The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) has awarded Punto de Contacto-Point of Contact a three-year grant of $13,000 per year, for a total of $39,000, for its arts education program, El Punto Art Studio.
Created in 2010 with NYSCA’s support, El Punto is a multicultural experiential art studio for youths between the ages of 5 and 14, offered at no cost for Syracuse youths.
The six-week seminar is facilitated by local and guest artists, assisted by Syracuse University students. In recent years, the University students have played an increasingly active role in the planning, management, coordination and outcomes assessment of the program.
Mariah Scott, a graduate student in the Janklow Arts Leadership program at the College of Arts and Sciences, is at the helm of this year’s edition of El Punto.
"I am just excited to see the kids feeling proud of what they produce,” Scott says.
Scott works closely with Point of Contact’s managing director Miranda Traudt G’11.
“Mariah brings to El Punto her previous experience with youth programming in her native city of Chicago, and she is making a great contribution,” Traudt says.
The program is a collaborative effort between Point of Contact, La Casita Cultural Center and the Spanish Action League of Upstate New York. In the spring of 2016, the program will also partner with the Syracuse-based Open Hand Theater to offer a combination of artistic disciplines including puppetry, mask making, drama, improvisational theater and performance arts.
“El Punto provides a dual-language learning experience and a level of artistry that is too often missing in the lives of these young kids,” says Tere Paniagua ’82, executive director of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic Community. “Many of our students are in city schools where arts programming has diminished and in many cases is replaced with standardized common core curricula, so we feel the work of El Punto fills an important void.”
The upcoming edition of the six-week program starts Jan. 23, 2016.
For more information about the program and to register for the 2016 edition of El Punto Art Studio, visit http://puntopoint.org/el-punto-art-studio/.