What prompted Berklee to establish this new center in New York City?
New York is an important hub for students and alumni of Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee for interning, networking, and establishing careers in every facet of the industry.
Berklee is already active in New York. Since 2014, the college’s faculty has trained more than 300 New York public school teachers to deploy Berklee’s free PULSE curriculum to more than 60,000 students through the Amp Up NYC program. Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumni populate the New York music scene at every level—from Broadway shows, the Blue Note stage, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and television house bands, to the city’s recording studios, record labels, and management and publishing companies. This project would provide to our community additional opportunities, which is one of our highest priorities.
The fortuitous combination of the availability of the studio, the determination of the City of New York to preserve the recording business in Manhattan, and the vision of a Berklee board member to bring financing to the project made this center a reality.
What is a public-private partnership?
Public-private partnerships between a government agency and private-sector company can be used to finance, build, and operate projects to provide a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility. Governments have used such a mix of public and private endeavors throughout history.
Financing a project through a public-private partnership can allow a project to be completed sooner or make it a possibility in the first place. The partnership for this project includes Berklee, the City of New York, and private investors.
What is the name of the studio?
The name of the the recording complex is Power Station at BerkleeNYC. Tony Bongiovi founded the studio as the Power Station in 1977 and it was renamed by new owners as Avatar Studios in 1996.
Will it continue to operate as a commercial studio?
Berklee plans to operate the the facility as a professional commercial recording studio, continuing the tradition of serving as the studio-of-choice in New York for artists of international stature, cast recordings, rising artists, and cutting edge, modern music.
Does Berklee own the building?
Through the partnership, Berklee has a long-term lease to manage and operate the facility.
This project is possible because of three very significant philanthropic gifts, one of which is the largest in Berklee's history. We believe more will be forthcoming. These will constitute the Berklee New York Fund, which will provide the resources to operate the educational programs, renovate and reimagine the studios, and more.
What are Berklee’s plans for the building?
Berklee plans to renovate and transform Power Station at BerkleeNYC into a state-of-the-art recording and video production facility, serving the city’s music, theater, television, and film industries, as it has for many years. In addition to the studio renovation, the building’s lower level will be converted into a flexible-use practice/performance venue, including an affordable rehearsal space featuring a professional-size stage and state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and video technology. It will also include a video control room to capture and post-produce video from throughout the building; a virtual reality/augmented reality studio; and flexible spaces for ensemble practice rooms and classrooms. Berklee also plans to transform the building’s common spaces to feature displays that celebrate New York’s musical significance and the history of the studio.
What are the benefits for College, Conservatory, and online students?
This new home for Berklee brings an enormous opportunity to expand our presence in New York City, and create continuing education, career strategy, and skills acquisition programs for musicians, composers, producers, and engineers, as well as programs exploring the intersection of music, dance, theater, and technology; talent incubation; and internships for our College, Conservatory, and online students.
There is a lot of work ahead of us to determine an ideal blend of professional recording, educational programming, and community outreach. We welcome your comments and questions as we work together to increase educational and career opportunities for the Berklee community, and for musicians throughout the New York metropolitan area.
What is the City of New York’s goal in the project?
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the New York City Economic Development Corporation want to preserve and modernize the facility, the last recording studio in New York that is able to house a full orchestra; ensure that top recording artists continue to have access to a world-class facility in Manhattan; and allow Berklee to provide meaningful community outreach, such as continuing education, career strategy, skills acquisition, and advocacy for New York musicians, composers, producers, and engineers; public opportunities to attend artist lectures, workshops, and master classes;and courses in performance, songwriting, and production for New York City’s public school students.
Will there be employment available at Power Station at BerkleeNYC?
The program will launch with a small staff to operate the studio and plan for new programs. Open positions will be posted at Berklee’s job portal.
Can I book the studio for my projects?
The studios are currently under transition, renovations, and refurbishments. But please reach out to us and we will be happy to keep you up to date on our plans to reopen. Additional questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.