Reimagining Reentry Fellowship

Supporting multidisciplinary artists impacted by the criminal justice system.

About 

Creativity gives us the ability to reimagine the world around us, and the criminal justice system is no exception—but the individuals directly impacted by our criminal justice system are best positioned to lead conversations and to find solutions to the problem of overincarceration. Launched in 2017, the Reimagining Reentry Fellowship funds selected artists impacted by the justice system to examine the problems posed by mass incarceration on both a personal and a systemic level, illuminating the human cost and potential solutions.

2019 Fellows 

The second iteration of the Reimagining Reentry launches April 2019, as a 20-month fellowship designed to support formerly incarcerated artists who are applying their creative practices to address critical issues of mass incarceration in Philadelphia. Both local and nationally-recognized, six artists or artist pairs will create bold new public works to shift the narrative around contemporary criminal justice and incarceration.

The Fellowship will enable the artists to collaborate with Mural Arts’ long-running Guild re-entry program, as well as men incarcerated at State Correctional Institution Phoenix, and women incarcerated at Riverside Correctional facility. Artist Jesse Krimes returns as curator, and will work directly with the Fellows.

In late 2019, the Fellows’ completed and developing projects will be featured in an exhibition alongside work created by other formerly incarcerated guest artists from across the United States. In 2020, the Fellows’ work will culminate in large-scale murals, performances, and installations with accompanying public programming across Philadelphia.

Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter
Reginald Dwayne Betts (with Titus Kaphar)
Russell Craig
Michelle C. Jones (with Deborah Willis)
Titus Kaphar (with Reginald Dwayne Betts)
Jared Owens
Michael OG Law Ta'Bon
Deborah Willis (with Michelle C. Jones)

2018 Reimagining Reentry Performances 

  • Portraits of Justice opening event with Reginald Dwayne Betts, October 5 2018. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Portraits of Justice opening event with Reginald Dwayne Betts, October 5 2018. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Reimagining Reentry Fellow Shontina Vernon, October 11, 2018. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Reimagining Reentry Fellow Shontina Vernon, October 11, 2018. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • A portion of Sue Ellen Allen's Overcoming Barriers to Reentry reentry simulation. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Performance by Reimagining Reentry Fellow Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter, October 25, 2018. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Portrait of Mary Baxter on the City's Municipal Services Building, for Portraits of Justice by Russell Craig and Jesse Krimes. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Artwork by Luis Suave Gonzales on display at the Portraits of Justice symposium. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • DA Larry Krasner takes in artwork by Luis Suave Gonzales at the Portraits of Justice symposium. Photo by Steve Weinik.

  • Portraits of Justice Symposium, November 2, 2018. Photo by Steve Weinik.

2018 Fellows 

Artists Russell Craig and Jesse Krimes—both formerly incarcerated artists and alumni of the Mural Arts Guild program—led the inaugural multidisciplinary cohort in crafting projects that focus on supporting returning citizens rather than punishing them. Five Fellows gathered in Philadelphia in March 2018 for an orientation with leaders from the City’s MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge, and returned to present interactive work in front of the Municipal Services Building, also the site of a collaborative mural designed by Craig and Krimes. The Fellowship program culminated in a fall symposium that asked the public to help reimagine Philadelphia’s criminal justice system.

Reginald Dwayne Betts
Shontina Vernon
Sue Ellen Allen
Mary Enoch Elizabeth Baxter
Luis Suave Gonzalez
more events

Funder 

The Art for Justice Fund, a recently launched initiative founded by Agnes Gund in collaboration with the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Partners 

City of Philadelphia Managing Directors Office
Philadelphia Department of Prisons
Philadelphia Police Department
Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services
Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
Defenders Association of Philadelphia
The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Municipal Court –Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Adult Probation and Parole Department, Pretrial Services Division
MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge