ART OF INNOCENCE: THE PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE TO
ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY
Online Art Exhibit + Performances + Panel Discussion on Abolishing the Death Penalty #FREEBILLIEALLEN #FREERODNEYREED #JUSTICEFORJULIUSJONES #FREELOUISPEREZ
The People’s Forum is proud to host ART OF INNOCENCE: THE PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY, August 21, 2020. The online event will exhibit the artwork of Federal Death Row prisoner Billie J. Allen, and will include live musical performances, poetry, and a panel discussion with those most impacted by the death penalty, including family, friends, and advocates of death row prisoners.
The People’s Forum, along with a diverse group of artists, activists, and community leaders, will spearhead the live-streamed event in order to expose Billie Allen’s innocence case, to raise awareness about President Trump’s recent resumption of federal executions, and to amplify the voices of others affected by wrongful convictions and a dehumanizing criminal punishment system. The art exhibit will showcase a powerful and multi-faceted body of work created by Billie Allen during his 23 years of incarceration on death row for a crime he did not commit. Billie’s artwork offers a visual story of one man’s fight for freedom and justice, and it illuminates the profound hope and resilience of those who have endured years on death row. The work conveys abstract faces and textures of America, as seen through the eyes and experience of the wrongfully incarcerated. Performances and panel discussion will include Billie Allen’s family, and death row exoneree Derrick Jamison, and family members of other exonerees and prisoners currently on death row.
This is a time for us to come together in solidarity through the power of art, to inform ourselves and our communities, and to stand up and speak out against the death penalty.
Watch the live-stream via The People’s Forum YouTube Channel PeoplesForumNYC on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 6pm EST.
Billie Allen’s Art Statement
Through art, Billie finds relief. Art is his voice, his eyes, and his hope. It is a mirror of his truth. It is the result of what happens when his emotions escape from the place within him, where he’s kept them prisoner. Their cries; some in pain, anger, resentment, frustration, and on rare occasions joy, will erupt onto paper, canvas, or whatever material that’s been chosen as the arena for their voices to be heard. The colors scream of the emotions that he has longed to set free! At times, his brushstrokes are calm, while at others, they are bold or wildly controlled, leaving an undeniable impression of a soul that has suffered, and somewhat shattered, but not yet broken, but barely holding together!
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