Computer and art-making lab lands in Crosstown

If you walk through the door of 430 N. Cleveland, past work boots, hard hats and blueprints for Crosstown Concourse, you will find a back room filled with screens. Crosstown Arts’ digital lab is a computer lab open to the public until it relocates into the Concourse building next spring.
“It’s like a shared studio,” said Lauren Cain, digital lab and gallery attendant.
In addition to being open to creatives of any background and skill level, the lab holds workshops including t-shirt design for middle school students and a photography class for adults taught by Amurica’s Jamie Harmon. Teaching artist and playwright Jazmin Miller uses the space to expose her theatre students from Story Booth’s after-school program to the process of making a play from headshots, to set design to writing.
“For people who wouldn’t normally use the digital lab, like kids at a local middle school who have never been to a space like this, the idea is to have them alongside working professionals to get exposure and know the possibilities,” said Miller.
The lab, still in its nascent form, contains six MacBooks with the full Adobe Creative Suite as well as Avid Pro Tools, the industry standard for recording software. Each station also includes midi controllers and a scarlet audio interface, a boon for musicians who wish to record and edit music.
“Our mission it to support the creative community in Memphis,” said Justin Thompson, Crosstown Arts’ video producer. “This is another resource for artists, musicians, and writers of all levels to use.”
When it moves to Crosstown Concourse, the digital lab will double in size and join a woodworking shop, editing booths and other creative spaces to form an expansive space full of resources for the creative community. There, artists can have access to these spaces as well as the Crosstown Arts galleries for a small fee. Crosstown Arts will continue its relationship with area schools and continue to hold an expanded calendar of workshops.
“It’s an environment where people can do focused work surrounded by other creative individuals and feed off the energy of people who are there doing different kinds of work but have the same goal of creating,” Cain added.
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Read more articles by J. Dylan Sandifer.

J. Dylan Sandifer is a freelance writer living in Memphis since 2008. They have also contributed writing and research for MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, VICE News, and Choose901. 

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