Our Mission & Goals
- To use the art and community to create a culture of transformation to end cycles of incarceration
- To reduce prison populations
- To inspire civic responsibility in incarcerated people, as a step toward rehabilitation and reintegration into society
- To use art as a vehicle to create proximity between the general public and incarcerated people
- To use art as a vehicle to transform the lives of incarcerated people
What is Prison Renaissance?
An inaugural editorial featuring the full history of Prison Renaissance can be found here.
The Renaissance of the 1400s brought the rebirth of reason in Europe, and the 1920s saw the rebirth of African-American art & literature in the Harlem Renaissance and its echoes.
Prison Renaissance began with a group of incarcerated artists who experienced a rebirth of their human values. Artistic expression changed the way they see themselves. Art and education will allow them to help change how other incarcerated people see themselves — as citizens and community builders instead of outsiders and burdens. We hope that a return to civic duty among incarcerated-Americans will change how the public views its incarcerated population — the largest in the world.
Co-founder/Editor: Emile DeWeaver
Co-founder: Rahsaan Thomas
Co-founder: Juan Meza
Editor/External Communications: Camille Griep
See our Mentorships & Collaborations page for a growing list of participating writers and artists.
Prison Renaissance is not associated with any Department of Corrections.