Directing rehabilitative arts programs

Meet SIT Alumnus Craig Cullinane

My degree at SIT was in service, leadership, and management with a focus on social justice and intercultural relations.  

Craig CullinanaI now live in New York City and am the director of programming for Rehabilitation Through The Arts (RTA), a not-for-profit organization that brings rehabilitative arts experiences into five New York State prisons, including Sing Sing. I supervise 15–20 teaching artists who facilitate workshops in theater, dance, creative writing, music, and the visual arts. RTA members inside the prison walls also mount full-length theatrical productions. Our goal is to welcome RTA members to develop critical life skills through the artistic process that will support them in reentering the world more successfully.  

SIT prepared me in several ways. Working on multicultural teams is a big part of my job. SIT helped me build skills in navigating different working styles. Also, I learned how to reflect critically on my own assumptions about other people and how they communicate. I also took Training Design and Training for Social Action. These classes still serve me well. They provided a solid foundation for facilitating group experiences, which is a huge part of my job. 

Most importantly, my time at SIT helped me to clarify the desire in my heart to be of service in the world in ways that are useful and meaningful. My ultimate goal is to use RTA's methods as a model to bring the arts into prisons internationally.