The Envisioning Justice grants guidelines are based on the belief that:

  • Arts and humanities and civic dialogue programs play a pivotal role within the criminal justice system.
  • Strategic, creative storytelling can help us to re-examine issues, policies and practices in fresh ways.
  • Well-moderated, interactive community dialogue is a critical component of community building.

There are many issues that we hope to address with grantee partners over 2018-2019, but some of the underlying questions are:

  • What are some of the most critical facts, narratives and perspectives involving mass incarceration that are left out of most media coverage and public dialogue? What are creative and effective ways of presenting them to audiences in order to stimulate reflection?
  • What are some of the ways the arts, the humanities, and civic dialogue help increase people’s interest in and concern around mass incarceration? To what degree can they help increase people’s willingness to pay more attention to these issues and even to take action (‘like’ and share stories, volunteer, express views, donate, vote, etc) based on this concern?
  • What are effective ways that arts and policy groups can collaborate around shared beliefs? How can such collaborations augment the impact of each?
  • How can we increase the number of stakeholders who value work happening at the community level to improve quality of life and public safety? Can we help increase the number of stakeholders who view creative tools such as the arts as important in amplifying the voices of those most affected, in framing the issues, and in imagining solutions?

The grants categories are:

Artist Commissions

In the spring of 2018, an Envisioning Justice nominating committee will invite Chicago artists to submit proposals for ambitious artistic projects and works that seek to explore issues related to criminal justice reform.  Six selected projects will receive $10,000 grants and placement in the culminating Envisioning Justice exhibition in 2019.

Please note that this language will be expanding significantly over the next couple of weeks as we get more information on the exhibition space and are able to formulate the timeline and exact call.