The Mission

Bridging Writers & Other Artists Impacted by the Criminal Legal System with a Community Ready to Receive Them

Our mission is to provide a platform to connect arts and other community-focused organizations with a diverse pool of talented, resourceful, and motivated people impacted by the criminal legal system, and vice versa, in order to provide returning citizens with broader access to job opportunities, a variety of resources for smooth reentry, and routes to engage deeply with arts, social-justice, and community-focused organizations.

Building a Better Future

Society Thrives When We All Rise

We are working to help create a future in which organizations actively seek out talent through platforms like The Reentry Lab. Businesses proudly embrace diverse backgrounds, benefit from a wider skillset, and contribute to reducing recidivism and providing equitable opportunities. A holistic support system has emerged, combining education, mentorship, material support, and mental, emotional, and spiritual health and wellness services. Together, these innovations reshape societal values, eliminating prejudice and providing equal opportunities for all.


Improved Talent Pool

Expand your workforce by embracing diverse backgrounds, reducing hiring costs and increasing employee retention.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Position your organization as a leader in social change, boosting reputation and providing concrete evidence of community-centered outcomes aligned with organizational missions and values.


Skill Development

When you invest in training programs for reentering employees to facilitate their reintegration into society, you build up your entire workforce; such training tends to have a multiplicative effect, encouraging professional development through motivation.

Avenues of Reintegration

The Cultural Vanguard

Arts organizations and nonprofits have the power to inspire, to help lead society toward positive change. Leaning into the hard but rewarding work of supporting people as they return to the community is a way to reach for uncommon goals, to put into practice the ideals that most of our organizations profess but sometimes find difficult to actualize.

It’s an opportunity to influence those around us–which is everyone, these days–toward their better selves, creating a world richer in experience, inclusion, and opportunity for all of us.

By embracing the roles that naturally fall to the cultural vanguard and championing genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion, arts and nonprofit organizations can guide the rest of society toward a brighter, more compassionate future.

What Can You Do?

There are many ways to help, no matter where or who you are.

Arts as a Bridge to Employment

Create opportunities for reentering individuals in the arts and creative industries. Employers who have a large enough staff–it doesn’t take much–can designate certain position(s) as set-asides for artists reentering the community.

Art-Based Entrepreneurship Training

Offer training programs that teach reentering individuals how to transform their artistic talents into entrepreneurial opportunities. Provide support in marketing and business development.

Community Art Festivals

Organize community art festivals that showcase the creativity of reentering individuals, building connections and shared experiences with the broader community.

Boosting the Avant-Garde’s Signal

Engage influential artists and cultural leaders as advocates for reentry initiatives. Leverage their platforms to raise awareness, create empathy, and drive policy change.

Advocacy through Art

Encourage reentering individuals to use their art as a platform for advocacy. Support initiatives that raise awareness about the challenges they face and the need for societal change.

Storytelling Workshops

Host storytelling workshops where participants can share their narratives through spoken word, writing, or visual art. Use these stories to increase empathy and understanding in the community.

Artistic Mentorship Programs

Pair individuals with artistic mentors who provide guidance and support in pursuing creative careers. Foster connections between mentors and mentees to build lasting relationships.

Creative Workshops

Organize writing, art, music, or theater workshops specifically designed for reentering individuals. Make room in existing programs for reentering artists, and make it both possible and feasible for them to participate.

Collaborative Art Installations

Engage reentering individuals in collaborative art projects within the community. Encourage them to work on public art installations that beautify and inspire change. Make sure they’re being fed physically while they are feeding us creatively.

Opportunities in Art Curation

Empower reentering individuals to curate art exhibitions or performances, allowing them to exercise their creative agency and leadership skills while, ideally, getting fed, and making connections that may further their work in the arts.

Cultural Exchange Programs

Create opportunities for reentering individuals to participate in cultural exchange programs, allowing them to share their experiences and learn from others.

Art Therapy and Healing Spaces

Establish art therapy programs within reentry organizations, offering individuals a safe space to process trauma, reduce anxiety, and build resilience.

Still have questions?

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Let’s talk!

Land Acknowledgement

The ReEntry Lab is located in Mni Sóta Makoce, traditional homelands of the Dakota and the Ojibwe, many of whom were displaced or killed through both casual and deliberate acts of genocide.

There are eleven federally recognized American Indian tribes with reservations throughout Minnesota, seven Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) and four Dakota (Sioux), but the Native population is everywhere around us, and recognition of their stewardship of these lands and the harms perpetrated on them in the past and present is a vital part of our responsibility as inhabitants of the land.

You can learn more Native Americans in Minnesota in many places. One source is the Minnesota Historical Society’s MNopedia.

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