Announcing Creative Conversations: Criminal Justice

Starting Tuesday, April 19, something big is coming to New York. Ok, it’s the New York primaries (please vote!), but it will also be the first in our series of Creative Conversations, a panel of artists addressing critical issues. In this first discussion, we will gather five Creative Capital-supported artists who are addressing criminal justice and mass incarceration in their work: Maria Gaspar, Shawn Peters, Paul Rucker, Gregory Sale and Nick Szuberla. And we’re so happy that Michelle Coffey, Executive Director of the Lambent Foundation, will moderate the conversation!

We will livestream the conversation (RSVP here) from 6-8 EST on Tuesday, April 19, and take questions from Twitter, so use the hashtag #CreativeConvos and our handle @creativecap to follow along! In the meantime, read on to learn more about the presenting artists.


PaulRucker Proliferation

Excerpt from Paul Rucker’s “Proliferation,” showing the growth of the U.S. prison system

Maria Gaspar is a Chicago artist who mixes audio, performance, community engagement and much more in her practice. She established 96 Acres, a collaborative series of community-engaged art projects that examine the impact of incarceration at the Cook County Jail–one of America’s largest single site county pre-detention facilities–on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Shawn Peters is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. His Creative Capital project, The Art of Dying Young, will be a series of films accessible only through augmented reality focused on site-specific death murals. The death murals commemorate young men who have been killed in Brooklyn, and visitors will be able to find out more about these people through their smartphones.

Paul Rucker is a visual artist, composer and noted cellist from Seattle, currently based in Baltimore. Recently, he brought all of his skills together in a project entitled Rewind. It demonstrated the lasting impact of America’s uncomfortable history regarding issues of social justice. One piece in the project was an animated map of the exponential growth of the U.S. prison system (excerpted above).

Based in Phoenix, Gregory Sale is one of most dynamic artists working today at the nexus of art, social justice and policy. Recently, he has been rethinking how we can help formerly incarcerated people reenter society through a series of projects working directly with inmates and those recently released from prison. Most notably, Gregory brought Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio to a table with former inmates to talk about the criminal justice system.

Nick Szuberla is a media artist whose Creative Capital-supported project, Thousand Kites, empowered inmates to create a radio program about incarceration. Continuing on community-based projects, he launched a successful campaign to curb the outrageous fees telecommunation companies charge families contacting inmates. Nick’s organizing in the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice directly resulted in a FCC ruling on this issue.

UPDATE: You can livestream the conversation on our YouTube event below

The livestream of our event will be available on our YouTube page on the night of April 19. Creative Conversations is funded in part by the Lambent Foundation and Catto Shaw Foundation. We have limited seating, so feel free to contact Jonathan Kitt at [email protected] if you would like to attend.

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