BRIC opens 3,500-square-foot media lab in Downtown Brooklyn

October 1, 2019 Alex Williamson
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A new production workshop for aspiring media makers opened Thursday night at 75 Rockwell Place in Downtown Brooklyn. The 3,500-square-foot BRIC Community Media Incubator features a co-working area, a screening room, editing suites for audio and video and a professional podcasting studio.

BRIC is the nonprofit arts organization behind BRIC TV, BRIC Radio and the public-access show Brooklyn Free Speech. BRIC also offers free and low-cost media education in subjects like video production, photography and motion graphics, that serves roughly 4,000 children and 6,000 adults every year.

The new lab is designed to support BRIC’s media fellowship program, which is scheduled to launch with its first cohort in January 2020.

BRIC’s new art incubator will include a podcasting studio, editing suite, co-working space and screening room. Photo by Liz Maney, courtesy of BRIC

According to BRIC President Kristina Newman-Scott, who took over the role from Leslie Griesbach Schultz last year, the organization has not yet settled on a hard number of spots in the fellowship program, but the number will likely be less than 20. The call for applicants is expected to begin in late October.

Newman-Scott says the ideal applicant will already have some media-making chops.

“We’re really looking for artists who, rather than being completely new to the practice, have developed a language in media and are really ready to take advantage of the kinds of resources that we have,” said Newman-Scott.

The media lab fellowship will last for six months and run twice per year. It’s open to applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, including TV, visual arts, podcasting and other disciplines — as long as they’re committed to a career in media and they’ve produced something that shows their current skill level.

Kristina Newman-Scott took over the helm of BRIC in September 2018. Photo by Liz Maney, courtesy of BRIC

“That could be a podcast, it could have been a scripted series. Maybe they’ve done a documentary film, or maybe they’ve done short films,” she said. “We don’t want to make any assumptions about what kinds of submissions we’ll receive.”

Newman-Scott also emphasized that BRIC will prioritize diversity in the fellowship selection process.

“Part of our DNA at BRIC is really thinking about access and inclusivity in the arts,” she said. “It’s important to us that the people we engage with reflect these communities that we all live in.”

The new media lab is right around the corner from the organization’s BRIC House headquarters, as well as BAM Harvey, the Mark Morris Dance Center and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts.

BRIC hosted an opening party for the lab Thursday night, and according to Newman-Scott, a couple hundred artists, funders, board members and community members turned out to celebrate the new space.

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