Prison Outreach Program
Outreach visits to marginalized populations are the focus of our Outreach. The practice of singing together with the intention of love and peace breaks down barriers and opens hearts! We match chant musicians with facilities in order to share the healing, anti-depressant power of group chanting. Click this link to read about the healing capacities of chanting. Attendees report feeling joyful and relaxed as a result of these visits. Sites include recovery centers, shelters, hospitals, schools, veterans centers, prisons, nursing homes and workplaces. Artists, caregivers and residents benefit from this wonderful service!
Here is a testimonial from a yoga teacher who gained our financial assistance and coordination support in organizing an outreach event at a maximum security prison in Nashville, Tennessee:
“Thank you again…so much…for your support and enthusiasm. The stipends added a welcome “peace” to our offering. Thank you for your energy, intention, & goodness you are contributing to the Kirtan in Prisons project…to the healing and re-balancing of this world”. -A.B.
Click here to donate. Your generous donation supports:
- $200 per visit to cover travel expenses, scheduling, lodging and meals for visiting artists.
- Spreading awareness of program with goals: partnering with more participating artists; finding new institutions and existing programs willing to partner; inspiring new volunteers willing to create word of mouth campaign.
Call and Response is currently open for requests from other facilities interested in hosting live conscious music events. Email email@example.com for details.
How To Get Involved
- Tell your fellow lovers of conscious music about this program!
- Sponsor a visit to one of the correctional centers.
- Volunteer with the Call and Response Outreach Program. Click here to learn more!
Current Partnering Sites
- Oregon State Penitentiary
- Oregon State Correctional Institute
- Santiam Correctional Institute
- WISE Battered Womens’ Organization
- Second Spring Psychiatric Facility
- Skyland Trail Music Therapy Program
- Riverbend Maximum Security Prison
- Hope Gateway Refugee Center
- Rutgers College
- Wellesley College
- University of Alabama
- University of Florida
- Mississippi State University
- Bowdoin College
- Mindful Yoga
Current Partnering Artists
- Benjy and Heather Wertheimer
- John de Kadt
- Brenda Mc Morrow
- Gaura Vani
- The Hanumen
- Jai Uttal
- Kirtan Soul Revival
- The Mayapuris
- Adam Bauer
- Amy Barnes
Inmate Testimonials From Correctional Facilities
- “This is the first time I’ve felt free behind bars”
- “In 25 years of prison, this is the best day.”
- “This music penetrates the heart whether you want it to or not.”
- “Thank you to the instructors that come in ever week. The biggest thing for me is dependability. If you say you are going to do something, then do it. Our lives are very isolated in here, and we don’t know what is going on in your lives on the outside, but we are incredibly appreciative of the time you give us. Thank you very much.”
Why do inmates need your support?
The Call and Response Foundation affirms the sacred worth of every human being without exception. We also recognize that many inmates will one day be free citizens again. We think it’s important to connect these people with a force that counteracts the violence, stress and trauma of their lives. Kirtan music can be that force. Our goal is to cultivate an intention to live spiritually, ethically and in cooperation with others. That’s the kind of work that serves us all.
“Kirtan is about transcending the kinds of things that cause war—the kinds of things that move us into a place of fear and cause us to focus on our differences,” – Gaura Vani
The healing effects of kirtan benefit the individual and society.
A growing body of medical research suggests that kirtan positively influences the mind-body relationship. It’s been shown to be effective in helping some combat veterans with re-entry into civilian life. In prison, as in the military, trauma and stress are a part of everyday life, often compounding already existing problems. Kirtan music reduces anxiety and depression and helps to counteract the effects of trauma. It heals wounds and re-awakens lost hope, reminding everyone of what is true and whole in them.
Some of our favorite comments about the power of chant have come from behind bars:
“The prison is never quiet, but I can find a space inside me that is “now.” I’ve never had that before. You don’t know how much it means…you really don’t.”
“This is the first time I’ve felt free after 25 years in prison.”
Read More about when Krishna Das went to prison for Call and Response.