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IPR Students Providing Services to St. Paul Homeless Shelter

By Laura Benda

Students at IPR are learning more than just technical skills; they’re also learning about pitching in and helping out the community.  Four classes from different degree programs – music business and entertainment, and audio engineering and production – are collaborating to use what they’re learning in class to benefit St. Paul homeless shelter The Family Place.

“We are thrilled to have IPR students aboard!” said Margaret Lovejoy, executive director of The Family Place.

The shelter is hosting two 10-year anniversary fundraisers in October, and IPR students will be involved in several aspects.  To promote the events, IPR’s Business of Commercial Music Production class is recording a public service announcement that will play on local radio stations.  The students will be learning about roles, duties, and responsibilities of a commercial music producer, learning to work with real-world clients, and observing the process of creating and recording. 

To prepare for the event, students in IPR’s digital photography class traveled to the shelter to photograph daily life at The Family Place for promotional materials and display in the shelter.  This project not only benefits The Family Place, but also IPR students by giving them the opportunity to shoot portrait and candid shots for professional use as well as use advanced post-production techniques to edit final images. 

A third class, Digital Cinema Production, is busy producing a promotional video showcasing “the real face of homelessness” for the shelter to show at its fundraisers.  With this project, cinematography students will practice pre-production, production, and post-production processes, experience the collaborative nature of the profession, and learn basic operation and adjustment of camera and lighting equipment.

“It’s good for the students to realize that not all video production is centered around Hollywood-types of movies,” said instructor Amanda Kirchner. 

Finally, at the two vastly different fundraising events – one a black tie event with a cellist and pianist, and the other a youth hip-hop concert – audio engineering students will run live sound and film the live event.  These students will demonstrate proficiency in sound reinforcement using digital crossovers, analog and digital mixers, and signal processors while maintaining industry and professional standards.

The Family Place is Ramsey County’s only day shelter for homeless people with children.  It is able to serve 40 families per day though it receives an average of 120 requests per day.  In addition to providing places to rest and relax, the shelter also provides its clients with three meals and a snack each day, showers, telephone and computer use, and a laundry facility.



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