12/3: 513free Prison Ministry inmate artwork - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

12/3: 513free Prison Ministry inmate artwork


Chippewa Valley (513FREE PRISON MINISTRY) - The 513free Prison Ministry and the Heyde Center for the Arts are excited to work together in featuring inmate artwork.

The official art exhibit will open on Wednesday January 3, 2018 and end on Friday February 15, 2018. During the art gallery month, a concert by 513free highlighting an artist reception will be on Thursday January 18, 2018 at the Heyde Center for the Arts, 3 S. High Street, Chippewa Falls, WI.

There are over 2.2 million men, women, and juveniles incarcerated in the United States today. The United States has the highest prison population in the entire world. Each year, 650,000 inmates are released into the general-public and approximately 70 percent re-offend within the first five years of their release.

513free actively works to break the cycle of incarceration by building Christ-centered relationships and programs for those who are: at risk of going, those currently in, and those being released from prison. The ministry offers programing in youth mentorship, music/events, reentry, and art/writing (The Pen Project). The success of these programs not only benefit the incarcerated, but also the community as a whole. Less crime means less victims.

There is a huge need locally to nationally to reach men and women behind bars. 513free is focusing on the Chippewa Valley Area as well as across the state of Wisconsin. Through the art gallery and concert, the ministry will show viewers and visitors at the Heyde Center for the Arts how it is impacting the incarcerated to make positive life-change through music and arts.

Specifically, 513free will focus on The Pen Project. This is a magazine the ministry co-writes with inmates, featuring their artwork and creative writings. Throughout the month, you will be able to walk through and visually see original inmate artwork and writings, experiencing how faith and art is inspiring the incarcerated to find new purpose. Helping inmates tell their story and giving their voices back has been influential in restoring lives and overcoming addictions.

"Finally an avenue to share a real-life story, whether it is through artwork, poetry, song lyrics, music or just a simple testimony. What an awesome way to raise awareness about the addictions that can take hold of one person's life and eventually tear apart a whole family or even a whole community. There have been many times I've wanted to share my story, but up until now I've not found a means to do so. Through The Pen Project not only can we use our voices again, but we can find healing, we can help, we can share, we can listen, we can pray for mended lives and ultimately we can find freedom through Christ. God Bless." Jackson Correctional Institution (Inmate).

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