Future IDs at Alcatraz

Past Exhibit

Future IDs at Alcatraz Overview Video

Alcatraz Island, February - September 2019
Open Daily, 10 AM - 4 PM
This exhibit was free with the purchase of an Alcatraz ticket.

"Listen, you don't have a lot of time. I just want to show you something." And I reached into my pocket and pulled out my old prison ID. The Senator looked at it, and then I went in my other pocket and showed him this college ID. And I said to him, "This is the different side. That is the difference." And he responded, "Enough said." — Dominique Bell, Future IDs project collaborator 

Future IDs at Alcatraz was a yearlong project, exhibition, and series of monthly public programs on view in the New Industries Building on Alcatraz Island until September 2019. The installation featured ID-inspired artworks created by and with individuals who have conviction histories as they conceive and develop a vision for a future self. In stark contrast to prison-issued IDs, these artworks represent individual stories of transformation.

Artist Gregory Sale leads a team of collaborators that translates criminal justice reform efforts into a visual language to shift thinking about rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration. Dr. Luis Garcia, Kirn Kim, Sabrina Reid, Jessica Tully, Gregory Sale and many others have designed the project and exhibition space to function as a platform for engagement through performances, workshops, and civic dialog experiments that are co-curated with community partners. 

Presented in partnership with the Art in the Parks program of the National Park Service, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and Headlands Center for the Arts, Future IDs at Alcatraz engaged Alcatraz's layered history as an iconic federal prison, birthplace of the Native American Red Power Movement, national park,and international Site of Conscience. Attracting 1.7 million annual visitors, Alcatraz is uniquely positioned to initiate a broad dialogue about destigmatizing those with conviction histories. 

The project invited reflection on the criminal justice system and second chances in the United States. Today, this country has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's incarcerated people. More than 95% will eventually be released. Of those incarcerated, people living below the poverty line and people of color are disproportionately represented. Though none of the Future IDs participants were incarcerated on Alcatraz, individuals returning to society – both then and now – face an almost insurmountable stigma of having a history of incarceration, which contributing to the consistently high rates of recidivism.

Adding a deeper dimension to the exhibition, on the 3rd Saturday of each month, Future IDs at Alcatraz is accompanied by participatory programs, co-designed with local organizations, including Actors' Gang Prison Project, Project Rebound, William James Association, Young Women's Freedom Center, Success Center, and many others. Since the beginning of 2019, these community partners and others have been co-producing events and activities in the exhibition space that serve their constituencies. In doing so, they have expanded the resonance of the project. Seeing and learning from this amalgamation of public programs, each a different communal expression, has helped evolve the project. 

Throughout the yearlong project, the Future IDs team co-hosted public programs, continued to offer artmaking workshops, accepted new contributions of ID-inspired artworks, and evolved the installation to amplify the voices and visions of individuals returning to everyday life after incarceration.

To learn more about the lead artist and the Future IDs project, please visit GregorySaleArt.com or FutureIDs.com.
Other related content include an article and short film, Creating Space for Second Chances, from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and short video, Transforming Justice: Gregory Sale, by A Blade of Grass Films.

"Everyone deserves to dream about what they want in life. But for many of us who return to life after incarceration, it can feel like dreaming is a privilege for others. For me, the power of this project is the license it has given me to dream again, the space it holds for contemplation and moving towards fuller humanity and citizenship." — Sabrina Reid, Future IDs Project Collaborator 

"So much at Alcatraz is about memory or nostalgia for the past. We want to springboard from this nostalgic history into the present and the future." — Future IDs lead artist, Gregory Sale



The exhibition features artworks by Aaron Mercado, Adrielle Pittman, Andrew Winn, Angel Gutierrez, Anthony Chavez, Arnoldo Trevino, Brandon Hein, Bruce Fowler, Candice Price, Cirese LaBerge-Bader, Cuong Tran, Daniel Gamez, Darlene Frontuto, Dominique Bell, Donald G. Sanchez, Dr. Luis Garcia, Eric Bergen, Emiliano Lopez, Felix Miranda, Guss Lumumba Edwards, Gustavo Tafolla, J Antonio Morales, Jarred Williams, Jennifer Leahy, Joe Frye, John Winkleman, Jonathan C. Marin, Jonathan Daniel Melendez, Jonathon Miller, Jonté Campbell, Juan Sanchez, Kirn Kim, LaVell Baylor, Lily Gonzalez, Michael Griego, Phillip E. Lester, René Hernández, Ruben Radillo, Sabrina Reid, Stan Bey, Weston Scott Kruger, William Wang, and Yahniie Bridges.

"It used to be you couldn't hang out with other people who'd been incarcerated. That would have been an instant violation. But who can support you if they don't have that experience? A lot of reframing among correction authorities is realizing that. That community brings personal support and inspires; it shows that a second chance is possible." Future IDs project collaborator, Kirn Kim


This project was generously supported by Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation, A Blade of Grass/David Rockefeller Fund, SPArt, Art Matters, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, and individual contributors.

Future IDs was developed during artist residencies at Montalvo Arts Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, The Bunny House, and ModNomad Studio, and received in-kind support from Olson Visual and SRU Studios. 


"Having formed many personal relationships in the community through my work, I have a deep understanding of stigma and finding one's voice in society, always mindful of my philosophy that there are certain truths born out of one's suffering that can be transformed to make a difference in the lives of others." Future IDs project collaborator, Dr. Luis Garcia

Working to the idea of determining a future self, Gregory Sale and many collaborators (Dr. Luis Garcia, Kirn Kim, Ryan Lo, Aaron Mercado, LaVell Baylor, Emiliano Lopez, Dominique Bell, and Sabrina Reid) conceptualized and led artmaking workshops across California, both inside prisons and in communities. A selection of ID-inspired artworks produced through these workshops was enlarged and printed on vinyl for the exhibition in the New Industries Building on Alcatraz.

Dr. Luis Garcia, Kirn Kim, Sabrina Reid, Jessica Tully, and Gregory Sale are taking lead on advancing Future IDs at Alcatraz into full production and presentation. Jamee Crusan, Sara Daleiden, Ben Leon, Jennifer Nix, and co-curators Sara Cochran and Chris Sicat play key supportive roles as artistic and conceptual collaborators.

Special thanks to Alexandra Shabtai, Brent Bolthouse, Scott Budnick, Carol Newborg, Emma Hughes, Arden Burstein, Chelsi Rossi, Eric Montgomery, Leslie Lakes, Deanna Van Buren, Eric Susser, Jenny Pizer, Doreena Wong, Chris Santa Maria, Johanna Taylor, Ruby Lerner, Anne Bray, Roberto Bedoya, Eliza Gregory, and many others.


Future IDs at Alcatraz emerged from a fluid collaborative process with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) in Los Angeles and has grown into a multi-layered initiative, involving more than twenty community organizations. It finds its connectivity and resonance through engagement with ARC, Prisoners Reentry Network, William James Association's Prison Arts Project, Community Works West, Youth Speaks, Young Women's Freedom Center, Actors' Gang Prison Project, Project Paint, Insight Garden Program, San Francisco Conservation Corps, Project Rebound at Fresno State, Revolutionary Scholars, Social Practice Arts Research Center at UC Santa Cruz, Creative Visions, Montalvo Arts Center, Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, California Lawyers for the Arts, Maricopa Reentry Center, and Avenal Donovan and San Quentin state prisons, and others. To all of you, we offer our sincere gratitude. 

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