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Free the 350 Bail Fund hosts its first hip-hop fundraiser of 2020

Saturday, February 8, Art In, 7 p.m. Info

In 2019, nearly one in five pretrial defendants in Dane County were held on bail, with bail amounts reaching thousands of dollars. Coupling this with the fact that Black people have long faced disproportionate rates of incarceration in Wisconsin and in the US at large and it’s hard to ignore the reality that the carceral system, including locally, is underpinned by criss-crossing strains of injustice at every step along the way.

Since its inception in August 2017, Madison’s Free the 350 Bail Fund has used online crowdfunding and community-based fundraising events from concerts to lectures at UW-Madison to communal pho dinners to raise money to free those held in jail pretrial due to inability to pay bail. With a strong focus on freeing Black minors held in adult prisons and on bringing incarcerated Black mothers back to their families, the fund has worked to confront both the racial and the economic inequalities inherent in the carceral system. 

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On February 8, the Fund is hosting its first hip-hop fundraiser of the year at Art In, with a lineup including Lil Guillotine, a staple of both the local rap scene and of the Fund’s hip-hop fundraisers, and Rob DZ, a community heavyweight whose work is equally rooted both in music and in community outreach at large. Madison comedian and storyteller Cal Smith will be hosting, and the lineup also features music from Breezy Esco, Jay Leebra, Marcus Porter, President Longboi, Kilo aka Skiltz, and Rare MC. Art In is closing its doors at the end of the month, so here’s hoping that both the music and the cause can find another welcoming venue in town soon.

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