ON OCTOBER 9TH AT 12 NOON ARTISTS, NON-PROFITS, & COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS UNVEIL A NEW SOCIAL JUSTICE MURAL AT THE
AVENUE C OUTDOOR GALLERY
195 Avenue C (at 12th street)
The unveiling takes place during YOUTH JUSTICE ACTION MONTH (YJAM), which is a month dedicated to promoting policies that keep more children out of adult courts, jails, and prisons.
This October, New York will begin rolling out its Raise the Age Policy which will get our kids off the island and out of the adult courts. Thanks to all the community activists who joined us on court house steps and in Albany. Let’s keep up the fight!
Multi-Media Artist Daphne Arthur & Artist Activist Robert Galinsky, SOZE Agency, The Kite Zine, Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, IMPACT Repertory Theater, and Getting Out Staying Out (GOSO)
“RIBBONS OF JUSTICE”
A New Mural Curated & Created by Daphne Arthur & Robert Galinsky
New York, NY– With a grant from the SOZE Agency, artists Daphne Arthur and Robert Galinsky work in collaboration with various criminal justice reform groups and individuals, to create "RIBBONS OF JUSTICE", a mural that features writings, commentary, and advice from boys and girls, men and women, who are currently serving time at Rikers Island Jail and/or have been incarcerated. Through workshops and interviews, Arthur and Galinsky engaged with scores of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people to distill commentaries into short powerful statements that address mass incarceration.
The mural image is the Statue of Liberty wrapped in flowing ribbons, each printed with affirmative quotes and conscientious demands for justice and prison reforms. This deeply touching image echoes sentiments and experiences from formerly incarcerated individuals. Standing front in center in the heart of Alphabet City passersby will be confronted with a sense of hope and responsibility to restructure and create a healthier society.
The Organizations and Artist that contributed voices and amplified them through this project include the following :
DAPHNE ARTHUR is an interdisciplinary artist. Arthur received an MFA from Yale in 2009 and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Solo exhibitions include: RARE gallery in NY and the University of Massachusetts Boston and group exhibitions nationally and internationally at the Honfleur Gallery in DC, City College of NY, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Laviolabank Gallery, Marvelli Gallery, Rush Arts Gallery, Arena 1 in Santa Monica, California African American Museum in LA, Land of Tomorrow in Louisville, Mexic-Arte Museum, 59 Rivoli gallery in Paris and Florence Biennale VIII in Italy.
ROBERT GALINSKY (Playwright/Performer) is an activist and theatre artist with numerous credits as a writer, poet, and educator. He is head speaker coach for TEDxTeen and TEDxFultonStreet. As a writer/producer/activist, his work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and on The VIEW, NPR, and ABC Nightline News. Most recently, at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York, Robert debuted in THE BENCH, A Homeless Love Story, which opens in Hollywood on October 4. He teaches writing and performance to incarcerated youths at Rikers Island Jail, works with homeless through the non-profits City Kids and Hearts of Gold and is a founding team member of the We Are Family Foundation and Nile Rodger's "Three Dot Dash" international peace initiative.
THE SOZE AGENCY
We believe in triple bottom lines: people, planet and profit. Yes, in that order. We don’t chase money, we chase happiness. We believe that the exits are as important as the entrances. We celebrate those who no longer work with us and appreciate the ways they helped us get to where we are today. We believe in celebrating the work and there is joy in what we do together. We know what it means to go the extra mile, our work is driven by personal connections to the issues. We believe that everyone’s voice should be heard, from the person who just started at the company today to the person who has been here the longest. We believe in decision making by consensus. We believe that at least once a week we need an emotional check in with the entire company. We believe in feeding creativity, so everyone gets a day off each month to do something that will keep them inspired. We believe in unlimited vacations. We are unapologetic about our view that inclusiveness and diversity are the keys to success, and we heavily recruit women and people of color to work with us. We know that artists have the ability to tap into the heart and bring light to some of our darkest truths. We only work on projects that we believe in, this is a very important point to who we are. If we don’t believe in it, we’re not working on it.
THE KITE ZINE
We facilitate writing and re-entry workshops inside jails, detention centers, prisons and in within the community. In our unique storytelling classes, we help students write their stories first on the page and then coach them on how to perform them on stage. We also do a “networking behind bars” series where authors, community leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, engineers and other folks doing cools stuff visit our workshops to talk about how they broke into their careers. It takes a community to change an unjust system—you in?
Getting Out and Staying Out empowers young men to avoid re-involvement in the criminal justice system by reshaping their futures through educational achievement, meaningful employment, and financial independence. GOSO focuses on individuals’ capacities and strengths, as well as developmental needs and emotional well-being. Our aim is to promote participants’ personal, professional, and intellectual growth by providing goal-oriented programming and comprehensive supportive social services. Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) assists justice-involved young men, aged 16 to 24 years of age, achieve financial independence and personal success by supporting educational progress and gainful employment, and providing comprehensive social services.
Literacy for Incarcerated Teens/LIT strives to create excellent school libraries & provide innovative programs in NY's juvenile facilities & group homes. LIT was founded in 2002 by a visionary New York City teacher named Rebecca Howlett, who recognized that the literacy needs of detained and incarcerated youth are intertwined with their lack of access to libraries and reading facilities. Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, Inc. (LIT) is the only non-profit organization of its kind working to end illiteracy among New York’s incarcerated young people by inspiring them to read.
IMPACT REPERTORY THEATRE
We are youth activists who view the creative arts and leadership training as a way to develop ourselves and change the world in a positive way. We believe that we must be the message that we bring through hardwork, focus, discipline, unity and the principles of S.O.S. safe space, outstanding effort and service to our family friends and community.
THE GALINSKY VOLUNTEER VANGUARD
The GVV, founded by Robert Galinsky, is for those who venture to share their love with people in need. Our first mission was at Rikers Island Jail serving and eating Thanksgiving Dinner and from there we've done Christmas, Mother's Day, Women's History Month, Black History Month, Halloween and almost every day in between. The GVV is a mix and matched merry bunch of big hearted encouragers.