Panelists sit together on a stage to discuss restorative justice through the arts.
April 21, 2017

Groundswell At 20: Freedom Is A Constant Struggle With Angela Davis


On April 6, 2017, Groundswell hosted author, activist and scholar Angela Davis, together with a distinguished panel of Groundswell-affiliated artists and academics for a conversation about youth incarceration and making art inside the walls of Rikers Island.


“Groundswell at 20: Freedom is a Constant Struggle, with Angela Davis” celebrated Groundswell’s 20th anniversary with an in-depth look at its ongoing work creating public art with New York City youth. With Davis’ observations about racial inequality and injustice as a frame, the panel examined Groundswell’s Rikers Island murals, the processes used to create them, and their implications for understanding justice and the institutions of incarceration.


Panelists: Angela Davis, Robyne Walker Murphy (Groundswell Executive Director), Michelle Fine (Distinguished Professor, CUNY Graduate Center), Patrick Dougher (Groundswell Program Director), Crystal Bruno (Artist), Christopher Cardinale (Artist).


The event included a special presentation to Groundswell Founder Amy Sananman. Groundswell is New York City’s leading community public art organization.


“I don't believe we can see radical change without art,” said Angela Davis during our great 20th anniversary celebration last night at Freedom Is A Constant Struggle, With Angela Davis. Thank you to Ms Davis, Robyne Walker Murphy, Council Member Brad Lander, Amy Sananman, Patrick Dougher, Michelle Fine, Nekita Blue, Crystal Bruno, Christopher Cardinale, and audience participation volunteers for your inspirational words. And thank you - our audience and all our supporters - for your attention, activism, passion, support, and care as we bring together youth, artists, and community to use art as a tool for social change. 


View photos of the event on Facebook.




Groundswell at 20: Freedom is a Constant Struggle, with Angela Davis was made possible by generous donors to Groundswell, and was sponsored, in part, by The Public Science Project of the The Graduate Center, CUNY. BRIC Arts Media was media sponsor.