KST Blog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: KST and Let’s Get Free Give Incarcerated Artists Their Moment with Abolitionist Expressions

EAST LIBERTY, PA – On Thursday, February 29, the visual arts exhibition Abolitionist Expressions opens at Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST), featuring art made by people in prison as well as artists in solidarity from outside of prison.

The exhibition will run from Thursday, February 29 to Saturday, June 8 at KST’s lobby gallery, with an opening reception on February 29 at 6:00pm. The gallery is open to the public during and one hour before every KST Presents event. Arrive early and take a look!

The exhibition is curated by Let’s Get Free, a Pittsburgh-based organization that works to end perpetual punishment and build a pathway out of the prisons and back into our communities. It draws from their permanent collection and chronicles the current moment of abolitionists through drawing, paintings, prints, cross-stitch, banners, and poetry.

The artworks explore personal stories that express political yearnings and aspirations for the future. Instead of punishment and governmental institutionalization, Let’s Get Free works to shift the culture to transformative justice, responding to violence without creating more violence.

According to Let’s Get Free, “art as a tool for liberation has been a central element of our work since its inception. The art shows have steadily built advocacy for the release of deserving individuals from Pennsylvania state prisons and have created conversations and collaborations that invite meaningful reciprocity between the prison walls.”

At KST, our mission is deeply rooted in the liberation of Black and queer people. We celebrate diversity in voice, thought, and expression, and uphold a firm commitment to inclusion. KST provides a welcome space for dialogue and artistic expression for all who enter.

In a society grappling with issues of justice and incarceration, Abolitionist Expressions at KST stands as a testament to the power of art in fostering conversations around transformative justice.

For full details on Kelly Strayhorn Theater’s upcoming Winter/Spring 2024 programming, click HERE.

Download the .pdf HERE. 


Let’s Get Free: The Women & Trans Prisoner Defense Committee is a Pittsburgh-based organization working to end perpetual punishment, build a pathway out of the prisons back to our communities through commutation reform, support successful possibilities for people formerly and currently incarcerated, and shift to a culture of transformative justice.

Let’s Get Free’s Creative Resistance committee works on the annual art show, public service announcements, social media graphics, films, Daughters magazines and newsletters and all things creative. Let’s Get Free has used art as an organizing tool since its inception, raising awareness about excessive sentencing while prioritizing the voices of women and trans people in prison.

For more information on Let’s Get Free:





Named after 20th century entertainment legends Gene Kelly and Billy Strayhorn, both natives of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kelly Strayhorn Theater (KST) is a home for creative experimentation, community dialogue, and collective action rooted in the liberation of Black and queer people. We welcome our home to all who uplift Black, Indigenous, people of color, and queer voices.

KST is an institutional arts anchor in Pittsburgh’s East End that has served the community for more than two decades. Since launching KST Presents programming in ’08, KST has been Black-led, fostering radical imagination for Black and queer arts, culture, and community in Pittsburgh by cultivating BIPOC and/or queer artists, entrepreneurs, and arts administrators, developing their careers, and shifting narratives around Black possibility.