• Heyman Center Public Humanities Initiative
  • The Center for Justice at Columbia Univeristy
  • Opportunities and Change
  • Free and open to the public
  • Photo ID required for entry
  • Image Credit/Caption: Isaac Scott

This 3rd edition of The Confined Arts (TCA) will be a 40-day art exhibition launched at an opening weekend consisting of art, poetry, motivational speaking, panel discussions, a promotional screening, hands-on workshops, and more.

TCA is a platform to illustrate and showcase the talents of currently and formerly incarcerated creative voices. We are creative voices that speak through our visual art, performing art, poetry, and music. We speak as creative voices in order to abolish the inhuman narratives and socially degrading stigmas that are used to describe our past experiences and limit our futures. We’ve set out to establish new empathic narratives about who we are. The TCA platform is also open to those artists who work in or around jails and prisons, or are in other ways linked to the issue of mass incarceration. TCA is also home to artists who have been affected by mass incarceration due to the imprisonment of a friend or family member.


December 4, 2015  Friday

4:30pm - 6:00pm EDT

Art Exhibit Opens

6:00pm - 6:15pm EDT

Welcoming Remarks

6:15pm - 6:30pm EDT

Break I

6:30pm - 6:40pm EDT

Music Selection

Saxophone: Lorenzo Steele Jr.

6:40pm - 7:00pm EDT

Featured Artists

Lorenzo Steele Jr. Johnny Perez

7:00pm - 8:00pm EDT


Poetry readings from the following poets: Johnny Perez, Nataniel Williams, Kenneth Reams, David Wheller, Natasha B. Davis, Spoon Jackson

8:00pm - 8:40pm EDT

Break II

8:40pm - 9:00pm EDT

Featured Artists

Jay Darden, Albert Plummer, Gloria Concepcion, Tammy Zanders

9:00pm - 10:00pm EDT


December 5, 2015  Saturday

12:00pm - 12:15pm EDT

Art Exhibit Opens

12:15pm - 2:00pm EDT

Artist Panel Discussion

Artists discuss the role the carceral system plays on their art and their role as artists/leaders in their communities. Moderator: Victor Pate, Activist Panelist: Lorenzo Steele Jr., Photographer, Public Speaker, Activist Panelist: Johnny Perez, Poet, Public Speaker, Activist Panelist: Isaac Scott, Multi-Media Artist, Activist Panelist: Herbert Murray, Author, Activist

2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT

Break I

3:00pm - 5:00pm EDT


A selection of poetry from artists currently and formerly incarcerated, along with poets directly affected by incarceration. Nataniel Williams, Johnny Perez, Kenneth Reams, Tyreese Malloy, Robin Mcginty, Spoon Jackson, Michael Williams, Sean Dalpiaz, Alec Lichtenberg, Through Different Eyes, Natasha B. Davis

5:00pm - 6:00pm EDT

Break II

6:00pm - 8:00pm EDT

SoJust Project Panel Discussion

A panel discussion about the role of art in the era of mass incarceration, led by the SoJust Project, a group of legal scholars at the John Jay School of Criminal Justice originating from communities highly affected by mass incarceration.

8:00pm - 8:30pm EDT

Break III

8:30pm - 9:00pm EDT

Featured Artists

Guy Woodard, Steev Perez, Emanual Kelly, Brunilda Rivra

9:00pm - 10:00pm EDT


December 6, 2015  Sunday

12:00pm - 12:30pm EDT

Art Exhibit Opens

12:30pm - 4:00pm EDT

Artist Workshop: Graphic Intervention

“Graphic Intervention” is a graphic design workshop offered at Rikers Jail to incarcerated young women to engage them in education through creative design. The course introduces students to visual communication strategies and technical software skills. It seeks to integrate social justice issues through design concepts in pursuit of creating a future generation of socially conscious and responsible citizen-designers. Graphic Intervention is offered as part of the Justice-in-Education Initiative of Columbia University and is taught by Justice-in-Education Scholar and TCA founder/artist Isaac Scott, along with Mia Ruyter, Heyman Center Education and Outreach Manager. This workshop will give participants an opportunity to take part in a Graphic Intervention course and produce a social justice poster at the end.

4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT