The Returning Artists’ Guild (RAG) is a network of around 30 currently and formerly incarcerated artists in Ohio and across the U.S. The RAG was co-founded by two artists, Aimee Wissman and Kamisha Thomas, who wanted to continue the therapeutic, creative community that they found “inside.” The RAG consists of visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, singers, rappers, comedians, dancers, poets and spoken word performers, activists, researchers, stylists, and entrepreneurs. The Guild has been creating temporary spaces across the state for pop-up exhibitions, workshops/skill sharing, community retreats, and we work with artists and organizational partners who want to provide resources to our community.
We believe in our own expertise around imaging a future where abolition is possible and creating the paradigm shifts needed to effectively uplift the humanity and dignity of our community and to increase public support for ending mass incarceration.
“I have been locked by the lawless. Handcuffed by the haters. Gagged by the greedy. And, if I know any thing at all, it’s that a wall is just a wall and nothing more at all. It can be broken down.”Assata Shakur, “Affirmation” (1987/2001). Assata: An Autobiography. (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books)