Our Mission

Prison Renaissance restores communities by using arts, media, and technology to connect reformed incarcerated people to the communities that need them.

Our 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.

In brief:
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
Editorial Intern: Natasha Grivas


See our Mentorships & Collaborations page for a growing list of participating writers and artists.


Prison Renaissance is not associated with any Department of Corrections.