Save the Date! Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition

A Benefit for Critical Resistance


Amy Kisch * Angela Hennessy * Black Joy Parade * Bryant Terry * Calvin Williams * Cara Levine * Dana King * Deanna Van Buren * Elena Gross * Emory Douglas * Erin Christovale * Favianna Rodriguez * For Freedoms*  Fred Moten * Indya Moore * Janet Mock * Julia Chinyere Oparah * KQED Arts * Lateefah Simon * Leigh Raiford * Michael Orange * Minnesota Street Project * Patrisse Khan-Cullors * Pt. 2 Gallery * Ruthie Wilson Gilmore * See Black Womxn * She Bends * Soraya Rios * Steven Canals * This is Not a Gun  * Vielmetter Los Angeles

Organizational Sponsors

Artist As First Responder * Bayview Opera House * Black & Pink * California Coalition for Women Prisoners (CCWP) * Dream Defenders * Essie Justice Group * EverGold [Projects] * Forward Together * H.O.L.L.A! * Law 4 Black Lives * Survived and Punished * TGI Justice Project * The Culture Ref * Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW)

Virtual Opening Cocktail Hour Celebration

Tue, September 29, 2020

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM PDT

co-hosted by the Bayview Opera House and Critical Resistance


Amy Kisch and Steven Canals, Host Committee members  

Dana King (MC), Host Committee member and Featured Artist

Film Screening: “Oklahoma is Black” by Melinda James

Music by Amanda Joy, Atlanta-based, soul and funk singer.
Lead vocalist for The VIBErance.

Cocktails + recipes with acclaimed chef and Host Committee member Bryant Terry
*and more*

Accessibility: ASL + closed captions provided. RSVP here

plus, 9/29 Opening Afterparty on KQED Arts and CR IG Live
with Pendarvis Harshaw and Traci Bartlow

Virtual Closing Event and Live Auction

Tue, October 13, 2020

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM PDT


*Raffles * Guest appearances * and more*

Dr. Leigh Raiford, Host Committee

Poetry from Fred Moten, Host Committee

“In the Studio” with Meryl Pataky, Featured Artist

Live auction of artwork by Lava Thomas, Kenturah Davis, Shawn Theodore, Theaster Gates, Wangari Mathenge, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Hank Willis Thomas.

Accessibility: ASL provided. RSVP here

Upcoming events

Thurs, Oct 1 @ 4pm PST – Christine Wang with Mieke Marple 
Link to CR Facebook

A Portal for Liberatory Practice: A/R, Afrofuturism and Abolition
Friday, October 2, 2020
12-1pm PST/ 3-4pm EST
Link to CR Facebook Live
Join the Wakanda Dream Lab for a conversation exploring how Afrofuturism is a portal for Black Liberatory Practice. This interactive panel will utilize augmented reality (A/R) and feature Black Speculative Artists as they read from Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Memories of Abolition Day and explore their role of culture keepers as worldbuilders in this time of resistance, renewal and reimagination.

    • Amir Khadar
    • Damien McDuffie
    • Joshua Mays
    • Moderated By: Calvin Williams & Ashara Ekundayo 

Artist Talks on CR Facebook Live
Sat, Oct 3 @ 4pm PST – Sadie Barnette with Essence Harden 
Link to CR Facebook

Mon, Oct 5 @ 4pm PST – Hank Willis Thomas with Black Joy Parade 
Link to CR Facebook

Past events

Artist Talk on CR Facebook Live
Sat, Sept 19 @ 4pm PST – Rodney Ewing with Demetri Broxton, Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) 
Link to CR Facebook

Mon, Sept 21 @ 4pm PST – Melinda James with Elena Gross (MOAD) 
Link to CR Facebook

KQED Forum 
Tues, Sept 22
10-11am PDT
Featuring CR cofounder and auction Host Committee member Ruthie Wilson Gilmore. KQED Forum is a live morning show broadcast on radio or streamed at

Making Abolition Irresistible, a webinar on Abolitionist Organizing and Arts Praxis, hosted by Critical Resistance
Tues, Sept 22
4pm PST-5:30pm PDT/ 7-8:30pm EDT
Accessibility: ASL provided. Event details and RSVP here
Spread the word on Facebook.


KQED Arts with Pendarvis Harshaw
Wed, Sept 23rd
8-9pm PDT
Featuring artists Leslie “Dime” Lopez and Sam Vernon, Host Committee member Deanna Van Buren, and curator Ashara Ekundayo. Learn more here.
Spread the word on Facebook.

Artist Talks on CR Facebook Live
Thurs, Sept 24 @ 4pm PST – Ed Ntiri with Demetri Broxton (MOAD) 
Link to CR Facebook

Critical Resistance and the Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition Host Committee are enthusiastic to invite you to engage with Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition, an online exhibition and benefit art auction presented by Critical Resistance + from September 29 – October 13, 2020.

We are excited to have confirmed participation from a myriad of intergenerational, interdisciplinary visual artists including Domineco Villeda, Lava Thomas, Leslie “Dime” Lopez, Emory Douglas, Sadie Barnette, and Theaster Gates, to name a few. Please see full list below!

Through Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition¸ Critical Resistance and these bold artists will uplift the freedom dreams that communities have nurtured for generations and are unapologetically demanding be recognized and enacted in 2020.

During the current, political, and economic uprisings and throughout the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Critical Resistance has worked tirelessly to craft information, analysis, and references for understanding and imagining abolitionist responses to guide us toward the future we want and need.  The success of this year’s art auction is crucial to our work and our ability to continue to be timely and responsive. The majority of CR’s resources continue to come from grassroots supporters who give money, time, and skills to keep our organization stable and ready to carry out campaigns, projects, political education and movement building efforts. Every gift will help CR continue to chip away at the prison industrial complex and put abolition into practice.

In tandem with the 2-week online auction, we will also be hosting some programming featuring artists, our amazing Host Committee cast, and more. We look forward to Imagining Freedom with you!

Four ways to support Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition this year!

  • Become a Sponsor! Check sponsorship options here.

  • Make a fully tax-deductible gift to Critical Resistance.

    • Donate here

    • Checks and donor-advised funds also accepted! Email for details. Send checks (payable to “Critical Resistance”) to Critical Resistance, attn.: Development; 1904 Franklin St. #504, Oakland, CA 94612. Please write “Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition” in the memo.

  • Bid on over 70 artworks September 29 through October 13 on

  • Spread the word and invite your community! 

  • Purchase Imagine Freedom: Art Works for Abolition special limited-edition gear from Critical Resistance here

Featured Artists

Adia Millett

Ainsley Burrows

Ali LeRoi

Alyse Emdur

Andrew Wilson

Angela Hennessy

Ariane Vielmetter

Ashley Hunt

Awol Erizku

Bob Williams

Brandon Andrew

Brett Cook

Cara Levine

Carmen Argote

Chanell Stone

Chris Johnson

Christine Wang

Courtney Desiree Morris

Crystal Paris

Dana King

David Antonio Cruz

Demetri Broxton

Domenico Villeda

Ed Ntiri

EJ Hill

Emanuel Tegene

Emory Douglas

Erica Deeman

Favianna Rodriguez

Gavin Benjamin

Githinji Mbire

Glen Wilson

gloria galvez

Hank Willis Thomas

Hermon Futrell

Jean-Marcel St. Jacques

Jesus Barraza

Jimena Sarno

Joel Daniel Phillips

José Figueroa

Joshua Mays

Joshua Whitaker

Kate DeCiccio

Kenturah Davis

Kwame Brathwaite

Kyle Lypka and Tyler Cross

Lava Thomas

Leila Weefur

Lena Gustafson

Leslie “Dime” Lopez

Lewis Watts

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo

Maria Paz

Mario Ayala

Melanie Cervantes

Melinda James

Meryl Pataky

Michele Pred

Mieke Marple

Miguel Arzabe

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

rafa esparza

Ricky Weaver

Rodney Ewing

Ruben Ochoa

Sadie Barnette

Saif Azzuz

Sam Vernon

Shadi Yousefian

Shanna Strauss

Shaun Leonardo

Shawn Theodore

Sydney Cain

Theaster Gates

Traci Bartlow

Travis Somerville 

Umar Rashid

Wangari Mathenge

Zahyr Lauren


Ashara Ekundayo (Curator) * Hans Kuzmich * Jess Heaney * Maya Futrell * Mieke Marple *Shirley Leslie * T Rasheed * William Ramirez

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