College Unbound Partners with Nonviolence Institute for Art Exhibition

Partnership with Nonviolence InstituteFrom November 2023 through February 2024, College Unbound and the Nonviolence Institute in Providence, RI presented ‘Makes Me Wanna Holla: Art, Death, Imprisonment’ by Dorothy Burge and Michelle Daniel Jones – a nationally touring exhibition that centers the voices and art of incarcerated individuals with the aim to bring awareness to the moral costs and injustices of the carceral system.

The exhibit was created out of a yearlong “Artist for the People” Practitioner fellowship for Michelle Daniel Jones and Dorothy Burge. The two artists first presented the exhibit through a partnership between the University of Chicago’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC) and the Pozen Center Human Rights Lab.

The exhibition aims to raise awareness and mourn the loss of individuals unjustly impacted by the carceral system as well as foster discourse on restoring trust between community and institutions of public safety, acknowledging unjust histories and working to improve future outcomes, and community mourning and healing.

Photo of partnership with Nonviolence Institute

Both College Unbound and the Nonviolence Institute share the vision that education, whether it’s an experience-based college degree for working adults as offered by College Unbound or a Kingian nonviolence training with the Nonviolence Institute, is at the core for community renewal and growth.

Following the close of the exhibit, CU alum Kyle Campbell ‘23 will be presenting work from Rhode Island artists who have been in prison, and have created a piece of art during the pandemic that is Covid-related. Kyle’s exhibition will be part of a larger series of events co-sponsored by College Unbound and the Nonviolence Institute, to promote learning, reflection, and dialogue around the realities of carceral spaces, trauma, and safety. Stay tuned for more information on supporting Kyle and his fellow Rhode Island artists.Partnership with Nonviolence Institute

About the Curators:

Michelle Daniel Jones is a sixth-year doctoral student in the American studies program at New York University. Her dissertation focuses on creative liberation strategies of incarcerated women and the Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project. As an organizer, collaborator, and subject matter expert she creates opportunities to speak truth to power and serves in the development and operation of taskforces and initiatives to reduce harm and end mass incarceration.

Dorothy Burge is a fabric and multimedia artist and community activist who is inspired by history and current issues of social justice. She is a self-taught quilter who began creating fiber art in the 1990s after the birth of her daughter, Maya. Dorothy is a native and current resident of Chicago, but is descendent from a long line of quilters who hailed from Mississippi. These ancestors created beautiful quilts from recycled clothing. While she showed no interest in this art form as a child, she grew to treasure the quilts that were created by family elders. Her realization that the history and culture of her people were being passed through generations in this art form inspired her to use this medium as a tool to teach history, raise cultural awareness, and inspire action.