Singing in Corrections

Carmencristina Moreno enseña canto y guitarra en la prisión estatal de Avenal. Foto de Peter Merts.

Carmencristina Moreno teaches to sing and play guitar at the Avenal State Prison. Photo by Peter Merts, courtesy of the California Arts Council.

Singer-songwriter Carmencristina Moreno is known as the “Chicana Lady of Song.” Inspired by her parents, who were pioneers of California’s Mexican music scene in the late 1930’s, Moreno took up the guitar at nine years old. Although she was born in East Los Angeles, Moreno grew up in Fresno and Jalisco, Mexico, making her both linguistically and musically bilingual. She’s performed on stages all over the world. Now at 79, the Mexican-American singer is taking center stage inside a makeshift classroom — performing and teaching in front of an unlikely crowd — Men serving time at Avenal State Prison. Radio Bilingue’s Tena Rubio has more.

This program, known as Arts in Corrections, is part of an effort by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California Arts Council and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Its purpose is to rehabilitate prisoners and help them prepare for reintegration into their families and communities.

Photos: Peter Merts, courtesy of the California Arts Council

For more information about Arts in Corrections visit this page

To listen more Arts and Culture programs visit our Arts and Culture section at  www.radiobilingue.org

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