Anthony Papa is an artist, writer, freedom fighter, noted advocate against the war on drugs and co-founder of the Mothers of the New York Disappeared. Mr. Papa’s stinging opinion pieces about the drug war have appeared in news sources across the country. On 12/31/16 he received a pardon from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and becomes the first person in NYS history to receive both clemency (from Gov. George Pataki 1997) and a pardon (2016). He is a frequent public speaker and college lecturer on his art and criminal justice issues. Currently he is Manager of Media Relations for the Drug Policy Alliance.
Mr. Papa is the author of This Side of Freedom: Life After Clemency, his second memoir about his 20 years of freedom after imprisonment and 15 to Life: How I Painted My Way to Freedom (2004), a memoir about his experience of being sentenced to state prison for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense under New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. He has been interviewed by a wide range of national print and broadcast media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, National Public Radio, “Democracy Now,” Court TV, “Extra,” C-Span, WPIX, RNN among others. His art has been exhibited widely from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York to many cultural centers and he has appeared on nationally syndicated talk shows such as HollyScoop, CNNs Your Money , MSNBC Live withTamron Hall.“Charles Grodin,” “Geraldo Rivera,” and “Catherine Crier Live.”