About the People’s Paper Co-op

Founded in 2014, the People’s Paper Co-op is a women led, women focused, women powered art and advocacy project at The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia. The PPC looks to women in reentry as the leading criminal justice experts our society needs to hear from and uses a variety of art forms to amplify their stories, dreams, and visions for a more just and free world.

Since 2018, the People’s Paper Co-op has collaborated with the Philadelphia Community Bail Fund on their annual Black Mama’s Bail Out campaign. Each year, the PPC connects a powerful cohort of women in reentry with artists and advocates to co-create a poster series and corresponding set of exhibitions, parades, press conferences, and events to raise awareness and funds for the campaign. Their posters, prints, and t-shirt sales have raised over $200,000 to free Black mothers and caregivers. 

The collaborative work has reached hundreds of thousands of viewers through interactive public art campaigns and a diverse array of exhibitions (from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, City Hall, to detention centers, church basement legal clinics, billboards, and guerrilla wheat paste murals). Their work has been featured by big and small publications, including but not limited to New York Times, BBC, Refinery 29, Philadelphia Inquirer, and NPR.

Let’s Get Free: The Transformative Art and Activism of the People’s Paper Co-op is part of Imagining Abolitionist Futures, a year-long Hurford Center initiative exploring the role of the arts and humanities in the struggle to dismantle the carceral state and build reparative practices and institutions in the place of a system driven by racism, retribution, and violence. Support for the exhibition has been provided by The Village of Arts and Humanities and Haverford College’s John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and English Department.