St. Louis stations dedicate Public Media Commons

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Some 800 people attended the Sept. 13 dedication of Public Media Commons in St. Louis, a unique 9,000–square-foot outdoor media environment located between Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio that features two-story–high video walls and 5-foot interactive touch screens.

The $6 million project, funded by local contributions, is a collaboration among the stations and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Construction began in November 2012.

In his opening speech, Nine Network President Jack Galmiche called the commons “a symbol of who we are at 60 – forward-thinking, innovative, collaborative and committed to the power of a community that comes together to explore and improve the human experience.”

The commons was created as a gathering place to stimulate creative thinking and serve as an incubator of arts and ideas, said Terri Gates, Nine Network spokesperson. It’s already booked for several upcoming events, including a St. Louis Fashion Week kickoff party, a StoryCorps stop on the project’s mobile tour and the premiere of composer John Luther Adams’ “Ten Thousand Birds,” a live orchestral and multimedia work based on songs of birds native to Missouri.

Galmiche said at the dedication that the station has already received contributions from video artists in Tokyo, Amsterdam and Paris.

In addition to the massive video walls, the space includes four interactive LCD touch screens. “Visitors will be able to contribute photos, digital artwork or text and see what they’ve created displayed on the big screens,” Gates said. There’s also a performance stage and a window into one of Nine Network’s studios.

Funding for the commons was provided by several supporters, including the Emerson Charitable Trust, Boeing and the Steward Family Foundation.

Slideshow photographs by Jason Winkeler Photography for Nine Network.