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  • Prison Performing Arts

Love, Loyalty, Money, and Family - A JDC Audio Project

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

PPA Teaching Artist Carl Overly, Jr. had to take a different approach to "Love, Loyalty, Money, and Family," the most recent audio project from the youth artists at the St. Louis City Juvenile Detention Center.

The original plan was to produce another narrative audioplay, similar in format to previous projects like "What I See" and "Rudolph Meets Jake." During the planning phases, however, there was a larger-than-anticipated shuffle of youths entering and leaving the program. Simultaneously, Carl had the opportunity to perform out-of-state. Most of the sessions were going to be done via Zoom meetings. Carl decided that thematically-linked *individual* projects would best serve everyone.

He showed videos of different spoken word artists and discussed with the young artists what they wanted to talk about. The group decided on Money, Love, Family, and Loyalty.

After the artists had written their pieces, Carl discussed music that would go well as backing audio, highlighting the similarities and differences between spoken word and rap.

After recording, Carl divided the separate pieces thematically and layered in music that best suited the vibe.

The end result is a piece with multiple voices and points of view on subjects that are important to all of us.

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