The Maine Arts Journal: UMVA Quarterly is pleased to be partnering with the statewide initiative Freedom & Captivity to explore alternatives to incarceration. We are humbled by the hard work, vision, passion, and heart of those who are making this initiative happen, and are grateful and honored to play a part.
Artists (both free and captive) can play an important part in re-imagining a future without prisons and jails, as well as a vital role in bringing awareness to the issue, promoting understanding and empathy towards those incarcerated and their families, and offering creative solutions to build a more racially and economically just society.
The first nine articles in the MAJ were created for the Freedom & Captivity project by eight of the thirteen partnering sites: Emery Arts Center, First Amendment Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA+D, SPACE, UMVA Gallery, UNE Art Gallery, and the digital Art on Abolition exhibition. They are introduced in the first essay by Catherine Besteman, Coordinator of Freedom & Captivity.
Elsewhere in the Journal you will find poetry by Maya Williams and Robert Gibbons, a book review by Carl Little, an essay by Stu Kestenbaum, and Union of Maine Visual Artists updates on the Portland chapter, Maine Masters, LumenARRT!, and an essay by Pat and Tony Owens reflecting on UMVA history.
—From the Editors: Natasha Mayers, Nora Tryon, Véronique Plesch, Betsy Sholl (poetry editor), with the help of Colby interns Mads McDonough and Caroline Scarola.