The transformative stories of 'Future IDs at Alcatraz'

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When you visit Alcatraz’s concrete cellhouse, it’s impossible to escape the bleakness of incarceration and the lasting effects of life behind bars. 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, the Future IDs at Alcatraz art exhibition invites reflection on criminal justice reform efforts as well as prompts visitors to shift thinking about rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration.

Organized by artist Gregory Sale and a team of collaborators (Dr. Luis Garcia, Kirn Kim, Sabrina Reid, Jessica Tully, and many others), the year-long exhibit in the New Industries Building on the island features ID-inspired artworks representing individual stories of transformation. The installation is open daily, with public programs on the third Saturday of each month, until October 2019.

You can experience the first-hand powerful stories at the Future IDs at Alcatraz Release Party on Saturday, July 20 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It will be a full day of programs and community activities, you can attend all or a portion of the events. Check ticket availability through Alcatraz Cruises at AlcatrazCruises.com.

We collected a smattering of stories and personal reflections from Instagram since the exhibit opened. And while you’re experiencing Future IDs, share your thoughts or personal stories about the lasting effects of incarceration and tag us on Instagram in your post (@parks4all) and use the hashtags #parks4all and #FutureIDs.

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This week I had the opportunity to perform my Jumpsuit Project on Alcatraz Island. Thank you Gregory Sale for the invitation to be a part of the Future IDs exhibition. It was the first time I presented this project at a prison. In the exhibition space, I was surrounded by artists’ work who are representing themselves as anew, declaring to the world that their future is brighter than their past. It felt right that my body should represent a transitional period and not one of confinement. Future IDs at Alcatraz is a yearlong project, exhibition, and series of monthly public programs on view in the New Industries Building on Alcatraz Island until October 2019. The installation features 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. Baldemar Arroyo . . #jumpsuitproject #futureidsatalcatraz #jumpsuitgoingplaces #sociallyengagedart #performanceart #sanfransisco

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Ryan Curran White is the Senior Social Media and Web Content Specialist for the Parks Conservancy.