Aside from offering workshops in dance, acting, and creative writing, young people and staff went out into the community performing original shows and speaking on issues affecting youth. The shows were both entertaining and educational, displaying a variety of subject matter and storytelling styles. Three of their most well known projects were the plays TEMPLE OF YOUTH, and URBAN AMERICAN DREAMS. They also created and produced the Public TV drama, EAST 182nd STREET, a 4 part series that won awards in the US and overseas.
Despite all their great works (which was predominantly due to kids) in the late1990s, BCAY had to shut down after tragedy struck it's Founder/Executive Director; and due to severe and indiscriminant citywide funding cuts.
Today, several of the young people who benefitted from its existence have stayed in touch, formed a Facebook Page, and continued to aid the community the way their BCAY aided them.
The video series East 182nd periodically pops up on the cable channel Bronx-Net.
Those of us who were part of BCAY are proud of what we were able to accomplish.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Yes I did, as an artist, teacher, administrator. And thanks to staying in contact with some of the students, I have seen the positive, long term affects of the organization.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Nada. The kids not only learned from us, they gave back. Some even volunteered work, maintaining the office and working with people in the communities from which they came. BCAY was also not racially bias. Young people came from different backgrounds and races. And we had as many curious and talented girls as boys.