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IPR Launches Ideawerks in Minneapolis

IPR instructor Andrew Lucas sets up workstations for students.

Photo: Emma Freeman Photography

On May 31, 2009, in Minneapolis, Minn., notable music industry veterans, corporate sponsors, and national and community leaders participated in the inauguration of a city outreach program called Ideawerks. In collaboration with the Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Institute of Production and Recording (IPR) has reestablished a free and unique multimedia arts education program at Powderhorn Park near downtown Minneapolis.

Ideawerks’ on-site recording studio

Photo: Emma Freeman Photography

Rechristened the Ideawerks Indigenous Creative Academy, it will provide deserving students—ages 12 to 18—with a creative, positive environment and the latest, modern technological tools to create multimedia works such as albums and videos from start to finish. Within a converted park facility that was especially remodeled as a recording studio and multimedia lab, they will learn to use computers; multimedia software such as Avid’s Pro Tools and Media Composer product lines, Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Propellerhead Reason and Ableton Live; and recording equipment and instruments from Digidesign, Sennheiser, Shure Incorporated and M-Audio.

Helmed by André Fischer, longtime music business veteran and executive director of IPR’s Music Industries program, members of IPR’s certified instruction staff will teach an introductory curriculum that spans 12 weeks in the summer and 10 weeks recurrently during the school year. In addition to IPR’s professors, curriculum and teaching aides, IPR/Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation have contributed state-of-the-art computers, multimedia software and digital recording equipment to the program. In addition, Fischer has secured corporate sponsorship and continued support for Ideawerks from Avid, Digidesign, Sennheiser, Ableton, Shure Incorporated, M-Audio and Adobe Systems.

IPR staff offer their thanks to Avid, Digidesign and M-Audio. From left: Eddie Ciletti, Erica West, J.P. Hungelmann, Matthias Saunders, Walter Chancellor Jr., Sandra Robinson, André Fischer, Brian “Champ” Harmon, Lance Sabin, Brian Jacoby, Steve Hodge, Eric Trelstad and Jessica Berg (alumnus), Concert & Events Coordinator for Minneapolis Music in the Parks.

Photo: Emma Freeman Photography

Beyond providing youth with a safe, free after-school and evening arts-based educational program, Ideawerks intends to engage students in positive social activities in a classroom setting under the guidance of adult entertainment professionals who serve as mentors. Students will discover career opportunities, improve self-confidence, develop collaborative skills by working in groups, and learn to better communicate through final presentation, completion and delivery of their perspective projects.

For more information about Ideawerks, visit Visit IPR at

Barry Rudolph is an L.A.-based recording engineer/mixer. Visit