Nov 15

Restorative Justice Receives Ford Foundation Grant

by: Laura Kochman

We’re excited to announce that our Restorative Justice program has just received one of the inaugural grants from the Ford Foundation’s Art for Justice Fund. Mural Arts applied for this funding based on our rich history of work with those who are touched by the criminal justice system, particularly incarcerated people, returning citizens, and young adults on probation, as well as those impacted by the juvenile justice system. Out of the inaugural cohort of 30 grant recipients, Mural Arts is the main visual arts organization—grantees fall into categories of bail reform, sentencing reform, re-entry barriers, bearing witness, and arts programs.

Our Restorative Justice program has a long track record of incorporating art and social justice, resulting in programs, mural projects, and a highly successful work program: the Guild. We work in communities negatively impacted by crime and incarceration, and engage diverse audiences in discussions and dialogue about criminal justice reform.

The funding from the Art for Justice Fund will allow us to:

  • continue and expand our work within the social justice field;
  • launch a major public art project in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia’s MacArthur Foundation-supported Safety and Justice Challenge initiative;
  • expand the Guild program to include a cohort composed of people diverted from the overcrowded county jail system;
  • initiate a fellowship program that provides opportunities and resources for up to five formerly incarcerated artists working around the country;
  • and collaborate with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice on an evaluation of our model, in particular the Guild program.

Together, these activities will enhance the City’s effort to decrease the jail population; increase the scale and reach of the Guild program; lay the groundwork for future project and greater program sustainability; and improve our ability to influence criminal justice reform in place outside of Philadelphia while giving a voice to and being led by those most impacted by the system.

Read more about the grant at ArtNet >>

Last updated: Jan 9, 2018

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