City of Abolished Prisons

Artistic Discipline: Interdisciplinary
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2023
Location: Crown Heights

Every jail and prison was once a field, a forest, a marsh, a hillside. Every jail and prison can become a space that sustains lives instead of stealing them. Brooklyn (and all of New York City) is full of places that were once sites of incarceration, and now are sites of learning, of healing, of leisure. Their transformations are a hidden history that can spark our imaginations as we work to tear down the prison walls and open the jailhouse doors that separate us from our stolen friends, neighbors, and families, and as we build a world where incarceration no longer pretends to be a solution to social problems and policy failures. City of Abolished Prisons looks back, in print and performance, to look forward, telling the stories of the jails and prisons that loomed over our city yesterday, the communities they targeted, and the struggles that closed them. In them, we can see and be inspired by the stories of today’s jails and prisons, which will not loom over our communities tomorrow.