Press Release

2018 Fall Grant Recipients Announced

Today, the Art for Justice Fund announced its cohort of 32 fall 2018 grantees that share a common goal of reforming and shifting the narrative around America’s criminal justice system through the transformative power of art.

The Art for Justice Fund is a five-year initiative created by Agnes Gund in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the Ford Foundation. The Fund is dedicated to combating the injustices of mass incarceration through the collective action of artists, advocates, and philanthropists.

“From advocates to artists, storytellers to policy experts, each of our grantees is helping to dismantle an unjust system and culture that preys on vulnerable communities,” said Gund.  

“These selected organizations, artists, and activists are bellwethers of change, and they’re leading the way to transform our broken criminal justice system,” said Helena Huang, project director for the Art for Justice Fund. “We are at a unique moment in time to drive meaningful, long-term change. This is why the Art for Justice Fund exists: to support the work of artists and advocates to seize this moment and accelerate the movement.”

Grantees range from the Campaign for Fair Sentencing for Youth — a new network working to eliminate the sentencing of young people to die in prison — to Mural Arts — a leader in innovative public art projects based in Philadelphia that will launch the “Art for Justice Hub.” While a full list of grantees can be found here, the recipients span four categories of work:

  • Keeping people out of jail and prison
  • Shortening excessive prison sentences
  • Improving reentry into the community
  • Changing narratives about criminal justice

With Art for Justice’s support, grantees will work to close prisons and create community alternatives for youth, raise awareness of the needs of women who are incarcerated and children who have incarcerated parents, and implement campaigns to change criminal justice policies and practices at the state and local levels.

Art for Justice grantees supported the successful effort to automatically restore voting rights to people with felony convictions in their past in Florida and used their art to show the humanity in people affected by mass incarceration through an art installation in Philadelphia, a stellar one-woman play, and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.   

This is the third cohort of Art for Justice grantees. Since it was established in 2017, the Fund has awarded 100+ grants totaling more than $40 million. View all grantees here.