The Confined Arts

The Confined Arts (TCA) is a platform to illustrate and showcase the talents and creative voices of currently and formerly incarcerated artists. This platform provides an outlet for artists to express their voices through the visual and performing arts, poetry, and music as a means to abolish the inhumane narratives and socially degrading stigmas that are used to describe the past experiences and limit the futures of individuals impacted by incarceration. The TCA platform is also open to those artists who work in or around jails and prisons, as well as those who have been impacted by mass incarceration through a friend or family member.

TCA has a 2-part mission:

  1. Change the narrative that is commonly associated with individuals who are formerly incarcerated as well as those currently in prison;
  2. Create a consistent stream of public education that amplifies the creative voices of people affected by incarceration.
Since 2014 TCA has explored existing issues such as solitary confinement and the rising population of women in prison, and has connected the personal prison experience to struggles of impacted families. While It is not easy to place a quantitative value on qualitative work, the best way for me as the program director to measure the impact that we have, is to explore the increased levels public interest and engagement our work has received.

The Confined Arts is now being positioned to expand its platform to include artist who advocate for other populations experiencing different types of human rights abuses and social injustices. For example, millions of undocumented people in the US are being targeted by law enforcement and face arrest, deportation, and hostile policies under the new administration. Immigrants play a fundamental role in American culture, yet they are continuously dehumanized and targeted by anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. Equally important, access to fair and adequate housing should be a human right, but far too many Americans suffer from economic and social injustices that hinder this access. Race and class-based discrimination, gentrification, and unfair banking and loans are just a few problems. Additional issues include: LGBTQIA discrimination, women’s rights, education, environment, civil rights and more.