Ex-prison shows animated films made by incarcerated artists

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An art exhibit at a former prison-turned-museum in Philadelphia is showcasing animated short films created by currently incarcerated inmates.

“Hidden Lives Illuminated” showcases 20 short films and projects them on an outside wall, offering a glimpse into the lives of these inmates to passersby and museum visitors alike.

Sean Kelley, the director of interpretation at Eastern State Penitentiary, got the idea for the project after seeing a similar exhibit in Chicago called “Freedom/Time” and secured a $297,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to bring it to fruition.

Men at Chester State Correctional Institution and women at the Riverside Correctional Facility worked about nine months on the project, taking what amounted to two semesters of a college-level film production class.

“Hidden Lives Illuminated” runs through Thursday.

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