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‘Bring Down The Walls’: Creative Time Details Educational and Dance Project Focused on Mass Incarceration

Firehouse, Engine Company 31. 

PHOTO BY JOHN CUSTODIO/COURTESY CREATIVE TIME

Creative Time, the New York–based public art nonprofit organization, announced the full schedule for its upcoming program “Bring Down the Walls,” which explores the prison industrial complex through workshops and house music. “Bring Down the Walls,” located at Firehouse, Engine Company 31, a historic fire station in Lower Manhattan, will be free and open to the public each Saturday in May, beginning May 5. Organized in partnership with the Fortune Society, artist Phil Collins, and over 100 collaborators, the project will provide a communal space that serves as a school by day and a nightclub by night.

During the day, writers, organizers, and activists will lead workshops and conversations about social justice, mass incarceration, prison abolition, and the history of house music. The first daytime event in the series, “Origins of Control,” will examine the history of the prison industrial complex. Another called “The Carceral Continuum” will look at the ways in which punitive practices within prisons have influenced criminal-justice policies and laws.

Among many facilitators will be Baz Dreisinger, author of Incarceration Nations, Derrick Cain of the Brooklyn Bail Fund, Abou Farman of the New School Sanctuary Coalition, and Black & Pink, an organization of LGBTQ prisoners and ”free world” allies. Daytime programming will also offer free services—including civil, legal, and housing counseling—from the Legal Action Center.

At night, the space will become a nightclub and performance venue, celebrating the political histories of house music and nightclubs. New DJs, collectives, and performers—like Soul Summit, House of Vogue, Brujas, and Papi Juice—will be featured each week. Nighttime programming is open to individuals 21 and older.

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