Providence eyed as hub for digital-media production
BUILT TO SCALE: Digital City Project Manager Taliesin Gilkes-Bower said that R.I.’s “small size is actually an asset” for digital-media production.
PBN PHOTO/DAVID LEVESQUE
By Patricia Daddona PBN Staff Writer
Digital City, an initiative aiming to make Providence an international hub for digital media, is soliciting applications from would-be producers and collaborators.
Set to open Feb. 1 in AS220’s Mercantile Block at 131 Washington St., the project got underway with an open house on Nov. 11. Organizers are accepting applications through the end of the month.
Digital City, which could be nonprofit, or possibly a nonprofit/for-profit hybrid, has three facets: the membership-driven workspace, an education component and a long-term goal of developing a digital media design and production center, said Project Manager Taliesin Gilkes-Bower, founder Gary Glassman and Renee Hobbs, professor and founding director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island.
Interest in networking seemed to dominate among more than 100 open-house visitors, some of whom applied for $75-a-month, part-time slots that allow access without a dedicated workspace. Other membership tiers cost $150 a month for full time and $250 a month for “core” member access with dedicated workspace.
Gilkes-Bower spoke to the open-house crowd at AS220 and said the “co-work” workspace project could accommodate about 22 members.
“I’m really interested in development of the design community,” said Jason Pamental of East Providence, who owns a small Web-design company, H+W, and was considering a membership so he could run workshops here.
Glassman, a filmmaker who runs Providence Pictures, told Providence Business News prior to the open house that The Rhode Island Foundation provided $50,000 in seed money to help get things going. Digital City emerged from the Make It Happen RI initiative launched by foundation.
“The idea was,” he said, “that there are a lot of talented media people here in Providence and Rhode Island, and they’re largely invisible. I was thinking about a way to make them visible. There are many different places where people gather, whether it’s the universities or their individual studios, but there’s no real sense of a center, no one place to come together.”