Illinois Humanities is proud to announce the second round of #EnvisioningJustice Community Grants. 


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

Illinois Humanities commissioned seven Chicago-based artists whose practices reflect upon the themes and content of Envisioning Justice to create new work for the exhibition.  Each artist’s project will respond to issues, concerns and perspectives of one of the neighborhoods or communities at the heart of this initiative.