Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA)
RTA uses the transformative power of the arts to help people in prison develop skills to unlock their potential and succeed in the larger community.
Founded at Sing Sing in 1996, RTA operates a wide-ranging arts program in New York State prisons in the Hudson Valley, serving over 200 incarcerated men & women. RTA also seeks to raise public awareness of the humanity behind prison walls.
As an artistic community in which members participate for years - even decades - RTA offers a dynamic and richly varied program. Each facility in which RTA works has a unique curriculum that reflects the interest of the group, the ideas and energy of RTA teaching artists and the particular security concerns of prison administration.
RTA is a commitment to a community of peers that uses the arts as a tool to support emotional, social and cognitive growth. At any one time, RTA juggles at least a dozen workshops, a workshop presentation and one or two full productions. Workshops range from a one-session master class in jazz guitar to a year+ long project of script and character analysis, dance and music that build to performance of a Broadway musical.
Katherine Vockins founded RTA in 1996 at Sing Sing Correctional Facility and continues as its Executive Director. Katherine was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Purchase College, State University of New York, for her prison work, and named a Huffington Post Person of the Day, a Westchester County Thought Leader and Chavez Day Hero.