Future IDs, 2016-present

Future IDsis a multi-year, social art project about individual stories of transformation and how those stories collectively can help reframe the narrative of re-entry. It comprises art/future planning workshops, exhibitions and public programs across California, building towards an arts-based public service campaign. The central idea is for returning citizens to create new identification cards for future selves — perhaps for a dream job, a role in society, or a continuing role with family, such as father or mother.

Future IDs was designed in collaboration with members of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) — Aaron Mercado, Dominique Bell, Dr. Luis Garcia, Jose Gonzalez, Kirn Kim, and Ryan Lo. ARC is a network of community advocates, allies, and members who are committed to justice reform. Guided by ARC founder and Hollywood producer Scott Budnick and Human Rights Watch advocate Elizabeth Calvin, ARC members share their turnaround stories with elected officials to convince them that rehabilitation is possible, leading to more humane sentencing laws and restored budgets for prison college programs.

Since January 2015, Sale has served as an ally and embedded artist with ARC. Future IDs is the first major project stemming from their partnership, adding a visual and cultural component to the individual growth and advocacy work of ARC members.

In 2017, Sale and the core project collaborators led workshops at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition in Los Angeles; San Quentin State Prison; and the Arts in Corrections conference at Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles. Corresponding exhibitions and public programs took place at The Bunny House, Los Angeles; and at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery, San Francisco.

Like taking an in-progress play on tour, Future IDs rehearses progressive iterations that derive their transformative power from the process of their development, allowing the public service campaign to unfold organically and not be prematurely defined.

The project is supported in part by grants from Creative Capital Foundation, SPArt (social practice art), and the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts, Arizona State University. It was developed during artist residencies at Montalvo Arts Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, and The Bunny House.

2015 Creative Capital Retreat Presentation

Future IDs at Alcatraz

Project Iterations

Gregory Sale, ­“Future IDs: reframing the narrative of re-entry,” Art as Social Action: An Introduction to the Principles & Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art, edited by Gregory Sholette, Chloe Bass, and Social Practice Queens, Allworth Press, NY, NY