Safe Streets Arts Foundation

We Mentor and Exhibit the Art of Imprisoned Artists

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The Safe Streets Arts Foundation uses the arts to allow all segments of the criminal justice community to communicate with each other and with the public. We are especially committed to helping the 2 ½ million men and women in prison, 95% of whom will someday return to society as our neighbors. They receive our support in prison to use the arts to develop their self esteem and a positive attitude vital for successful reentry. (See our sister website for free inmate book publishing at www.PrisonsFoundation.org). 

                 Some Questions and Answers

What are the goals of Safe Streets Arts Foundation?

We seek to use the arts as a rehabilitative and therapeutic tool for men and women in prison. We feature the work of prisoners in our Prison Art Exhibitions while our annual Justice Arts Program at the Kennedy Center which is presented as part of the Kennedy Center’s Page–to-Stage Festival embracers victims of crime, law enforcement officers, and corrections professionals in addition to prisoners.

How does engaging in the arts help inmates?

Participating in the arts while in prison helps inmates develop a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem, which are vital for a successful reintegration back into society. It also helps them convey their messages through the art they create--an apology, a call for reconciliation, or a cry of innocence.

What upcoming initiatives does Safe Streets Arts have planned?

In the performing arts, we’ve had several Justice Arts Programs at the Kennedy Center and we are planning future ones scheduled. Free and open to all, the Kennedy Center shows present drama, comedy and music reflecting various justice and rehabilitation themes from all segments of the justice community. Concerning the visual arts, we are expanding our outreach by having prison exhibition and sales partners across America and internationally.

What challenges does the foundation face?

The primary challenge we face is that, as result of our becoming well known to correctional staff and prisoners across America, we are getting more art than we can display and sell on our own. So we are expanding, seeking business partners and satellite art locations. The public needs to understand that prisoners have talents and human feelings and need to be given a second chance.

How did the foundation get started?

The Safe Streets Arts Foundation is an outgrowth of the Prisons Foundation, which has long sought to improve training and educational opportunities for men and women in prison. The discovery was made that no matter how much training and education are available to prisoners, they will not succeed without self esteem. So the Safe Streets Arts Foundation came about to give them that esteem through the arts, realizing that everyone has talent waiting to be unleashed. We soon expanded to encompass all segments of the justice community, including law enforcement officers and correctional staff.

For further information, contact:
Staff@SafeStreetsArts.org
202-393-1511

Mailing address to send art and inquiries:

Safe Streets Arts Foundation
2512 Virginia Ave. NW
Suite 58043

Washington, DC 20037-8043

 

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