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Photos by Anna Min

FREE CECE! Purple Carpet Event
October 30, 2016

Prior to the screening of the Laverne Cox-produced film FREE CECE!, we rolled out the purple carpet to celebrate with mixing, mingling, snacks, music, and photos! 


On her way to the store with a group of friends, Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was brutally attacked. While defending her life, a man was killed. After a coercive interrogation, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. An international campaign to free CeCe garnered significant support from media and activists, including actress Laverne Cox. Cox signed on as executive producer of FREE CECE!, committed to exploring the role race, class, and gender played in CeCe’s case. In the end, CeCe emerged not only as a survivor, but also as a leader.

Documentarian Jac Gares pushed past the everyday narratives of victimhood surrounding the lives of transgender people, to spotlight the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement fighting for the rights of transgender people everywhere. CeCe's powerful story highlights the groundswell of voices questioning the prison industrial complex and calling for its disassembly.

FREE CECE! was presented at Intermedia Arts as part of the Catalyst Series in partnership with the University of Minnesota's Office for Multicultural Student Engagement and the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection In Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual And Transgender Studies. The post-screening dance party is presented by RARE Productions.

The Catalyst Series is a platform for transformative, socially engaged new work. Through performing, media, and visual arts, the Catalyst Series sparks lasting dialogue in provocative and visionary ways, showcasing work by today’s emerging and vangaurd artists. The series offers a pathway for traditionally underrepresented artists, emerging local changemakers, and projects that ignite innovation.


FREE CECE! was made possible by the Still Ain't Satisfied Foundation and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
The producers wish to thank the generous support from the Ford Foundation, H van Ameringen Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Ted Snowdon Foundation. A Very Special Thanks for the Generosity of: Gina Leonetti Boonshoft, Jamie A. Jennings, Leslie Lagerstrom, Katrina E. Schaffer, and Rebecca H. Weaver.
And thanks to all our IFP Fiscal Sponsorship and Indiegogo Supporters, without your support this film would not have been possible.