An alternative to the traditional system, Project Reset has looked to innovate again by partnering with arts institutions to create meaningful arts-based programming. Project Reset’s partnerships with the New Museum and the Brooklyn Museum are the latest chapter in a longer history of work in the arts.
A lifelong New Yorker, Jukie Tsai’s work with the Center has taken him all over the city. “I’m still surprised by how massive this city is and how many wonderful communities there are.” As a planner with our Neighborhood Safety Initiatives program, Jukie currently works with residents in public housing to co-create meaningful community change through tenant-directed projects including building community gardens, designing lighting improvements, and creating public artwork. “There’s so much expertise among residents about what is going on and needs to be addressed.
The arts make us confident, hopeful, and resilient. Based on decades of research and experience, we know that investing in the arts can help us achieve justice. Watch a conversation between artists, government, and community-based organizations on how investing in the arts allows communities to thrive.
In 1996, 16-year-old Reginald Dwayne Betts was sentenced to nine years in prison for a carjacking. He spent much of that time reading, and eventually writing. After prison, he went to Yale Law School and published a memoir and three books of poems. But he’s still wrestling with what “after prison” means. This is a conversation about incarceration and the weight of history, both political and personal. Betts's most recent collection of poems is Felon.
Can art transform the criminal justice system? On this special edition of New Thinking, host Matt Watkins sits down with two New York City artists on the rise—Derek Fordjour and Shaun Leonardo—who both work with our Project Reset to provide an arts-based alternative to court and a criminal record for people arrested on a low-level charge. With the program set to expand city-wide, the three discuss art's potential to expose and contain a racialized criminal justice system.