Photos: 1. Jason Dillom, 2-3. Steven Gittins
Embedded artist, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Los Angeles, CA, 2015-present
Drawn to groundbreaking criminal justice reforms in California, in January 2015, Sale became an embedded artist with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), a Los Angeles-based support network for men and women with conviction histories. Many of ARC’s 250 members were caught up in the system as juveniles and served adult mandatory sentences. Now free, they are all committed to positive change, not only for themselves, but for others who share their history and struggles.
Political polling data tells us that liberals and conservatives come together around juvenile justice reform more than any other issue. Equipped with this knowledge and with the guidance of ARC founder and Hollywood producer Scott Budnick and Human Rights Watch advocate Elizabeth Calvin, ARC members actively engage in justice reform. ARC members have become leaders in policy advocacy in California and nationwide. They are currently campaigning for the California Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016, and on several occasions, they have been welcomed at the White House.
As an ally and embedded artist, Sale introduces ARC members to social art practices that can be relevant to their life experiences and goals. Although most ARC members will not become professional artists, the partnership has a more fundamental impact: participants nurture their imaginations and creativity, helping re-imagine themselves, their positions in society, and society’s response to them. In 2018-19, this multi-year relationship will culminate in an art-based public service campaign focused on raising awareness in support of returning citizens.