Grantee Cohort Fall 2017, Fall 2018
Location New York State
For over 20 years, Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) has worked year-round in maximum- and medium-security prisons to develop a supportive culture in which incarcerated people can explore their identity and express themselves through various art forms. RTA offers workshops and drop-in sessions in a range of artistic disciplines, including theater, dance, writing, and visual arts.
RTA currently operates in five New York State correctional facilities, including four men’s maximum- and medium-security prisons and Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, the state’s only maximum-security women’s prison.
Art for Justice helped RTA establish an additional program at Taconic Correctional Facility (a medium-security women’s prison), which placed RTA in two of the three women’s prisons in New York State. A further grant supported RTA’s teaching artists, its curriculum expansion in correctional facilities, and programmatic opportunities for alumni.
With their latest grant, RTA will launch a theatrical project based on the writings of the men and women incarcerated in New York State correctional facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. RTA members across six facilities provided powerful content that tells the story of prison life during the pandemic by shaping the material into a script with a dramatic arc. Rattlestick Theatre will support the effort with professional actors, provide their stage for filming and co-sponsor the virtual staging.