The Art for Justice Fund in New York City has announced grants totaling more than $14 million in support of efforts to advance racial justice and end mass incarceration.
Grants were awarded to forty-seven artists and organizations and include a total of $2.5 million in emergency funding to address outbreaks of COVID-19 in prisons, jails, and detention facilities. Recipients include twenty-five artists, including Paul Rucker, who combines original compositions, live performance, sound, and visual art to show the links between incarceration and slavery; and Szu-Han Ho, a performance artist who utilizes sound, text, image-making, and installations, with a focus on migration and borders and alternative economies.
Organizations receiving grants include the Detroit Justice Center, in support of its ongoing advocacy for jail and pretrial reforms in Michigan, community reinvestment, and COVID-19 response; architecture and real estate development nonprofit Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, in support of efforts to address the root causes of mass incarceration through the built environment; and Los Angeles-based A New Way of Life, in support of its SAFE (Sisterhood Alliance for Freedom and Equality) Housing Network program and efforts to advance the adoption of its reentry model in communities across the country.
"Our nation is focused on healing from COVID-19 and racial injustice," said Art for Justice founder and board chair Agnes Gund. "We're at a critical juncture. Fortunately, we have artists who envision for us a future of shared safety and shared prosperity. Artists in the Art for Justice community, working together with advocacy organizations, have long centered racial justice in ending mass incarceration – from policing to sentencing, from prisons to immigrant detention facilities. For change to be lasting, we must change hearts and minds."
For a complete list of the fund's spring 2020 grant recipients, see the Art for Justice website.
(Photo credit: Prison Reform Alliance)