Our Response to Covid-19
During this difficult time for our members, locked away from school, programs and family visits, RTA continues to provide distance learning to help engage the creative process and raise hope for the future. Here is a timeline of RTA's response throughout the pandemic.
“I know of no other organization that has done this much during this time.” - RTA member at Sing Sing Correctional Facility
March 16, 2020
NYS Department of Corrections & Community Supervision (DOCCS) suspends all programming until further notice.
March 20 - May 31
RTA teaching artists respond enthusiastically to develop paper lesson plans for individual learning in all art forms.
-Lessons are delivered to all 6 facilities where we work
-New lessons supplied every other week
-Notebooks sent with a guide for keeping a journal to document this extraordinary time
June 1 - June 30
Audio cassettes made especially for prison were:
-Developed for all art forms
-Recorded and duplicated
-600 tapes were delivered to all facilities
-Cassettes will cover the summer semester
RTA writes letters to all its members to find out how they are doing.
July 1 - September 30
DVDs and lesson plans:
-Written, filmed and duplicated
-Delivered to all facilities for the fall semester, when participants may be able to meet in small groups.
October 1 - Present
RTA sends lessons in poetry, memoir, playwriting, monologues and pen & pencil visual arts that address the specific needs of each individual through JPAY tablets distributed in NYS prisons.
We aim to return to in-prison programming in the fall of 2021, pending clearance from DOCCS.