Hidden Lives Illuminated

Eastern State Penitentiary



Digital composite of Eastern State Penitentiary’s Hidden Lives, Illuminated, 2017. Photo courtesy of Greenhouse Media.


Jesse Krimes, Apokaluptein 16389067: II, 2015. Photo by Darryl Moran.


Aerial view of Eastern State Penitentiary, 2014. Photo by Darryl Moran.

Eastern State Penitentiary’s Hidden Lives Illuminated will offer a rare look into daily life inside America’s correctional system through twenty newly commissioned, animated short films, created by artists living or working in prisons. A total of twenty films will be projected onto Eastern State’s 30-foot facade. Nightly screenings will be grouped into four themed weeks: “The View from Inside,” “Criminal Justice Today,” “Family and Community Impact,” and “Restorative Justice.” Concurrent programs hosted by community ambassadors will foster public conversation around social and criminal justice issues, before the project culminates in a one-night festival during which all films will be screened, along with a documentary about the artists, which will play inside the historic site’s cellblocks. A short documentary about the creation of the project will later be on view for future Eastern State visitors.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.