Art for Justice announces a sixth year of grantmaking and collaboration

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Groundbreaking Art for Justice Fund that Brings Artists into Criminal Justice Reform Movement Expands with a Sixth Year


MAY 20, 2021 – NEW YORK
– Today, the Art for Justice Fund, a time-limited initiative created by celebrated philanthropist and arts patron Agnes Gund, announced it will add a sixth year of grantmaking in support of artist-centered justice collaborations, under the banner of “New Visions for Shared Safety.” With June 2023 as the Fund’s new sunset date, Art for Justice intends to invest another $20 million in its final year to uplift new ideas and approaches that are developing concrete alternatives to our current criminal legal system.

“Politically and culturally, we know the moment is ripe for more expansive, bold thinking that takes us beyond piecemeal reform to real transformation. The Fund will expand its support for creative thinkers and doers who are developing alternatives to retribution and instead sow seeds of real justice, community wellness and safety for all,” said Helena Huang, Art for Justice project director.

“Artists have always been at the forefront of social movements. Since the inception of Art for Justice, we have invested in people and projects shifting the narrative around incarceration by generating insight, empathy, and proximity to people impacted by the system,” said Agnes Gund, the Fund’s founder and board chair. “Public will to end mass incarceration has grown and as we prepare for a final sixth year, there is an enormous opportunity to support our collective imagination of a world without mass incarceration and immigrant detention.”

The Art for Justice board approved a spring docket of 17 grants that include both final renewal grants to criminal justice organizations and a range of art-related projects, totaling $6.164  million in investments. While the full slate of grantees will be announced in the coming week, the cohort of grantees includes more support for the creative practice of justice-focused artists – particularly those who are formerly incarcerated themselves. It also includes funding for public art exhibitions and programming designed to make clear the human and societal toll of mass incarceration and possibilities that can exist when we imagine new pathways to public safety.

Meet Art for Justice’s full community here.

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Julie Mehretu’s “Dissident Score” sells for $6.5 million, proceeds benefit the Art for Justice Fund