WA. Then "Baby Bandit" (January 2014) was recorded live onto two inch tape in Oakland, CA with cellist Danah Olivetree and violinist Dorota Szuta. The latest album, “Shadow”, was self-produced and released in November of 2018. From May 2010 to December 2014, Zoe volunteered as a performer and teacher at New Folsom Prison. They are working on an album of songs with songwriters, poets, and rappers who are incarcerated there. It is produced by Ani DiFranco and features Amanda Palmer, Mirah, John Boutte, and Ani D herself. The profits of the album will benefit incarcerated and formerly incarcerated communities. Zoe resides in New Orleans, Louisiana. They have an affinity for mason jars, rusted metal, Dolly Parton, sea creatures, botanical drawings, dilapidated barns, chocolate, avocados, restorative justice, honesty, port wine, and their beagle-mutt Mudbug. They want to live a farm again someday. Learn more at ABOUT THE PRISON MUSIC PROJECT In May 2010, Zoe Boekbinder paid their first visit to New Folsom Prison, a maximum-security penitentiary outside Sacramento, California. They volunteered in New Folsom for four years, until the end of 2014, playing concerts and teaching workshops in songwriting. Over the years, a lot of poems, raps and songs were created and shared by the incarcerated men who participated in the workshops. Some of the writers asked Zoe to collaborate with them and Zoe found themself contributing a melodic hook to a rap or setting some words to music. One of the participants, Ken Blackburn, was already an accomplished songwriter and offered up to the group finished songs to sing. A body of work developed that was as diverse as the people who contributed to it. The songs — overflowing with pain and regret, longing, perseverance and hope — form a collective snapshot of the hidden face of America: the two million people living inside its prison systems.