‘Media incubator’ unveiled in DUMBO

A place for creatives to rub shoulders

October 4, 2013 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Media entrepreneurs, filmmakers and advertising pros have a new place to set up shop in Brooklyn. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other officials launched a “media incubator” space in DUMBO on Tuesday. The Made in NY Media Center is part of a plan to keep the city at the top of its game, media-wise.

The Mayor didn’t cut the ribbon, however. The musician Questlove, the center’s first artist-in-residence, and Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver wore headsets that allowed them to wirelessly operate electronic scissors that did the snipping.

The new 20,000-square-foot facility, at 30 John St., in a historic coffee factory, is meant to be a space where “storytellers, creative professionals and entrepreneurs” can collaborate. The interior, designed by MESH Architects, includes classrooms, a media arts gallery, a 72-seat screening room, a media workspace, and a café. Members of the public will be able to take classes there as well.

The center is accepting applications now to rent out space, which runs from $150 per month for a community workspace to $450 per month for incubator space. (See www.nymediacenter.com)

The facility is the result of a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), which will operate the center, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

“We can’t take our position as the world’s media capital for granted, because the way media is produced and consumed is changing dramatically,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement. “Media creators and tech companies have a lot to gain from a strong, collaborative working relationship – and New York City will reap the benefits of that partnership in the form of job creation and global competitiveness.”

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz enthused, “This center will be just the latest feather in the cap of ‘Hollywood East,’ a.k.a. Brooklyn. From Steiner Studios to Broadway Stages to the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at my alma mater, Brooklyn College. It might be time to bid ‘ta-ta’ to La-La Land!”

“Whether it’s an independent filmmaker working with a gaming company to create a short film or a digital startup networking with an established media company, we look forward to see what inventive and creative projects emerge from the Center,” said NYC Commissioner of Media & Entertainment Katherine Oliver.

The Media Center will hold its official grand opening on October 15th with a series of open houses and info sessions.

DUMBO attracts a large number of startups and wired businesses. The neighborhood houses co-working spaces and the DUMBO BID provides free public internet in the parks. Another project called the DUMBO Incubator, at 20 Jay Street, caters to technology-based entrepreneurs.

The Mayor also announced on Tuesday the launch of Cornell NYC Tech’s two-year degree program in Connective Media.

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