WVSU’s Economic Development Center Includes Region’s First Digital Arts Production Studio
CHARLESTON, WV -- Media freelancers, filmmakers, webcasters, web designers and photographers, digital entrepreneurs—mobile creatives of all description—now have a home in Charleston.
At 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, they’ll converge at the West Virginia State University Economic Development Center (EDC) at 1506 Kanawha Blvd SW, Charleston, WV, in celebration of the launch of DigiSo, the state’s first virtual and physical co-working space designed for digital creatives.
DigiSo™ is the result of collaborative brainstorming by the WVSU EDC, Create West Virginia, and more than a dozen working professionals in media design, production and Internet technologies. The space will offer drop-in work stations, an editing suite, voice studio, secure access and storage, all basic production equipment creatives need, and meeting space ideal for large and intimate groups.
Jenny Fertig, program leader for community and economic development at WVSU’s Extension Service, says DigiSo is one means to a larger community development vision. “We are already seeing that the space is going to galvanize our creative community. The vision is that, just by having a collaborative space, they will help incubate more digital entrepreneurs throughout the state. It’s part talent hub, part incubator, part new-media, new-business think tank.”
The facility offers rentable offices, training rooms and equipment, small conference and meeting space, studio production space including a green screen often needed in film production, and all the accoutrements of an office including receptionist services.
“People can drop in to the public area and plug in for free or have an impromptu meeting, just like they would in any coffee shop,” says Sarah Halstead, the Katalyst Development Strategies consultant who managed the project for Create West Virginia in cooperation with the WVSU EDC. “It will be very informal. They can also buy a la carte services. Fees can range from the cost of a single copy to fulltime office rental of up to $500 a month.”
To tap into the building’s major equipment, services and facilities, workers must become members for a fee based on how much and how often the building’s facilities will be used. Complete information about membership and facilities will be available online at www.digiso.org after April 10.
The inaugural celebration will kick off with brief introductions of DigiSo collaborators and mentors from a variety of creative industry and entrepreneurial disciplines, tours of the new facilities, refreshments, and at 5:30 p.m., a special Ignite Charleston™ event.
The second Ignite® gathering will focus on the theme, “Wired for a Webolution,” to celebrate the DigiSo launch. Presenters, including Curtis Baskerville, Jeff James, KeriBlog, Jennifer Miller, Alex Morgado, Cullen Naumoff, and Brent Patterson, will each make five-minute show-and-tell presentations of ideas, projects, and visions using the Ignite® format (www.igniteshow.com ) where each speaker gets a maximum of 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide, to tell her or his story.
The Tuesday event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Entrepreneurs, would-be digital entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and supporters of economic and community development efforts are encouraged to RSVP at www.wvsuedc.eventbrite.com.
For more information, contact
Media Relations Director
Katalyst Development Strategies
304 553 4576 r,email@example.com
DigiSo Project Consultant
DigiSo Project Collaborator
Program Leader for Community and Economic Development, WVSU Extension Service
304 541 1459
About WVSU EDC
West Virginia State University Extension Service’s Economic Development Center (EDC) is a joint regional effort of business, education, faith-based agencies, and community leaders to impact the region’s economy through creative collaborations. Located on Charleston’s West Side, the Center is designed to address poverty through home ownership, education, micro-enterprise development, workforce training, and employment.
Skill and educational development, including literacy (reading, writing, and computer), online GED, and other adult basic education programs are available at the Center. Job and career advancement training, as well as skills development to obtain and retain employment, are also provided. These initiatives strive to increase the employability and eventual earning potential of participants.
Mentoring, coaching, and a multi-step program for small business development and incubation are available through the Center. These initiatives strive to enhance the development of minority-owned businesses as viable economic options. Money management/financial literacy, credit counseling, and other important life skills are also taught for the ultimate goal of increasing home-ownership in these neighborhoods.
About Create WV
Create WV is an independent grass roots organization launched by Vision Shared (www.visionshared.com) whose vision is to empower West Virginians at a local level to place themselves among the most innovative, dynamic, prosperous, creative communities in the world.
· Our mission is to build creative communities for the new economy. Our strategies to achieve this include:
- Empowering communities at a local level to build their own "create" team and build a new economy growth plan through training and consulting support
- Developing and launching commercial and social entrepreneurship projects, businesses and initiatives that improve WV
- Supporting and initiating statewide policies for building creative community pillars: quality of place, diversity, technology, education and entrepreneurship
- Promoting West Virginia as a great place to create today to encourage artists, entrepreneurs and other creatives to live and create here!