Four people sit on a stage as part of a panel discussion

(L-R) Hank Willis Thomas, Catherine Gund, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Tyra Patterson

Frieze Week Los Angeles kicked off last night with an event at the Getty Center in honor of the Art for Justice Fund and their efforts to call attention to the impacts of mass incarceration in the United States.

Getty Trustee and Board Chair Emerita Maria Hummer-Tuttle welcomed guests to the event which served as a powerful kickoff to the highly anticipated return of Frieze Los Angeles, and a tribute to Art for Justice Fund founder Agnes Gund. “She alone is the reason that we’re here, because she has taught us what art and philanthropy can do together,” said Hummer-Tuttle of the 2018 Getty Medalist. “Aggie for years has talked about how it is art that creates the compassion and the empathy to drive social change.”

Artist, playwright, and author Liza Jessie Peterson began the program with a scene from her one-woman play, The Peculiar Patriot, weaving in narratives of imprisonment and firsthand accounts of exploitation, followed by a panel discussion led by activist and director Catherine Gund. On the panel, poet Dwayne Betts, visual artist Hank Willis Thomas, and criminal justice reform advocate Tyra Patterson shared poignant stories about their experiences in the criminal justice system, and their ongoing engagement in art and culture that now inspires their daily lives.

A woman wearing an army camo jacket holds a microphone

Liza Jessie Peterson Photo: Owen Kolasinski/

Following the panel, Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, honored the artist Mark Bradford who created a limited editioned work Life Size, sales of which have helped raise $1,000,000 for the Art for Justice Fund to end mass incarceration.

Emanuel also introduced Romola Ratnam, Executive Director of the Endeavor Foundation, who announced two major initiatives: the exhibition Out of Bounds showcasing artwork produced by an arts program at the California State Prison in Lancaster that will be on view during Frieze Los Angeles, and news of a new $25,000 award, the Frieze Impact Prize, in partnership with the Art for Justice Fund, that will recognize and provide access and visibility to artists affected by the criminal justice system who are contributing to the movement to call attention to issues of mass incarceration.

Attendees included a wide array of leaders in the arts, entertainment, philanthropy, and civic communities, including Marina Abramović, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Klaus Biesenbach, Megan and Peter Chernin, James Cuno, Beth DeWoody, Ariel Emanuel, Sidney Felsen, Rosetta Getty, Thelma Golden, Catherine Gund, Maria Hummer-Tuttle, Joanne Heyler, Alex Israel, Naima J. Keith, Bettina Korek, Deborah McLeod, Laura Owens, Liza Jessie Peterson, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Dallas Price-Van Breda, Timothy Potts, Amanda Sharp, Victoria Siddall, Joy Simmons, Matthew Slotover, Lauren Taschen, Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Hank Willis Thomas, and Kulapat Yantrasast.

Find out more about the Art for Justice Fund here, and more about Frieze Los Angeles here.