Public Media Commons Opens in Grand Center

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

The Public Media Commons, St. Louis’ newest arts venue and incubator, officially opened Saturday night at 8pm with impressive video displays, food trucks, interactive experiences and live music from local bands Sleepy Kitty and The Reverbs.

“We don’t know of any place like it in the world,” says Grand Center Arts District President and CEO Vince Schoemehl. “It’s an environment where all ages can actively engage in creative experiences on a large scale. The Public Media Commons will be a dynamic new attraction for our region.”

The space is an open plaza located between Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio in Grand Center, and it’s meant to be a district focal point where the public can gather informally, take in some interactive art and culture and, hopefully, discuss it in an engaged, casual manner. A massive two-story wall forms an excellent projection point for video, capped off to make an L-shape with the addition of a perpendicular wall to the right of the amphitheater-style seating.

“This will be the only place in the country where arts, education and public media come together in an interactive outdoor space specifically designed to engage people in the cultural life of the community,” said the Nine Network’s President and CEO Jack Galmiche in a press release from October 2012, when construction broke ground. “We envision an energetic space that attracts and engages people of all ages. It will be a powerful expression of how we envision the future of public media.”

Part of the Commons’ goal is to engage with different community organizations, and upcoming efforts include work with StoryCorps, the Contemporary Art Museum, Feast Magazine, Alarm Will Sound, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Sheldon Concert Hall and TEDxGatewayArch. The project itself was a collaboration of the Nine Network, the University of Missouri—St. Louis and Grand Center, Inc.

“The possibilities are endless,” says Galmiche. “We’re inviting individuals and organizations to participate in the creation of experiences that bring the arts and dynamic digital video together to help us see things as we have never seen them before.”

 

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