The Oneonta Community Alliance for Youth recently announced a variety of opportunities for youths ages 12 to 18 to become part of the Oneonta Teen Center's creative arts and leadership programs.

The OTC, at 4 Academy St., is open for its after-school program from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, with classes and live music in the evenings and weekends. The center is supervised by director Ian Austin, and is staffed by college student volunteers, staff from Hartwick College's sociology and education departments, and OCAY board members.

The center is equipped with pool and table-tennis tables, foosball and air hockey, as well as board games, a piano, a big-screen TV and computers with free Internet access. Refreshments are available for purchase at a snack bar. Youth bands may use the center's stage and sound equipment for band practice free of charge. Homework help and tutoring in any subject is available for free. Call to arrange tutoring or band practice. Oneonta junior and senior high school organizations may arrange program and meeting space at the OTC.

The Teen Center hosts live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Membership in the OTC is free. Members receive $1 off admission to live music shows. All events, including Friday night movies and recreational activities such as dodgeball, are listed on the Teen Center's MySpace page, For more information, call Austin at 433-2009.

Upcoming Creative After School Arts programs include a mural project, silkscreen T-shirts, film classes and DJ lessons.

Filmmaker Joe Stillman of the Upper Catskill Television Network and La Paloma Films will lead film classes from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays beginning Oct. 21.

Disc jockey lessons with composer, DJ, sound engineer and musician Andris Balins will be offered from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays beginning Oct. 2. Musicians and DJs affiliated with the Teen Center are eligible to receive discount VIP cards for use at Oneonta's Music Square and will be considered for future paid employment at the Oneonta Teen Center. Young artists will be invited to help design and produce a mural this fall at the teen center, and the center plans to offer fair-trade silkscreened T-shirts in the fall as well.

New civic engagement initiatives this year include youth environmental work on the OTC children's garden at Lettis Apartments, global warming and environmental education and action, creating a youth radio program, and community outreach and service. Leadership opportunities are available for these initiatives; interested individuals may call Kate O'Donnell at 431-4894 or the Teen Center at 433-2009.

The center is also seeking area youths to participate in its leadership council. Council members help produce programming, set the agenda at the center, and help with fundraising. The council is planning a road trip to meet people at the Woodstock Teen Center and Skate Park. Council executive officers are: Joe Sullivan and Jack Maloney, co-presidents, and Madelyn Rafter. Past president is Dylan Youngs. The council meets with O'Donnell bi-weekly.

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