The Red Hook Art Project, Inc. (RHAP) is A tutoring and mentoring project that organizes professionals to volunteer to provide gifted, Under-served children and youth with free classes and tutoring in visual art, music and Homework Help.
RHAP is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
2012 Drawing by first-year RHAP student, 11 years old
All RHAP Tutors Are Volunteers
RHAP Classes and Tutoring Sessions are all taught by volunteer artists, musicians, writers and other professionals – individuals who bring a strong sense of caring to their teaching – always teaching from the heart!
To learn how you can help visit the “get involved” page.
Description of Services
– free classes and tutoring in visual art,
– free classes and tutoring in music,
– free homework help,
– free workshops in Anger Management and Healthy Eating, and
– assistance with the preparation of portfolios and applications for auditions for entrance to prestigious middle schools, high schools and colleges with special programs in the arts.
RHAP visual art students enjoying a moment after class!
“RHAP’s mission is to help under-served children and youth who have shown previous dedication to their creative talent to develop their self-esteem, self- expression, creativity, and sense of responsibility through education- based relationships with working artists, musicians, and writers.”
RHAP academic tutor showing support to visual art student!
RHAP visual art tutor teaching screen printing to visual art student.
RHAP visual art student and tutor at sewing workshop!
RHAP’s Two-fold Approach
- We provide working visual artists, writers, musicians and other professionals with the opportunity to volunteer to share their experience and knowledge with the children and youth of Red Hook.
Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship that occurs spontaneously between two individuals at different stages of life who share a similar passion. It is at the root of all real teaching and learning.
RHAP keeps our classes, workshops, and working groups small and ongoing so that true mentoring can unfold, benefiting all of us who are part of the community.
“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.”
– Oprah Winfrey
RHAP student leader showing first year visual art student how to make slippers!
RHAP Managing Director Ms. Davis (2014)
RHAP’s Success Stories:
– RHAP has helped two of our oldest students apply to and get accepted to college! One is at SUNY – Oswega studying psychology and art therapy and the other is at SUNY – FIT studying fine art and illustration.
– RHAP’s first generation of students (after working with RHAP tutors for three years) gained acceptance to the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of the Arts, the High School of Art and Design and the Edward R. Murrow High School.
– in 2012, RHAP’s founder, Deirdre Swords, was honored with the Brooklyn Community Board Six Robert Acito Award for Youth Involvement.
– In 2015 RHAP’s first student, Tashawn Davis, was honored with one gold key for portfolio, and five gold keys, two silver keys and two honorable mentions for individual pieces in the regional level of Scholastic’s Art and Writing Competition. In addition, he received four silver keys and two gold keys on the national level of the same competition – the most awards out of any winner!
“Man, you don’t know how I felt that afternoon when I heard that voice
and it was my own voice.”
– Muddy Waters
As of June 2015, these two young talented men on the right have both graduated from prestigious high schools with special programs in visual art! One is headed to FIT in the fall and the other will be applying to colleges this coming year.
RHAP began in the summer of 2006 with just one tutor (Deirdre Swords) and three students meeting in Red Hook’s Coffey Park on Saturday afternoons to make art together. We now have two levels of visual art tutoring, two levels of music tutoring, homework help / academic tutoring four or five afternoons a week and, as of January 2016, RHAP is made up of approximately 20 tutors and 30 youth.
RHAP Founder & Executive Director, Deirdre Swords
RHAP visual art student happy about his hard work (2014)
What Makes RHAP Different
1. All RHAP classes have a very low student-teacher ratio, so that our students receive a lot of attention and our volunteer tutors have a fulfilling teaching experience.
2. Most of our tutors make long- term commitments to tutoring at RHAP so they can build trusting relationships with their students.
3. All of our tutors are volunteers helping our students from their hearts.
Visual Art students learning about negative space.
We plan to continue and expand the number of our classes, workshops, and tutoring sessions.
RHAP students enjoy their conversation while making art!
A little face painting!