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A rendering of Bowling Green Park after a proposed beautification.
Projects & Programs > Around DowntownAround Downtown - A Spotlight on LMDC Funding Recipients
Manhattan Youth Provides Programming for Young and Old
A child participating in Manhattan Youth’s after school arts and crafts programs. Manhattan Youth is a recipient of LMDC funding.
It's 11 a.m., and as you walk into the door of Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center there is an endless stream of children and strollers. At the front desk a group of senior citizens checks the schedule for senior swim classes.
Amidst the bustle, you get sense that this center is designed to provide services for all ages. At three in the afternoon the center focuses all of its resources to provide after school programming, and later in the evening it offers adult programming such as live music, adult swim programs, and dance programming.
Take a stroll through the center and you're likely to bump into Executive Director Bob Townley. "Bob," as he's affectionately known to the Lower Manhattan community, has been leading Manhattan Youth for over twenty four years. "I am a community organizer, who just wanted to create sport and cultural programming for the community of Lower Manhattan," Townley said.
Before the Downtown Center was opened in 2008, Manhattan Youth operated programs out of three Lower Manhattan Schools, and used Pier 25 at Hudson River Park focusing the majority of its services on children. With the creation of the Manhattan Youth's Downtown Center which is 28,000 square feet, Manhattan Youth has created numerous programs for adults, seniors and teenagers, while continuing to enhance its services for children.
The Downtown Center provides numerous programs and services, such as after school programming for children and teens, aquatic programs for all ages, arts and crafts for all ages, music and design programs for teens, cooking classes for all ages, yoga classes for all ages, adult programming after 6 p.m., a variety of senior programs throughout the day, and even offers programming space for P.S. 234 to help with the over crowding of its facility.
Besides the amazing targeted audience centered programming and services Manhattan Youth Downtown Center provides, Manhattan Youth has been running the Downtown Basketball league for nineteen years. The league has over 300 participants.
Wendy Chapman a member of Manhattan Youth and Lower Manhattan resident said "Manhattan Youth is wonderful place for families to spend time together, and the staff at Manhattan Youth are just amazing." Mrs. Chapman and her family participate in numerous programs that Manhattan Youth offers. Mrs. Chapman said, "The most important thing about Manhattan Youth is that is makes its programs affordable to all of its members".
Lower Manhattan residents enjoying an adult dance program at the Downtown Center.
Manhattan Youth was one of thirty five community organizations in Lower Manhattan to receive a grant through LMDC Community Enhancement Fund. LMDC awarded Manhattan Youth a grant for $1.5 million dollars for operating expenses of Manhattan Youth's Downtown Community Center. Also, Manhattan Youth was one of 63 recipients of LMDC Cultural Enhancement Fund, which was awarded in 2006. The four hundred thousand dollars grant was used for the installation of the Downtown Centers HVAC System.
Townley said, "The LMDC Community grant has allowed Manhattan Youth to keep its membership fees at a reasonable price. The grants allowed the center to have sustainable growth and provide new programs and services to the community during a challenging economic time in New York."
Some of the new programs Manhattan Youth will be offering, also supported by LMDC, are Friday Night Jazz and Aquatic program designed for disabled residents of Lower Manhattan. Townley said, "With the LMDC grant we were able to go out and purchase a lift which will allow people with limited mobility to access the pool."
For more information about Manhattan Youth please visit http://www.manhattanyouth.org.