From 2017 - 2019, Envisioning Justice offered art classes and public humanities programs exploring questions and imagining solutions and alternatives to the problems inherent in the criminal justice system.
Over the course of three 10-week sessions, seven community hub partners offered free arts education courses for youth and collaborative art projects for adults, all of which utilized creative practices to interrogate the criminal justice system in Chicago and the United States: how it was formed and developed, where it has brought us today, and what alternatives could be possible moving forward.
Public Humanities Programs
In addition to the arts classes, the community hubs partners hosted a series of community discussions meant to promote critical, self-reflective dialogues about aspects of the criminal justice system that impact their communities. Over the course of each 10-week session, each hub hosted two small-scale events and one large-scale event meant to delve into contemporary policies and envision solutions to problems that arise from those policies.
The first program of each session asked community members “How did we get here?” – focusing on the history of policies and how they shape the contemporary moment. The second program asked those same community members to re-imagine the current system and ask “Where do we go from here?” The large-scale program that capped off each 10-week session invited community members to share these visions with people from outside their neighborhood for a critical look at how people might best be able to enact the changes they’d like to see.
Community Art Projects
This was an opportunity for Chicagoans to get hands-on experience making art that has impact.
Led by professional artists, participants worked together to create a compelling, dynamic art project that were shared with the community and the public at an Open House at the end of each session.