"For three hours a week, I am not in prison, I am not a product of a dysfunctional family, I’m not from the projects. I’m anything I want to be."   


RTA began working at Bedford Hills, New York State’s only maximum security prison for women, in 2008. The response has been beyond our expectations. From first protesting, “But I can’t draw” or “I’m so bad at this!” to tackling Shakespearean female archetypes, RTA is guiding the women of Bedford Hills in a profound process of self-discovery.

It was losing mama that really

put the needle on the record of my blues.

Too soon for dervishes

of camel spiders to spin in my mind

the hard part hadn't begun

and I was already singing a dirge.

The color guard too sounded flat

as the grim reaper saluted

for the fifth time in my year.

Of course by this time ma couldn't hear it

and sis couldn't buy the mixtape

if this experience was sold on the black market.

RTA member, Bedford Hills