Just a day after his announcement that free Wi-Fi hotspots will be launched across (some of) the city's major commercial districts, Mayor Bloomberg today cut the ribbon on another of his efforts to ensure New York's supremacy as a tech hub: The Made in NY Media Center, because if Bloomberg loves anything it's media!
Not to worry, though. The new space, located at 30 John Street in DUMBO, isn't designed to support that media. It's an incubator for "storytellers, creative professionals and entrepreneurs across multiple disciplines" to gather and create...whatever the hell they want, frankly, as long as it pumps the image of the city as an Innovative Hub.
"Collaboration between the sectors is crucial if we're going to be the global media capital of the digital age, and our administration is working hard to make sure that’s the case," Bloomberg said during the press conference.
The new incubator—housed in a 104-year-old building originally constructed as a coffee factory—also has its own high-profile artist in residence—Questlove, best known as drummer for the Roots, the in-house band of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Wearing a black blazer adorned with his trademark heart, the artist assured attendees that the center would "embrace forward-thinking, like minded artists" in various disciplines—film, art, music new media, games, storytelling," and incorporate them into the digital space.
"In recent years, technology has really played a game-changing role in how we create and how we consume art," he said. "Who knows—maybe I'll create the new Tonight Show theme with someone here at the center."
The announcement also included the launch of Cornell NYC Tech's degree program in Connective Media, a two-year masters program that focuses on "extracting and using information from a variety of media data sources."
According to the mayor's office, the city's production industry contributes more than $7 billion to the local economy. The city is now the second most-funded tech hub after Silicon Valley, but Bloomberg will certainly spend every waking moment of his time left in office ensuring that that changes.