In 1996, Rehabilitation Through The Arts was the dream of a few men in Sing Sing who wanted to write and produce a play and needed help putting it all together. It was a play about subjects they knew only too well: gangs, violence, drugs and HIV/AIDS, but it was also about remorse, redemption and hope. It celebrated the human spirit and the goodness that is in each and every one of us. It became the foundation for RTA.
The most remarkable thing about RTA is not the plays that it presents. It is the people it produces. Prisoner-Participant, Sing Sing
From this small theatre group, RTA has evolved into a full-scale creative arts program operating in five men’s and women’s maximum and medium-security New York State Correctional Facilities: Bedford Hills, Fishkill, Green Haven, Sing Sing and Woodbourne
As RTA grew, participants themselves observed their own profound transformation. Improved social and communications skills, self-discipline and self-confidence lead to completion of GEDs, college and even master’s degrees. Prisoners involved in RTA released into the community were making succesful lives outside.
The arts have a unique and powerful effect on hardened behaviors and attitudes. This process has become the focus for RTA.