The Milwaukee Model: Envisioning the Role of the Arts in Criminal Justice Reform

November 1–3, 2018

The complete program book, including daily schedules, speaker bios, and workshop descriptions, is available for download here.

This initiative seeks to bring artists and experts from around the country together with groups working in Milwaukee to discuss how arts and educational programming might shift perceptions and attitudes about the criminal justice system and incarcerated individuals. All symposium events are free and open to the public, but advance registration is recommended.

Register now »

Co-organized with the Milwaukee Art Museum

Sponsored by:

Bader Philanthropies

Brico Fund

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Community Outreach Sponsor:The Reva & David Logan Foundation

Media Sponsor:WUWM 89.7 FM — Milwaukee’s NPR

Programs + Events

The Milwaukee Model: Keynote Conversation: Curtis L. Carter Art and Social Change Lecture

Thursday, November 1, 7:30 PM

Marquette University Weasler Auditorium
1506 West Wisconsin Ave

Welcome Elizabeth Hinton, Associate Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, and author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America; and Christian Viveros-Fauné, art and culture critic, author of Social Forms: A Short History of Political Art, and curator-at-large at University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum.

Event is free, but pre-registration is encouraged.

  • 7:00-7:30 PM Check-in/Registration
  • 7:30 PM
    • Welcome and Introduction from Susan Longhenry, Director and Chief Curator, Haggerty Museum of Art
    • Curtis L. Carter Art and Social Change Lecture featuring Elizabeth Hinton and Christian Viveros-Fauné

The Milwaukee Model: Artist-Led Panels and Discussion

Friday, November 2, 10 AM

Lubar Auditorium
Milwaukee Art Museum

Three artist-led panels, which will also include educators, scholars, and students, will explore the role of the arts in advancing criminal justice reform efforts. Presentations will highlight national models for in-prison programs, diversion programs, and awareness efforts that are designed and implemented by artists or art educators. An evening reception for all registered participants will follow.

Event is free, but pre-registration is encouraged.

Schedule of Events

  • 9:30-10:00 AM Check-in/Registration
  • 10:00 AM Welcome and Introduction from Marcelle Polednik, PhD, Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director
  • 10:15-11:45 AM No Humans Involved: Structures and Systems
    • Sable Elyse Smith, artist
    • Simone Browne, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas at Austin
    • Moderated by Sampada Aranke, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • 11:45 AM-2:00 PM Break
  • 2:00-4:00 PM Inside Out: Collaboration and Narrative
    • Artist Nigel Poor in conversation with Jody Lewen, Executive Director of the Prison University Project, and Michael Nelson, collaborator
    • Maria Gaspar, artist
    • Mark Strandquist, artist
  • 4:00-4:15 PM Break
  • 4:15-5:30 PM Humans Involved: Rehabilitation and Re-entry
  • 5:30 PM Closing Remarks - Emilia Layden, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Haggerty Museum of Art, and Lisa Sutcliffe, Herzfeld Curator of Photography and Media Arts, Milwaukee Art Museum
  • 5:45-8:00 PM Welcome Reception
    • Windhover Hall
    • Open to all participants and attendees

The Milwaukee Model: Community Day of Action

Saturday, November 3, 10 AM

Marquette University Eckstein Hall
1215 W Michigan St, Milwaukee, WI 53233

Community members and stakeholders in Milwaukee are invited to discuss how some of the models and artist-led interventions presented during the first two days of the symposium might be adapted to and deployed in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The day will begin with a series of artist-led workshops, followed by facilitated breakout discussions with symposium speakers.

If you are interested in contributing pamphlets for distribution or in sharing other information about your organization at a community resource table, please complete this form or email us at

Event is free, but pre-registration is encouraged.

Schedule of Events

  • 9:30-10:00 AM Check-in/Registration
  • 10:00-10:30 AM Welcome - Lubar Center
  • 10:30-11:30 AM Workshops led by Rachel Barnard of Young New Yorkers, Milwaukee’s own Dasha Kelly Hamilton of Stillwaters Collective, Shaun Leonardo of Recess Assembly, and Nigel Poor of Ear Hustle
  • 11:30 AM-NOON Lunch Break - Lunch provided for all registered participants
  • NOON-1:30 PM Breakout Discussions
  • 1:30-2:00 PM Closing Remarks
  • 2:00 PM Optional tour of Sable Elyse Smith: Ordinary Violence at Haggerty Museum of Art




  • Monday – Saturday:
    10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday:
    10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday:
    Noon to 5 p.m.