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The program will now expand as the California Arts Council and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Thursday that the state will spend $2.5 million over the next two years to bring the arts to 14 state prisons. Robbins has starred in movies including “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Bull Durham” and “Mystic River.” He is also artistic director of the Actors’ Gang Prison Project, which has offered theater arts programs in California prisons since 2006, including the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco for the last seven years.

“We find that it fundamentally changes the inmates that participate, It also helps the prison at large because vivaz dance shoes it can change the culture of the prison,” Robbins said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, “They tell us they can talk to their children for the first time when they’re visiting and can express emotion to them.”, His group had been providing services without charge but will now be able to expand into other prisons with the grant money, It is one of one of seven groups that will offer Arts-in-Corrections programs, Besides theater, the programs will include music, dance, creative writing, poetry, storytelling, painting, drawing and sculpture..

Though prisons are usually rigorously self-segregated by race and gang affiliation, Robbins said his organization insisted that the acting program include inmates of all stripes. “We’ve had sessions where we’ve had white supremacists and Crips and Asians, and what happens in that room is so profound that the guys tell us, to a man, that the bonds that they made in that room are far more important than they’ve had previously,” he said. He related that two inmates were able to attend only three acting sessions before the program moved to another part of the prison. But the inmates started their own theater company last year and trained 40 other inmates using methods they had learned in the acting classes.

“They wrote a play and they figured out how to make costumes out of paper and tied bed sheets for a curtain,” he said, Unlike those participating in other prison rehabilitation, vocational and education programs, inmates aren’t likely to become actors upon their release — in part because pay and job security in the acting field isn’t all that great, Robbins joked, But he said the programs pay long-term benefits to society, “As much as we want to abstract the issue and be tough on crime, most of the guys who are in jail right now are going to get out,” he said, “and they’re going to be vivaz dance shoes moving back to neighborhoods near you, near all of us.”..

Well, we’ve got just the right tune for you. Communities across the Bay Area host free outdoor concert series that offer a chance to turn a simple picnic into a more rewarding affair. Most of the events take place in parks and are kid-friendly, and they offer a wide variety of culinary possibilities. Some outdoor shows practically beg for a traditional picnic lunch, such as the Stern Grove concert series in San Francisco. Performances are held Sunday afternoon in a lovely park, with plenty of room for a blanket and gourmet spread. Keep in mind, though, that the park can be foggy and cool, so a thermos of hot soup might also be a good idea.

Yerba Buena Gardens, which hosts a free music festival, is similarly green and spacious and inviting for a picnic, But you also happen to be in downtown San Francisco, so the surrounding culinary options for takeout or post-concert eating-in abound, You also have tempting takeout food options at Todos Santos Plaza in Concord, which hosts two concert series as well as a farmers market; Los Gatos Town Plaza, which hosts a summer jazz series; and Point Richmond, which hosts a concert series that goes for a family-friendly dance-party vibe (complete with face-painting vivaz dance shoes for kids), Ditto for Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill and Redwood City, all of which play host to free music..

Then there’s the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where free evening concerts can top off a great day at the beach, with all the sinfully delicious food that entails. As for the music, we’re talking entertainers with some serious chops, here. Some are music legends. And the genres run the gamut from pop and rock to jazz and blues to classical and country to bluegrass and beyond. Here’s a roundup of some of the Bay Area’s best free concert series happening during the warm weather months.

Remember, it’s an exceptionally good idea to check the event or city’s website before you go to find out what you can and can’t bring into the venue, You should not assume, for example, that alcoholic beverages are allowed, Where: Stern Grove, 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco; www.sterngrove.org, Highlights: Motown legend Smokey Robinson (June 22), one of the vivaz dance shoes best songwriters of all time; the Funky Meters (July 13), the famed New Orleans funky R&B outfit, with the superb Bay Area singer Sugar Pie DeSanto opening; Sergio Mendes (Aug, 17), the Brazilian bossa nova star who has been delighting fans for more than 50 years..



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