THE POINT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION is a nonprofit organization 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.
To encourage the arts, local enterprise, responsible ecology, and self-investment in the Hunts Point community.
When THE POINT opened its doors in 1993, Hunts Point was facing declining investment and tarnished morale. Responding to a community in crisis, the organization began working with local residents to strengthen this South Bronx neighborhood. Over the past fourteen years, the organization has bolstered community members’ endeavors through arts, environmental and business oriented services and contributed to the area’s resurgence in arts and culture. Amongst scholars, academics and think tanks, THE POINT has garnered a reputation as a successful organization transforming an area with community involvement. Amongst Hunts Point residents, it has become a celebrated destination, known especially as a wonderful place for children to learn and grow.
THE POINT’s programming falls under three main headings: Youth Development, Arts and Culture and Community Development.
Youth Development - After School Program - Summer Youth Programs - Neighborhood Internet and Weather Center
Arts and Culture - Visual Arts at The Point - ICP at The Point (http://icpthepoint.vox.com/) - Live from the Edge Theatre - El Grito Dance Studio - Music at The Point - WPNT Point Community Radio - Hunts Point Alive! Newsletter - Cirque du Monde
Re-Envisioning Hunts Point - A.C.T.I.O.N. (http://huntspointaction.blogspot.com) - Environmental Stewardship - Advocacy and Planning - Local History - Community Development - Business and Non-Profit Incubation - Hunts Point Boathouse
THE POINT evaluates its Youth Development Program based on student attendance, academic performance and participation and program outcomes. It has worked with research and evaluation consultants Philliber Research Associates (PRA) to obtain quantitative data regarding student academic and social development. According to the PRA report on the 2006 school year, students participating at THE POINT showed significant improvement in Communication Arts, Math and Science grades from the beginning to the end of the year.
Among THE POINT’s most significant artistic achievements is the wealth of talent it has incubated in recent years, which includes: Arthur Aviles Typical Theater, Full Circle Dance Company, Contemporary Ballet Theater, Universes (performance poetry), Latinos on the Brink (comedy troupe), and performance artists Caridad de La Luz, Rhina Valentin, Mariposa, Def Poetry Jam’s Flaco Navaja and many more. THE POINT’s performing arts programs have been the recipients of the Obie and Bessie Awards for exemplary contributions to theater and dance in NYC.
THE POINT’s community development efforts have been instrumental in the creation of the 197A plan for Hunts Point. THE POINT has helped secure over $10 million in capital improvements for the Hunts Point community. In the past year, THE POINT and its partners have seen more than a decade’s worth of advocacy work come full circle with the opening of two new waterfront parks – the Hunts Point Riverside Park and Barretto Point Park. The organization has also completed the remediation process at its property at 1399 Lafayette Avenue and has officially named the site: The Jose E. Serrano Campus for Arts and the Environment.
THE POINT’s overarching youth development goal is to offer a safe and enriching out of school environment to young people from Hunts Point. It aims to continue to provide its After School and Summer Youth Programs to young people in grades 1-12. THE POINT is joining the South East Bronx Community Organization (SEBCO), Urban Health Plan and La Peninsula Head Start, Mud/Bone Studio 889, World Visions and the St. Ignatius School to form the Hunts Point Alliance for Children (HPAC). The group aims to collectively pool their resources in order to improve the overall quality of life for young people and families in Hunts Point.
Through live performance and exhibitions, artists' workshops, classes, lectures and cultural tours, THE POINT’s Arts and Cultural programs aim to support the cultivation and preservation of South Bronx culture and making the arts economically and geographically accessible to Hunts Point residents. THE POINT aims to complete the upcoming arts calendar including events and programs such as the Young Audience Series, which offers youth matinee performances and/or lecture demonstrations with companies visiting THE POINT to public schools and youth organizations.
THE POINT’s community development projects aim to help foster economic opportunity through environmentally sound development and to support the creation of open space and public access to the waterfront in the South Bronx. Upcoming goals include progressing THE POINT's ongoing environmental projects and developing a strategy and outreach materials to further engage Hunts Point community members in South Bronx environmental justice campaigns.
Maria Torres is President and Chief Operating Officer of THE POINT. A graduate of Cornell University, Ms. Torres co-founded THE POINT with Paul Lipson, Mildred Ruiz, and Steven Sapp in 1994. She has been an integral member of THE POINT’s management team since its inception, most recently as Associate Director for Operations. Maria is responsible for the management and daily operations of the corporation. Duties include program development, fundraising, develop the agency budget, scheduling program activities and employee relations.
Michael T. Glazebrook, Chairman Donna Torres, Vice-Chair Barbara Berliner, Secretary R. Edward Lee, CSW, Member Sarah C. Lee, Member Karen Vanterpool, Member José E. Virella, Member Leighton Wynter, Member