Arts & Justice Events Across the US

Please write to info@thejusticeartscoalition.org if you have an event for us to share! 

Events can also be found on our Google calendar.

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration 

On September 17, join JAC in NYC to celebrate the opening of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration at MoMA PS1! Eight artists in JAC’s national network will have works on display in this exhibition, which runs through April 4. More details on the opening event to come. For general info about the exhibit, click here.

******

Chosen Family: Marking Time Artist Talks with Mary Baxter

Every other Thursday through April 1, 12 p.m. EST

2021 means something new. We invited artist Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter to host a series of online conversations with her fellow artists in Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. These lunchtime chats bring a wide range of voices into dialogue to consider how bonds are forged through and around creative practice in the face of state-imposed separation.

This Thursday, January 7, Baxter will be in discussion with artists Jesse Krimes, Jared Owens, and Gilberto Rivera, who formed a deep friendship centered by their art practice while incarcerated.

******

Amplify Music’s weekly live-streamed concert – Amplify TV

AmplifyTV is a safe, inclusive space for live-streamed music in the face of a global pandemic and beyond. We emphasize booking musicians with prior justice involvement. Following each show, a video recording is sent to juvenile facilities around Virginia. Shows are publicly live-streamed each Thursday at 8pm. A donation of $10 is encouraged and all earnings from each show will be divided between Amplify Music and the performer(s).

Amplify Music is hosting weekly livestreamed concerts through Amplify TV and they are looking for performers, especially individuals who were formerly incarcerated. These are free events, and donations received during the concert are split between the performers and Amplify Music! Please sign-up through this form. 

******

Pens to Pictures

Presented in conjunction with Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, Pens to Pictures co-presents an evening of screenings and conversation. Pens to Pictures is a filmmaking collaborative that teaches and empowers incarcerated women to make their own short films, from script to screen. During its inaugural year in 2016, five films were made in a partnership between women in Dayton Correctional Institution (DCI) and communities of artists based in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. This program will include screenings of BANG! (2016) by Kamisha Thomas, Love or Loyalty (2016) by Tyra Patterson, Transparent (2016) by Jamie Ochs, The Devastating Game (2016) by Beverly Fears, and For They Know Not (2016) by Aimee Wissman. A talkback moderated by curator, writer, and editor, Dessane Lopez Cassell concludes the program.

Beverly Fears is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio with a passion for telling stories in front of and behind the camera.  She participated in the inaugural year of Pens to Pictures with a short film that she wrote and directed, The Devastating Game (2016),  which tells the story of a young woman who overcomes incest and sexual abuse. Through her experience in the Pens to Pictures program, Beverly has been inspired to pursue her lifetime desire to become an actor.  She is eager to participate in future Pens to Pictures courses, and dedicated to educating people about what an inmate looks like: a reflection in the mirror.  Beverly has learned that, “regardless of the hell one can go through, just make sure you look like heaven afterwards.”

Jamie Ochs is a survivor of adversities. She has taken what could have been a negative experience and turned it into positive action and activism. A runaway at 12 years old, she married at 16, and became a mother of three at 20 years old. After serving a ten-year sentence, she is now finishing an Associate’s degree of technical study and working towards her Bachelor’s degree in computer science. Jamie plans to pursue her Master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Wright State University. The support she received and networks she created through Pens to Pictures has been profound and she strives to be a powerful, positive influence on women who share similar experiences.

Tyra Patterson was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. On December 25, 2017, she walked out of prison after serving 23 years for crimes she did not commit. Today, Tyra travels all over the country speaking at law schools, colleges, prisons, conferences, and high schools, leveraging her story to educate people on injustice, mass incarceration, and wrongful convictions. She currently lives in Cincinnati and works at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC), where she leads their community outreach efforts. Tyra also maintains paralegal and fundraising duties at OJPC. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Just Media and a proud Art for Justice Fund grantee, where she directs her energy towards systematic change. Her story has been covered by many publications including Rolling Stone, Essence, the Guardian and many others. Tyra is heavily involved in the arts community of Cincinnati, specifically advocating for the hiring of artists directly impacted by incarceration and creating a pathway for entrepreneurship. She also uses art to educate people on the issues of social, racial, gender, and economic justice.

Kamisha Thomas is a Columbus, Ohio native who has been telling stories since grade school. Always an avid pupil of English, literature, and the arts, her educational journey blossomed into conquests of knowledge in the areas of communication, media production, and, ironically, criminal justice. She also achieved unprecedented success while incarcerated in a state correctional facility where she wrote and directed her first short film, BANG! (2016), as a part of the Pens to Pictures project. While her primary medium is creative writing, she utilizes her skills in painting, sketching, pouring resin, making jewelry, and tessellating as a form of therapy for everyday mental health and to clear up writer’s block. Currently, Kamisha is working to complete a series of three short films called Silence is Consent, which explore the injustices of the justice system and the impact incarceration has on families.

Aimee Wissman is a visual artist, filmmaker, activist, culture changer, and the founder of the Returning Artists Guild, a network of currently and formerly incarcerated artists. Aimee works as an arts administrator by day and a student by night, and is also a curator for local justice organizations along with being a mother. Her work deals with the impact and implications of incarceration, addiction, and societal infrastructure through material exploration and community action. Aimee WIssman’s work is currently on view in Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

Dessane Lopez Cassell is a curator, writer, and editor based in New York. Her film curation and writing focus on artist’s moving image, documentary, and experimental film, with an emphasis on race, gender, and voices from the African and Caribbean diasporas. Currently, Cassell sits on the experimental film committee for BlackStar Film Festival and serves as Editor of Reviews at Hyperallergic.

Get tickets here.

******

Visualizing Abolition: Surveillance and Cinematics

Feb 2, 2021 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Surveillance and Cinematics with American Artist, Simone Browne, and Ruha Benjamin.

For the 2020/21 academic year, UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Dent, feminist studies, has organized a year-long series of online events featuring artists, activists, scholars, and others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. Originally, Visualizing Abolition was being planned as an in-person symposium, bringing together artists, lawyers, scholars, and other thinkers to challenge the dominant ways people see and understand issues of mass incarceration, detention, and policing in the United States and beyond. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the panels, artist talks, film screenings, and other events will now take place online, emphasizing with ever more urgency the importance of envisioning alternatives to ongoing injustices.

The events of Visualizing Abolition accompany Barring Freedom, a bi-coastal exhibition of art featuring Sonya Clark, American Artist, Dread Scott, Deana Lawson, Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, Sharon Daniel, Sanford Biggers, and other artists whose practices creatively confront the failure of many to see the racist biases within the criminal justice system or to comprehend the economic and social problems that the system serves to obscure. Barring Freedom will be on view at San José Museum of Art October 23-March 21, 2021 and at UC Santa Cruz Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery January 12-March 21, 2021. It travels to NYC John Jay College of Criminal Justice April 28-July 15, 2021.

******

Visualizing Abolition: Material and Memory Sanford Biggers and Leigh Raiford

Feb 9, 2021 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Sanford Biggers is a Harlem-based artist whose work speaks to current social, political and economic happenings. For this Visualizing Abolition event, Biggers will be joined by visual culutre theorist Leigh Raiford for a conversation about art, materiality, violence, and possibility.

For the 2020/21 academic year, UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Dent, feminist studies, has organized a year-long series of online events featuring artists, activists, scholars, and others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. Originally, Visualizing Abolition was being planned as an in-person symposium, bringing together artists, lawyers, scholars, and other thinkers to challenge the dominant ways people see and understand issues of mass incarceration, detention, and policing in the United States and beyond. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the panels, artist talks, film screenings, and other events will now take place online, emphasizing with ever more urgency the importance of envisioning alternatives to ongoing injustices.

The events of Visualizing Abolition accompany Barring Freedom, a bi-coastal exhibition of art featuring Sonya Clark, American Artist, Dread Scott, Deana Lawson, Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, Sharon Daniel, Sanford Biggers, and other artists whose practices creatively confront the failure of many to see the racist biases within the criminal justice system or to comprehend the economic and social problems that the system serves to obscure. Barring Freedom will be on view at San José Museum of Art October 23-March 21, 2021. It travels to NYC John Jay College of Criminal Justice April 28-July 15, 2021.

******

E. Jane: MHYSA

Sunday, February 14, 5 p.m. EST

MHYSA, artist E. Jane’s underground popstar diva alter ego, performs songs from her latest album, Nevaeh, on the one-year anniversary of its release. Streamed live from MoMA PS1 within a site-specific set, the performance includes accompaniment by collaborator lawd_knows along with new, projected visuals.

Get tickets here.

******

Visualizing Abolition: Abolitionist Feminisms

Feb 23, 2021 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Beth Richie, University of Illinois, Chicago, Erica Meiners, Northeastern Illinois University, and Soyna Clark, Amherst College, Western Massachusetts, join us for a conversation on feminist―queer, anti-capitalist, grassroots, and women of color— organizing and abolition for the next Visualizing Abolition event.

For the 2020/21 academic year, UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Dent, feminist studies, has organized a year-long series of online events featuring artists, activists, scholars, and others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. Originally, Visualizing Abolition was being planned as an in-person symposium, bringing together artists, lawyers, scholars, and other thinkers to challenge the dominant ways people see and understand issues of mass incarceration, detention, and policing in the United States and beyond. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the panels, artist talks, film screenings, and other events will now take place online, emphasizing with ever more urgency the importance of envisioning alternatives to ongoing injustices.

The events of Visualizing Abolition accompany Barring Freedom, a bi-coastal exhibition of art featuring Sonya Clark, American Artist, Dread Scott, Deana Lawson, Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, Sharon Daniel, Sanford Biggers, and other artists whose practices creatively confront the failure of many to see the racist biases within the criminal justice system or to comprehend the economic and social problems that the system serves to obscure. Barring Freedom will be on view at San José Museum of Art October 23-March 21, 2021. It travels to NYC John Jay College of Criminal Justice April 28-July 15, 2021.

******

Visualizing Abolition: Art, Abolition, and the University

Mar 2, 2021 04:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Ashley Hunt will be in conversation with MJ Hart & Joshua Solis of the Underground Scholars Initiative. The Underground Scholars Initiative supports formerly incarcerated students at UC Santa Cruz & system impacted students in the transition experience & beyond. Hunt & the Underground Scholars will talk about their collaboration of a broadsheet for the Barring Freedom exhibition. They will discuss the roles of the university in struggles for abolition & for what they call the prison to school pipeline.

For the 2020/21 year, UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts & Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Dent, feminist studies, has organized a year-long series of online events featuring artists, activists, scholars, & others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. Originally, Visualizing Abolition was being planned as an in-person symposium, bringing together artists, lawyers, scholars, & other thinkers to challenge the dominant ways people see & understand issues of mass incarceration, detention, & policing in the United States and beyond. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the panels, artist talks, film screenings, & other events will now take place online, emphasizing with ever more urgency the importance of envisioning alternatives to ongoing injustices.

The events of Visualizing Abolition accompany Barring Freedom, a bi-coastal exhibition of art featuring Sonya Clark, American Artist, Dread Scott, Deana Lawson, Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun, Sharon Daniel, Sanford Biggers, & other artists whose practices creatively confront the failure of many to see the racist biases within the criminal justice system or to comprehend the economic and social problems that the system serves to obscure. Barring Freedom will be on view at San José Museum of Art October 23-March 21, 2021 & at UC Santa Cruz Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery January 12-March 21, 2021. It travels to NYC John Jay College of Criminal Justice April 28-July 15, 2021.

******

Discussion: Marking Time: Prisons in the Lives of Black Women

“How have black women used art and performance to express the massive toll that prisons have had on their lives, families, and communities? The evening features performances, readings, and discussions by three formerly incarcerated women Mary Baxter, Asia Johnson, and Michelle Jones in conversation with Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood to celebrate the release of Fleetwood’s new book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Baxter is a rapper, media artist, and activist based in Philadelphia. Johnson is an essayist, poet, and filmmaker from Detroit who is active in the movement to abolish bail. Jones is a writer, scholar, artists and national speaker on women and incarceration; she is completing her PhD in American Studies at NYU. Fleetwood is Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University and a leading scholar on art, justice, and the fight to end mass incarceration. As part of Women’s History Month, we meditate on the impact of incarceration on the lives of black women and the creative strategies they use to resist the dehumanization, confinement, and stigma of policing and prisons.”

******

Webinar: Making-Visible: Anti-Black Racism

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 – 7:00 PM 8:30 PM

Speaker: David Sampé

In 1993, David Sampé was 19 years old and confined at a Correction Corporation of America (now Civic Corps) facility, the first wave of prisons for profit. He was placed in a Youth Act Program that kept him, and others like him, locked in a 6’x9’ cell for eight months, 23½ hours a day. A part of him that went into that box never came out. Broken, like Humpty Dumpty, he was left to put himself back together again. Several years later, after multiple arrests and felony convictions, he became mentally unhinged and spiraled out of control. 

Over the course of 25 years David has reconstructed his mind piece by piece and, through the practice of mindfulness and meditation, has turned a broken mind into a resilient one. These experiences have equipped him with the tools to guide men and women coming home from prison out of their fractured state and back into balance.

We are aware how we have been conditioned into anti-black racism and, as a mindfulness practice community, we aim to support the unraveling of this conditioning as well as the growth of inclusive, equitable, and beloved communities. In order to do that, we must first understand the experience of people of African descent, including understanding how anti-blackness can be as overt as police killings and as subtle as unmindful speech or being passed over for a work promotion.  

To quote the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) “Anti-Black racism is the foundation for the strategies, tactics, tools and cultural worldviews that propagate and maintain racial oppression, repression and exclusion in the U.S. and the world.” 

Please join the Opening Heart Mindfulness Community for this webinar to hear more about David’s story and how it intersects with Anti-Blackness. With your support and presence, we will continue to bring awareness and transformation to these injustices.

******

Exhibition: Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Opens April 5, 2020 at MoMA PS1, NYC

“MoMA PS1 will present a major exhibition exploring the work of artists within US prisons and the centrality of incarceration to contemporary art and culture, on view from April 5 through August 23, 2020. Featuring art made by people in prisons and work by nonincarcerated artists concerned with state repression, erasure, and imprisonment, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration highlights more than 35 artists, including American Artist, Tameca Cole, Russell Craig, James “Yaya” Hough, Jesse Krimes, Mark Loughney, Gilberto Rivera, and Sable Elyse Smith. Alongside the exhibition, a series of public programs, education initiatives, and ongoing projects at MoMA PS1 will explore the social and cultural impact of mass incarceration.

On view across PS1’s second floor galleries, Marking Time features works that bear witness to artists’ experimentation with and reimagining of the fundamentals of living—time, space, and physical matter—pushing the possibilities of these basic features of daily experience to create new aesthetic visions achieved through material and formal invention. The resulting work is often laborious, time-consuming, and immersive, as incarcerated artists manage penal time through their work and experiment with the material constraints that shape art making in prison. The exhibition also includes work made by nonincarcerated artists—both artists who were formerly incarcerated and those personally impacted by the US prison system. From various sites of freedom or unfreedom, these artists devise strategies for visualizing, mapping, and making physically present the impact and scale of life under carceral conditions, underscoring how prisons and the prison industrial complex have shaped contemporary culture.

Marking Time is organized by guest curator Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, and reflects her decade-long dedication to the research, analysis, and archiving of the visual art and creative practices of incarcerated artists and art that responds to mass incarceration. The exhibition corresponds with the release of Fleetwood’s new book, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press, 2020), a trailblazing publication on this subject.

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration is organized by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, Guest Curator; Amy Rosenblum-Martín, Guest Assistant Curator; and Jocelyn Miller, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1.

Support is provided by the Office of the Provost and the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University – New Brunswick.”

******

Exhibition: Barring Freedom

April 29–July 30, 2020 at Shiva Gallery in New York

Barring Freedom is a bi-coastal exhibition of contemporary art organized by UC Santa Cruz Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) in collaboration with San José Museum of Art. The group exhibition features important U.S. artists who creatively engage the historical and structural racism embedded within the systems of mass incarceration, criminal justice, and the prison industrial complex.

******

Beyond Prison Walls, A Conversation: Arts & Corrections

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm

The conversation will be facilitated by Kendrick Dial, featuring Arts in Corrections providers working at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, in collaboration with the William James Association through support from California Arts Council: Jail Guitar Doors, Playwrights Project, and Project PAINT.

Representatives from San Diego State University’s Theatre Department, Project Rebound, and Prison Arts Collective, and San Diego City College’s Urban Scholars program, will join the conversation along with Dr. Heather Greenwald, Chief of Mental Health at RJD.

******

Online Training: Pongo Poetry Project Training

Saturday, May 16, 2020 — 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Though typically limited to Seattle, our day-long 2020 Spring training will be offered online, so we can all Stay Home and Stay Healthy due to COVID-19 / coronavirus concerns.

In this online training, we would like to discuss our approach and show you our techniques using poetry to help distressed teens and adults understand and express their important issues and feelings. This is exciting and rewarding work! 

The training is intended to help anyone start a full poetry project on the Pongo model in an agency, school, or institution. In addition, the training can be used to help counselors and teachers incorporate Pongo methods into their ongoing work with both individuals and groups. As a follow up to this training, we also offer free phone consultation and advice to the participants. 

We recommend that you attend the Pongo training with a colleague, so that you can work as a team eventually and support one another in learning and doing this sensitive work. 

As part of the training, participants will be writing their own poetry — but please don’t feel anxious. The writing exercises in the training will follow the Pongo philosophy and are fun and easy. The process of writing poetry is the best way to understand fully the advantages of the Pongo Method.

 More information will be forthcoming about the webinar’s online platform. If registrants decide online learning is not for them, we will respect that decision and will refund all purchases.

COST: The cost of the workshop is $250.

TEXT: Training registrants are highly encouraged to buy our core training text, “Writing with At-Risk Youth: The Pongo Teen Writing Method” (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2014) on Amazon. It’s written by Pongo’s Founder and Executive Director, Richard Gold, and it’s an essential field guide to running your own therapeutic poetry project. 

Once you’ve purchased it, forward your receipt to Shaun McMichael at programmanager@pongoteenwriting.org , and we will credit you $25 off your registration. 

SCHOLARSHIPS: Thanks to a generous sponsor, Pongo is able to offer a number of scholarships that reduce the cost to $100. You can make a request for a scholarship when you email us your registration form, below.

WORKSHOP DATE, TIME, LOCATION:

Date: May 16, 2020

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM, approx.

Online Platform: Zoom

Workshop leaders:

  • Richard Gold (Executive Director)
  •  Ann Teplick (Pongo Project Leader)
  • Shaun McMichael (Pongo Program Manager)

Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration

September 17, 2020 – April 04, 2021

MoMA PS1

As its first exhibition upon reopening to the public, MoMA PS1 will present a major exhibition exploring the work of artists within US prisons and the centrality of incarceration to contemporary art and culture, on view from September 17, 2020 through April 4, 2021. Featuring art made by people in prisons and work by nonincarcerated artists concerned with state repression, erasure, and imprisonment, Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration highlights more than 35 artists, including American Artist, Tameca Cole, Russell Craig, Maria Gaspar, James “Yaya” Hough, Jesse Krimes, Mark Loughney, Gilberto Rivera, and Sable Elyse Smith. The exhibition has been updated to reflect the growing COVID-19 crisis in US prisons, featuring new works by exhibition artists made in response to this ongoing emergency. Alongside the exhibition, a series of public programs, education initiatives, and ongoing projects at MoMA PS1 will explore the social and cultural impact of mass incarceration.

******

A MATTER OF LIBERATION: Artwork from Prison Renaissance

Sep 23 at 12 AM – Oct 7 at 12 AM PDT

Curated by Antwan “Banks” Williams, A Matter of Liberation presents artists Emile DeWeaver, Eddie Herena, Sara J. Kruzan, Jason Perry, Orlando Smith, and Antwan “Banks” Williams answering the question, “What does liberation mean to you?” Through paintings, drawings, photography, collage, spoken word, and dance, these artists reveal the ways in which the pursuit for liberation unites us all.
 
Don’t miss this exhibitions’ many programs featuring artists, museum experts, social justice advocates, and the co-creators of the award-winning podcast, Ear Hustle.
 
This exhibition is a collaboration between Prison Renaissance and the Thacher Gallery at USF, and is co-sponsored by the Jesuit Foundation. Performance piece provided courtesy of the Artistic Ensemble.

******

Creation for Liberation: Creating Responsible Digital Content for Advocacy

September 27th from 4-5pm ET and October 4th from 4-5pm ET

What are the repercussions of sharing digital content around social justice and human rights issues? How do we responsibly create our own social justice content for social media? How can we encourage continued activism beyond the digital realms?

Join ARTE community members to explore these questions in a FREE, digital, interactive workshop series. Workshop participants will discuss what it means to share, design, and curate digital content for social media. This series will focus on creating content on the prison industrial complex (PIC) to help others better understand the PIC and work towards prison abolition.

This is a two-part session. While all are welcome to attend only the first session (9/27), the second session (10/4) builds off of what was learned during the first session. Therefore if you plan on attending the October 4th session, please make sure to attend the September 27th session as well.

Workshop facilitators: Paige Adamczak, Laura Cerón Melo, and Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario

Register here.