The musician Questlove joined city officials in unveiling the Made in NY Media Center Tuesday, wearing a headset that allowed him and a founder to cut a ceremonial ribbon without lifting a finger.
"Keep it the old fashioned way," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joked as a machine forced a big pair of scissors to slice the red ribbon in half.
But officials hope the Brooklyn center, on DUMBO's John Street in a 104-year-old coffee factory, will help propel the city into the future.
"The way media is produced and is consumed is changing dramatically," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Opening Oct. 15, the 20,000-square-foot center by IFP will serve as the first government-sponsored incubator focusing on digital media. Along with community space, the center will have desks, classrooms, an art gallery, a screening room, a cafe and workspace for film, television, video, gaming, technology and advertising professionals.
The public will be able to take classes at the center while storytellers, artists and tech entrepreneurs, along with media and corporate sponsors, can apply for membership.
There are already 10 incubators focusing on various fields in the city, said Kyle Kimball, president of the city's Economic Development Corporation.
Speaking at the latest incubator, officials also launched Cornell NYC Tech's degree program in Connective Media, a two-year masters program designed to train engineers and technologists for the media sector.
Officials hope both the center and program will ensure the city's media industry remains on the cutting-edge—and vice-versa.
"While tech is expanding the very horizon of possibility for media, New York's media strength is also fueling the city's incredible tech growth," Bloomberg said.
Questlove, the center's first artist-in-residence, said the birth of any new movement—hip-hop, punk or Dada—has had a center or hub where artists could collaborate.
"This will be a vibrant space that will embrace forward-thinking, like-minded artists," Questlove said.
Before cutting the ribbon by just relaxing, Questlove marveled at technology's impact.
"Technology has really played a game-changing role in how we create and how we consume art," he said.
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