Art Class at Sing Sing

Since 1996, RTA has helped participants express themselves honestly and artistically, form a supportive community, and rediscover their own humanity in the process.

Two published research studies show that RTA programs improve behavior in prison and lead to greater participation in educational programs.
Through art, prisoners develop self-expression, self-esteem, self-discipline and a host of social skills including collaboration, negotiation, tolerance and compassion.

The visual arts improve concentration and focus, help develop observation skills, increase self-discipline and build visual memory.

The visual arts program at Sing Sing makes an actual, life altering difference in the lives of the men who participate in it. Finishing a drawing or painting or creating a piece of sculpture gives the men a new sense of what is possible. Having experienced genuine achievement, participants begin thinking about what else they can accomplish – through academics, job training, exploring alternatives to violence or striving for greater understanding of human behavior. The prisoners begin to think differently, behave differently and get different results.

More than 95% of prisoners will be released back into society, and those who have participated in RTA programs will take these skills with them. RTA programs are making our communities safer.

“For me, learning to draw has altered my life forever. For a person like myself who has spent most of his adult life in prison, drawing is a doorway into the magical realm where anything is possible – even redemption.”