This May, Creative Time, in partnership with The Fortune Society, artist Phil Collins and over 100 collaborators, presents Bring Down The Walls, a three-part public art project which turns an unconventional lens on the prison industrial complex through house music and nightlife. The project consists of a communal space that functions as a school by day and dance club by night, as well as a benefit album of classic house tracks re-recorded by formerly incarcerated vocalists and electronic musicians. Bring Down The Walls will be free and open to the public each Saturday in May starting May 5 at Firehouse, Engine Company 31, a historic, decommissioned fire station in Lower Manhattan.
At the heart of Bring Down the Walls is the pairing of knowledge built from research with that which has been gained by experience, including a wide range of views and a focus on prison abolition. Daytime programs will be primarily led by people who have experienced the system and those working to change it, drawing powerful new connections on the issues and campaigns around decarceration, immigrant rights, ending cash bail, closing jails and prisons, and improving reentry. By night, this communal space will also convene DJs, musicians, performers, and other influential contributors to New York City’s current club scene, acknowledging the history of nightlife as a haven of abandon and temporary relief, in which divisions of race, class, gender, and sexuality are often crossed in unexpected ways.
For the schedule of programming, and how to get your free school and club passes, go here.