Agnes Gund’s Art for Justice Fund Awards Nearly $10 Million in Second Round of Grants


By Artforum Staff

The Art for Justice Fund, which was launched by philanthropist and collector Agnes Gund last year, announced today that it is awarding almost $10 million to thirty-eight recipients in its second round of grants. Working to advance criminal justice reform in the United States, Gund auctioned off a prized work by Roy Lichtenstein in January 2017 and used $100 million of the proceeds to jump-start the initiative.

“With this round of grants in particular, the Art for Justice Fund is emphasizing support to women and children,” said Gund. “We know that children whose parents get trapped in the criminal justice system are more likely to be incarcerated later themselves. We need to break this vicious cycle that is devastating the lives of individuals, families, and entire communities.”

Ranging from $25,000 to $2 million, the grants will support organizations working to end cash-bail practices that discriminate against people from low-income communities, provide resources to groups advocating to close youth prisons, expand higher education programs for people who are incarcerated, create leadership training programs for children whose parents are behind bars, and educate the public on the need for criminal-justice reforms.

Among those receiving support are the Imagining Justice grantees, who are creating work that “elevates ideas and stories about the injustice and inequity of mass incarceration.” They include Hank Willis Thomas, Baz Dreisinger, and MASS Design Group for their “Writing on the Wall” project—a collaborative installation made up of diagrams, essays, letters, notes, poems, and stories from incarcerated people around the world—and Russell Craig for his work “Dark Reflections,” a series of portraits of people most impacted by issues of the criminal-justice system.

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