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Hochul announces essential upgrades to Buffalo's Apollo Media Center


Mon, May 15th 2023 10:35 am

$962,000 state investment will help center acquire new equipment to support business development, job training, youth programming in east Buffalo

√ Builds on New York's $65 million placemaking strategy to revitalize east Buffalo

Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced a plan to upgrade the Apollo Media Center in east Buffalo to support job training, youth programming and media production. New equipment will allow the Apollo to expand media education to city residents who own a business, and provide a safe creative outlet for young people to explore music and art, while also teaching skills in video production and coding to help familiarize them with media careers.

A sample of the production work being done at the Apollo can be seen here.

"This investment will help to support the Apollo Media Center's media education programming as it continues to inspire young people and members of the Buffalo business community with a passion for video editing, graphics, and studio production," Hochul said. "The Apollo has anchored the east Buffalo neighborhood for years – as a business development and education center, as a stepping stone to higher learning, and in the wake of last year's tragic shooting, as a hub for vital information and community resources. This project reaffirms the state's commitment to uplifting the people of east Buffalo and will ensure that the Apollo continues to play a role in this community in the years to come."

Currently, the Apollo Media Center offers classes in television technology, editing, photoshop and digital design, but on a limited basis. Upgrades to Apollo's equipment will allow the center to expand programming and further support business development, job training, youth programming and creative expression in east Buffalo. Additionally, residents will be able to use the upgraded studios to create educational content for the city's public access channel.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The equipment being provided to the Apollo Media Center will help students and residents learn the production skills and multimedia knowledge that is important to find jobs and grow businesses in today's economy. Students will have the opportunity to use cameras, editing booths and production studios to create impactful projects that shine a light on east Buffalo and all of its potential. We look forward to seeing the work of the students and the impact it will have on the community."

City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown stated, "As we continue to do everything we can to get and grow jobs in Buffalo, I thank Gov. Kathy Hochul for making this tremendous investment in the Apollo Media Center that will provide equity for those in our community who want to be part of Buffalo's digital communication and media workforce. The enhancement of this next-generation, state-of-the-art media center will help to ensure that we grow our own talent at home at this one-of-a-kind facility in the Jefferson Avenue corridor and make these exciting careers accessible to residents in their own communities.

New York State Sen. Tim Kennedy said, "The Apollo Media Center has served as an important community resource for decades, and the attack on May 14th only underscored how critical this city space is for disseminating programming, information and education. This investment in equipment upgrades will help foster a new generation of journalists, business owners, job seekers, and more, and will fuel continued opportunity on Buffalo's east Side."

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "This investment of $962,000 worth of new equipment for the Apollo Media Center is an investment in our youth, our community, and our future economy. Offering space for small businesses to advertise, increasing awareness via public service announcements and allowing young adults to refine and share their creative talents provides an opportunity for sustainable career path training in media, marketing, the performing arts, the film industry and much more. Thank you to Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo, Hope Knight and Empire State Development, and Gov. Hochul for making this possible"

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "The Apollo Media Center is a community hub and has served as a light in dark times to bring people together. This investment in the center will help more students and individuals to find ways to express their creativity, give life and voice to their dreams and aspirations, and acquire marketable skills that will help them advance and grow in business and in life."

For more information about the classes and programs at the Apollo Media Center, go to www.ApolloMediaCenter.com.

Cardinale Green, the director of the Apollo Media Center, said, "This grant recognizes the impact the Apollo Media Center continues to have on our community, while also helping us address the challenges we face in the digital age. I thank Gov. Kathy Hochul for this critical investment, which will enable us to purchase the modern media equipment needed to provide quality training to students and those in the community who are interested in media careers."

Hochul’s team said, “Through the East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund, New York state is offering the City of Buffalo incentives valued at $962,000 to support upgrades to the Apollo. The state has dedicated $65 million to a placemaking strategy to revitalize the city's east side through investments in stabilizing neighborhoods and ensuring opportunities for homeownership; strengthening commercial corridors by promoting mixed use, walkable districts; improving regionally significant historical and natural assets; expanding opportunities for workforce connections; and supporting and growing entrepreneurship.

“The Apollo Media Center first opened on April 2, 1941. For many years, the 900-seat theater provided countless hours of entertainment and was a hub of activity on the Jefferson Avenue commercial strip. However, the theater stopped showing movies when a fire caused extensive damage in 1966. In 2001, the Apollo was converted into a state-of-the-art telecommunications facility. The 18,000-square-foot facility contains two TV studios, four private editing suites, a conference room, a classroom, and other amenities. Much of the older theater was maintained, with the old marquee replaced by the electronic message board. The lobby is decorated with a unique ‘tile quilt’ project displaying the artistic talents of many local residents.”

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov).

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