Every week an unassuming building at Avenal State Prison in Kings County shakes with a thunderous noise. It’s the sound of drumming that travels across the yard and rises above the watchtowers at this minimum-to-mid security prison. Abdullatif Bell Tounkara, a master musician and teacher, is leading a group of men behind bars in a drum circle. Radio Bilingue’s Tena Rubio reports from Avenal.
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: Photo by 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