ASTORIA – New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris joined the Museum of the Moving Image’s (MoMI) annual gala on December 1 to announce $5 million in state funding he secured to advance the Museum’s educational work in film, television, and digital media.
This year’s Gala honorees, including acclaimed filmmaker Sarah Polley (Women Talking), renowned storyteller Kazuo Ishiguro (Living), Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras (All the Beauty and the Bloodshed), and two-time Emmy-nominated composer Michael Abels (Nope), were celebrated by friends and collaborators with a special program in the Museum’s grand Sumner M. Redstone Theater.
The evening also included a tribute to late film director and visual effects pioneer, Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner), and a performance by The Harlem Quartet.
“The Museum of the Moving Image is a powerful space to experience the history and project the future of film, television, and digital media. It has appropriately made its home in Astoria, Queens – the core of New York’s film and television industry for years,” said Gianaris, who added, “I am so proud to announce this funding to support their educational mission and enhance access to the incredible exhibitions they have for all to enjoy for generations to come.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the ongoing support of Senator Gianaris,” said Carl Goodman, Executive Director of Museum of the Moving Image. “We are enormously grateful to him for securing funding that will help take the Museum, its educational mission, and visitor experience to the next level.”
“Education lies at the heart of the Museum’s mission and this major support from the state will provide us with a strong foundation as we look to the future,” added Ivan Lustig, Co-Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Museum of the Moving Image.
The Senator secured the funding in the 2022-23 state budget and it will go towards situating educational tools at the core of the museum’s exhibitions space and giving greater public access to the museum’s media and game labs.
MoMI’s Digital Innovation Lab for Media and Games is a venue for free digital literacy classes, workshops, and media design challenges aimed at people of all ages and abilities. Participants learn to create their own digital games, short videos, apps, and digital artworks using mixed media, virtual media, and augmented reality with opportunities to earn industry-standard badges in media and tech.
The Lab offers two related opportunities for participants: (1) guidance and inspiration in charting their own adventures in digital literacy, from the rudimentary level to digital fluency and innovation, and(2) job skills development that will be invaluable in an increasingly competitive digital job market. Lab programs are available in English and Spanish, with some also in Arabic, Urdu and Cantonese. By offering free guided experimentation with creative technologies to underserved audiences, MoMI can extend an extraordinary opportunity to participants that will put them on the road to digital literacy.