Multimedia arts education program set to expand in Minneapolis park system

Multimedia arts education program set to expand in Minneapolis park systemPilot program at Powderhorn Park underway

A joint venture agreement with the Institute of Production and Recording (IPR), the Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation (JLRF) and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) sets the stage for expansion of a unique multimedia arts education program in the parks.


Since 2003, IPR has facilitated a recording studio in the Powderhorn Recreation Center that has provided a small number of neighborhood youth access to recording equipment and supervisory staff so they could learn to produce and record music. Although the equipment was basic and technical support limited, the studio became an attraction fueling greater interest in the program.


As a result, IPR/JLRF developed a program to not just enhance the Powderhorn studio, but eventually make recording, production, graphic design and multimedia arts available to community sites throughout Minneapolis. It is envisioned that over the next five years “Ideawerks” studios will be made available to many MPRB recreation centers throughout the park system.


The first phase at Powderhorn Park will renovate space in the recreation center. IPR/JLRF will provide state-of-the-art computers, multimedia software and digital recording equipment, as well as certified instructors, curriculum and teaching plans.

The equipment will be installed and the program operational this summer.



The multimedia program, called “Ideawerks” Indigenous Creative Academy, is for ages 12-18 years and the course runs 12 weeks in the summer and 10 weeks recurrently during the school year. The course can accommodate 32 students per session and includes lessons, projects, lectures, special guests, demonstrations and studio time.


From the technical aspect, students will learn recording techniques and multimedia production; record audio and video information on digital media workstations; study music basics and computer software to create music tracks, videos; and produce and record individual multimedia projects.


Students will also discover career opportunities in the multimedia arts industry; develop skills in collaboration, presentation, completion and delivery; improve personal confidence; and acquire professional capabilities and communication skills.


“Beyond multi-media arts education, we are also teaching public achievement, community service and leadership skills to take our youth into the 21st century successfully,” explained Andre Fischer, executive director of music industries at IPR and acting president of the Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation. “Program participants will consider how they will share their multimedia training and leadership skills with the community.”


“Together we will provide a program that encourages respect, learning, creativity and non-violence,” said Tom Nordyke, President of the Park Board of Commissioners. “We will reap huge benefits from the program and more importantly so will the youth.”


Program FundingUnder terms of the agreement, MPRB will provide space, program registration and building security. IPR/JLRF will provide the equipment, instruction and program management. IPR and the JLRF will serve as the fund-raising arm for the venture, with the Foundation for Minneapolis Parks providing fiscal management of contributions.  

No additional expenditures for the MPRB are committed or anticipated at this time. Expansion or future development of the program will be funded through the Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation.


“This partnership with IPR and the Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation is a win-win-win situation,” said Jon Gurban, MPRB superintendent. “It’s an example of 126 years of partnerships with organizations that come to us because of our reputation for excellence both for those we serve and how we serve them.”


The Public Grand Opening of the Powderhorn studio facility is scheduled for Saturday, May 30 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM.   There will be a presentation, studio tour, food and beverages, and special guests, including MPRB Commissioners, Supervisors, and representatives of the Minneapolis City Council, Mayor’s office, celebrities and families.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  

IPR is a premier school of recording technology, music business, multimedia production and liberal arts located in Minneapolis. The Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation is named in memory of one of IPR’s founders.




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