For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 9, 2019
(Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) – Artist and exoneree Valentino Dixon today announced the launch of the Art of Freedom Foundation. The foundation is established with the national mission to unite humanity, shine a light on injustice, work with local, state, and federal lawmakers to achieve prison and sentencing reform, and champion the voices of the wrongfully convicted until freedom comes.
“Today, I am proud to announce the launch of the Art of Freedom Foundation here in Florida which will be a powerful tool as we continue to advocate across the nation for a justice system that is equal, fair, and just for all,” said Valentino Dixon. “At 21, I was arrested and convicted of a crime I did not commit. After fighting every day for nearly three decades to prove my innocence, today’s announcement is great news of a path forward in our battle for justice. While I was in prison, I found hope, strength, and the resolve to continue my fight through my artwork. Now, through my work, and the Art of Freedom Foundation, I am devoting every day to telling my story to advance the implementation of smart justice initiatives and broaden the public’s understanding of the healing power of art therapy.”
During his incarceration, Valentino began to create striking drawings of the world’s most iconic golf courses, including Augusta National Golf Club, Pebble Beach, and more. It was these artworks that grabbed the attention of Golf Digest Magazine, and led to its in-depth investigative reporting on his case. Golf Digest’s reporting helped raise awareness of Valentino’s innocence and ultimately secured the partnership with Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative director Marc Howard and Georgetown adjunct professor and exoneree Marty Tankleff, and their students, that helped achieve his exoneration and release.
The Art of Freedom Foundation was officially unveiled last night, July 8, during an event at the world-renowned TPC Sawgrass golf course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The Art of Freedom Foundation’s launch at a golf course celebrated Valentino’s incredible artistic bond to the game of golf and marked his first visit to TPC Sawgrass and his first ever trip to Florida.
Although he had never stepped foot on a golf course prior to his unjust incarceration, since being released, Valentino has now visited numerous courses including Pebble Beach Golf Links and Augusta National Golf Club to attend the 2019 Masters Tournament. While at the Masters in April, Valentino met with Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Tom Watson, and Brooks Koepka.
If you are interested in donating to the Art of Freedom Foundation, need media information or are interested in booking Valentino for a speaking engagement, please visit www.ArtofFreedomFoundation.org.
About Valentino Dixon
For more than 27 years, Valentino Dixon was incarcerated in the New York State prison system for a crime he did not commit. In 1990, at just 21 years old, as a new dad with an infant baby girl at home, he was arrested and convicted of murder. During his time in prison, as he fought to prove his innocence, he used his passion for art to find sanctuary from his prison cell, maintain his resolve, and remain hopeful in his fight to prove his innocence. He regained his motivation to draw by following his uncle’s advice: “If you reclaim your talent, you can reclaim your life.” Valentino has been drawing ever since; for more than two decades, he drew from six to ten hours a day.
After more than 20 years of fighting his unjust conviction, he found advocates for his cause in students at Georgetown University and Golf Digest’s Max Adler, who raised awareness and ultimately helped him walk out of prison in 2018, a free man. Today, Valentino is devoting every day to telling his story, advocating for smart justice initiatives and broadening the public’s understanding of the healing power of art. Learn more about Valentino’s story and his fight for freedom at www.ValentinoDixon.com.
About the Art of Freedom Foundation, Inc. (AoFF)
Art of Freedom Foundation, Inc. is a Florida nonprofit corporation operating through a fiscal sponsorship with Players Philanthropy Fund (Federal Tax ID: 27-6601178), a Maryland charitable trust with federal tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Art of Freedom are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
AoFF’s mission is to unite humanity, shine a light on injustice, work with lawmakers to achieve prison and sentencing reform, and champion the voices of the wrongfully convicted until freedom comes. Its vision is a dedicated, collective humanitarian effort to achieve a reformed justice system that is equal, fair and just for all. AoFF also envisions a world in which every innocent person will be exonerated and immediately released. For more information, please go to www.ArtofFreedomFoundation.org.
To learn more about Valentino Dixon, subscribe to his newsletter, or purchase his artwork, please visit www.ValentinoDixon.com.