Performing Statistics

Using art to imagine a world without incarceration

Grantee Cohort Fall 2019

Location Virginia

Over the course of its four years as part of ART 180, and in partnership with Legal Aid Justice Center and later RISE for Youth, Performing Statistics has helped advocates close a youth prison, change laws and policies on school suspensions and expulsions and advance Virginia’s investment in community-based alternatives to incarceration. Now, it’s time for the project to extend beyond Richmond and beyond Virginia. Performing Statistics is in the process of transitioning to become an independent project.

Art for Justice funding enabled Performing Statistics to support the design, fabrication and launch of the No Kids in Prison national exhibition tour, which was an immersive and evolving exhibition filled with first-person creative projects, new media and innovative technology, co-created with young people impacted by the juvenile justice system. The exhibition used mixed-reality storytelling experiences to highlight the past and present (amplifying the stories, struggles and dreams of incarcerated youth), while also creating a speculative space that works with teens across the country to imagine a world without youth incarceration.

With their latest grant, Art for Justice partners Performing Statistics and the Columbia Justice Lab together with cinematographer and storyteller Wren Rene and the Amplifier Foundation will curate an educational video series that will outline the case for ending youth incarceration and the steps we can take to achieve this. This video series will be included in the #NoKidsinPrison interactive web experience, providing a “one-stop shop” for people to access clearly articulated positions and recommendations for ending youth incarceration as well as emotionally visceral experiences told by system-impacted youth.