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Jacob Burns Media Arts Lab Open for Business


Okay, the outside still doesn’t look like much — but it’s what’s inside that counts, right? A bit of ongoing construction didn’t stop the folks over at the Jacob Burns from holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Media Arts Lab, the new home for a host of hands-on filmmaking classes, in Pleasantville last Friday.

And boy, did a lot of people show up to see it open: Westchester Arts Council Executive Director Janet Langsam, with JBFC executive director Stephen Apkon, one of Westchester’s most influential residents according to Westchester Magazine; New York Times writer Janet Maslin; New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins; Westchester County legislator John Nonna; Pleasantville Mayor Bernard S. Gordon; actors Debra Winger and Arliss Howard; and more stopped by to offer congratulations.

Or maybe they just wanted to see inside. If you’re lucky enough to live in the southern part of the Valley, you should definitely make a trip to check it out, too. The new Lab is loaded with goodies: professional sound stages, a foley room, editing suites with setups that rival the pros, a 60-seat screening room, an animation workshop, and more. It’s a setup I’ve never seen before, even in the city: A real, professional studio where you can take classes and learn how to make movies without being a part of some kind of snooty film-school curriculum. You can browse the course offerings on the Center’s Web site. There’s good stuff in there for all ages, from three years old to the Woody Allen/Clint Eastwood age range.