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Giving the arts a digital-age kick

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal John Procaccini, executive director of the Brewery Arts Center, left and Mike Furlong talk about the addition of a audio recording studio to the center. Furlong will be doing commercial work in the studio, in addition to teaching classes in audio arts.
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It was time to bring the Brewery Arts Center into the 21st century. When he became the executive director of the center 10 months ago, John Procaccini’s goal was to expand the opportunities available at the center to include the digital arts.

Just after 1 a.m. Tuesday, the first step of his goal became a reality. Across from the center in what used to be St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, 511 W. King St., a recording studio was born.

“One of my goals was to bring in visual and digital arts and, this week, the first step of that is happening with this audio recording studio,” Procaccini said. “We are starting to marry the old arts with the new.”

The studio has the ability to record everything from a single acoustic performance to a contemporary jazz or rock group. The studio will also be the new home of JaM Digital Studios, owned by Mike Furlong.

“We have the ability to record an entire live performance and break it down track by track with individual tracks for each instrument,” Furlong said. “We provide the venue and take out the difficult part of the process of making an album.”

Furlong is renting the space for the studio from the arts center to do commercial work, but will also work in conjunction with the center to offer classes in the audio arts.

“This is a pathway for us,” Procaccini said. “What (Furlong) brings to the Brewery Arts Center is that we have the ability to teach what he does. This is one component we were missing.”

Beginning March 21, Furlong will offer a 12-week hands-on class teaching basic audio recording, including setup and microphone placement, recording performances, track manipulation and equalization and final preparation of albums. The class will meet once a week for 2.5 hours and is offered at a cost of $395.

“We want to take the hobbyist and make them better. When I grew up, there was no way for me, as a performing musician, to learn how to record my music,” Furlong said. “This will make it easier by helping people learn and making them better.”

Procaccini said the recording studio is the first phase of a plan to add a variety of digital art capabilities. The center is planning to add digital animation, video editing and production and several other facets of the digital arts in the 2,500-square-foot basement.

The nonprofit arts center is also bidding to take over control of the city’s public access television and hopes to have the video component in operation later this year.

“We are going to go ahead with the video component, whether we get the public access or not. Our goal is to prove we can do it either way,” Procaccini said. “For the Brewery Arts Center to move into the 21st century, it needs to be going into the digital arts.”

The main stage at the church is also used by youth programs and the center’s resident theater group for rehearsals. Upgrades to the stage and recording studio were funded through a grant by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office.

— Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.

For your information

• For information or to register for the basic audio class beginning March 21 at the Brewery Arts Center, call 883-1976.

• The cost of the class is $395, and space is limited. The class meets once a week for 2.5 hours.