First Freedoms in Captivity Exhibition

First Freedoms in Captivity Exhibition

Artwork on Upstairs Landing

Not every American has access to the five freedoms in the First Amendment. 

What we consider our innate rights, rights that many of us take for granted, are not as accessible to those currently incarcerated or to those who serve in the military.

The protections of the First Amendment look, feel, and act differently for them. In one instance those rights are forfeited voluntarily, in the other, they are forfeited as punishment.

To explore this complicated relationship, museum staff visited two Maine prisons – Maine Correctional Center and Maine State Prison – and taught incarcerated veterans about the First Amendment, then asked them to illustrate their own experiences with their five freedoms.

The result is the artwork that you see in the First Freedoms in Captivity exhibition. This artwork amplifies the voices of a usually silent population. We invite you to listen to their voices by viewing their art.