BCAY offered young people a chance to be recognized as contributing human beings to communities that desperately needed a venue of hope for them. As a member and later it's program coordinator, it was my distinct blessing to have had such a positive experience growing up! I am currently in the process of rebuilding what once inspired many of us to become teachers, nurses, social workers and succeed as performing artists!
BCAY was a remarkable, creative, energizing and committed organization, which developed a creative arena in which teens could explore their imaginations, as well as many cognitive skills.
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.