Through Envisioning Justice, Illinois Humanities partnered with Just Art, led by Hub Director Billy McGuinness, to expand Just Art’s existing programming in Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC).
About Just Art: Built around a weekly open studio art session, Just Art is not an educational or service effort, but rather a “social sculpture.” It is a long-term engagement with the Cook County Jail, wherein a group of people – artists currently being detained by Cook County, teaching artists, correctional officers, jail staff, and others – are collectively reimagining and reshaping the carceral experience at the largest single-site pre-detention facility in the United States.
In partnership, SkyART and Just Art provided two classes at the jail (and a 3rd at Juvenile Temporary Detention Center) that will center the voices of the incarcerated to imagine and enact alternatives to our present system. Three 10-week sessions will culminate in Open Houses that provide the chance for the families of participating artists, fellow detainees, community members, staff members, and other stakeholders to collectively reflect upon possibilities for a more just system and to take action to realize them.
Partner Free Write Arts & Literacy, which facilitates programming at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC), will hold a class for the automatic transfer population who are moved from the JTDC upon their 18th birthdays.