Posts Tagged ‘casita maria’

Free Film Festival for Children and Families

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

KidCinemaFest Film Festival returns to New York October 22 – October 31 with more than 50 of the most exciting, smart and reflective movies of this decade  for children and adults produced in Europe, Latin American, North America, Asia and Africa.

The film festival takes place at Catholic Charities Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center (530 West 166th Street and Amsterdam), Casita Maria, an affiliate of Catholic Charities in the South Bronx (928 Simpson St at 163rd Street), The United Palace (4140 Broadway at 175th Street), and public schools throughout Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the Bronx.

Films include kid-friendly highlights such as Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature Film Ernest and Celestine,  Dominican film Los Super (The Superheroes), Argentinian comedy Caido del mapa and Japanese animation Welcome to trhe Space Show.  

Back for its sixth installment, KidCinemaFest aims to enrich children’s appreciation for filmmaking and cultural diversity through its excellent line up of programs.

Cine Art Entertainment Productions is a collaboration between Catholic Charities, its Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center division and Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez.

The event is free and open to anyone and everyone who wishes to attend!

For a complete list of films and show times visit

Free “CINEMUSICA CITY!” Brings the South Bronx’s Magic Music History to Life

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

cinemusicaCome join us for CINEMUSICA CITY! on October 17 and 18.

See historic South Bronx cinemas and concert halls come alive.

  • Larger-than-life projections of vintage footage from Latin music greats and Hip-Hop pioneers!
  • Live performances by emerging Bronx teen artists!

The celebration is co-sponsored by Casita Maria, an affiliate of Catholic Charities and the first charitable organization to serve the Hispanic community in New York City.

CINEMUSICA CITY! celebrates magical sites — part movie house, part concert halls — like the Hunts Point Palace and Teatro Puerto Rico in Mott Haven where brilliant artists like Machito, Tito Puente, and Grandmaster Caz as well as popular films and local vaudevillesque performers revolutionized the way we dance, sing, see and hear.

CINEMUSICA CITY! features also features live performance by P.R.O.D.I.G.Y. New York, SBK St. Mary’s Youth Salsa Dancers, the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats and more.

All South Bronx Cultural events are free and open to the public.

Visit for more information.


Casita Maria Kick Starts Kids’ Reading Program

Monday, February 13th, 2012

By Marianna Reilly

February 13, 2012 — Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, a Catholic Charities agency that has been serving youth in the South Bronx since 1934, recently launched a new library and reading program for children in need.

The program, created with the help of Catholic Charities volunteers through the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund and NYC Service Volunteer Project, is enriching Casita’s services in the South Bronx and engaging local teenagers in volunteerism.

Casita Maria kids show off some of the books that have been donated to their new library.

“We can improve our reading skills by having more book choices in our library,” says tenth grade student Zoila Rodriquez who, along with 40 fellow teens donates her time as a volunteer reader.

The new library initially hoped to house 500 new books. But thanks to successful volunteer efforts, the library has more than doubled its goal. Catholic Charities donated more than 500 books through its annual Christmas toy drive, volunteer efforts triggered the donation of 500 more, and book donations continue piling in.

To help house this multitude of books, Catholic Charities donated funds to help transform a drab conference room into a library with wall-to-wall oak and pine shelving and glass shelf doors. Catholic Charities also funded the transportation of more than 50 Casita Maria children and staff members to a New York Times event to celebrate these new volunteer initiatives on February 2.

Foster Alcantara, a teenager who helped lead the book drive, drew huge applause when he accepted the award from the NYC Service Volunteer Project on behalf of Casita Maria.

“I dream of the day when I hear a famous person interviewed saying ‘I learned to read at Casita Maria,’” Alcantra told the crowd gathered at the Times Center in midtown Manhattan.

On February 8, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan visited Casita Maria to bless the new library, meet with the children, and listen to a musical performance by some of the youth from Casita Maria music programs.

Casita Maria moved to the South Bronx from the agency’s original location in East Harlem in 1961. Their programs include homeless services, drug rehabilitation, violence prevention, gang intervention, teen pregnancy prevention, and much more.