About the Grant

$20,000 to support Serving Life (MAP 2016)
$4,500 to general operating support for Hidden Voices

About the Project

A virtual call and response, Serving Life explores race, class, compassion, and justice with men on death row and those sentenced as children to life without parole. The project includes a scripted performance with former prisoners; an interactive installation and accompanying readings of monologues from death row; and the development of a network to facilitate workshares and allow for national collaborative actions.

Script: Over the course of a single day on death row, six men unpack their personal inheritances of violence, racism, mental illness, poverty, and surprising love. Based on years of conversation and writing with condemned men, Serving Life invites us into a stark fluorescent otherworld where these condemned struggle to revision what it means to live fully in the face of scheduled death. As we watch the men grapple with the realities of innocence, justice, and compassion, we begin to wonder who is disposable, who counts, and what justice means when the scales are broken and the blindfold is one we share.

Exhibit/monologues: The interactive installation includes Life Maps, selected audio stories, statistics, quotes, prayers, collected community responses, and opportunities for the audience to engage with the revisioning of justice already happening in their community. Concurrent with each installation, community members present the cycle of thirty monologues. These monologues shed light on racism, poverty, mental illness, family violence, the war on drugs, prosecutorial misconduct, failed juvenile justice policies, and other critical issues.

Network: The interactive database of prison-arts organizations will facilitate workshares and allow for national collaborative actions.

Related Websites

Hidden Voices


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