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THE POINT Community Development Corporation is dedicated to youth development and the cultural and economic revitalization of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. We work with our neighbors to celebrate the life and art of our community, an area traditionally defined solely in terms of its poverty, crime rate, poor schools and substandard housing. We believe the area’s residents, their talents and aspirations, are THE POINT’s greatest assets.
Celebrating 20 years of service, THE POINT offers a multi-faceted approach to asset-based community development. Its programming falls within three main headings all aimed at the comprehensive revitalization of the Hunts Point community:
Arts & Advocacy Youth Development Program - This central feature of THE POINT’s services offers after-school and summer programming for 500 young people in grades 1-12. Through justice-based arts and service learning activities, THE POINT’s youth programs aim to support the academic, pre-professional and positive social development of young people and engage them as leaders in sustainable community development. Specific youth programs include the teen community leadership group A.C.T.I.O.N. (Activists Coming To Inform Our Neighborhood), the peer education Youth Empowerment Project aimed at reducing HIV/STI and teen pregnancy and arts-in-education programs including the International Center of Photography (ICP) at THE POINT and Cirque du Soleil’s social circus program Cirque du Monde. THE POINT's youth programs and staff have been the recipients of the Union Square, Coming Up Tallerand PASEsetter Awards.
Arts & Culture - THE POINT’s Arts and Cultural Programs are dedicated to the cultivation and preservation of South Bronx culture and making the arts economically and geographically accessible to Hunts Point residents. Past programs include the multimedia project Mambo to Hip Hop and the public art project Village of Murals - Walking to Barretto Point Park. Its Arts and Cultural Programs have received: Obie and Bessie Awards for exemplary contributions to theatre and dance in NYC, the 2007 NYC Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture, a 2008 Place Matters Award presented by City Lore and the NYC Municipal Arts Society, a 2009NEA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to help preserve arts staff positions and the Women's Caucus For Art's 2011 President's Art & Activism Award presented to THE POINT's President and Chief Operating Officer Maria Torres. In 2012, THE POINT participated in the Inaugural Aspen Arts Strategy Group. In 2013, Open Hydrant Theater Company became THE POINT's new resident artist group and the first ever Small Professional Theater Company with Actor's Equity in the South Bronx! THE POINT believes this recognition demonstrates its success in using the arts to help empower young people and revitalize the South Bronx.
Community Development - THE POINT uses the lens of environmental justice, youth development and arts and culture to engage individuals from Hunts Point in the effort to create a more livable community and generate economic opportunity. Core projects include THE POINT’s Campus for Arts and the Environment and South Bronx Community Green Roof. THE POINT is also key player in several advocacy coalitions and initiatives such as the South Bronx Greenway and Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance. In addition, THE POINT’s Small Business and Non-profit Incubator offers subsidized rent and connections to the Hunts Point community to tenants including: the Bronx office of City Year NY, the boat-building and on water education organization Rocking the Boat, Bascom Catering and internationally recognized graffiti artists Tats Cru. THE POINT is pleased to announce it received the EPA's 2012 Environmental Quality Award for its more than ten years of dedication to South Bronx and New York City environmental justice!
- Teresa Kochis
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