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MINNEAPOLIS, MN, June 18, 2009 — The Institute of Production and Recording (IPR) in Minneapolis recently opened the doors to a unique multimedia arts after-school program, The Ideawerks Indigenous Creative Academy, which is free for kids ages 12 to 18. In collaboration with The Jackie Lee Robinson Foundation, with support from the Hubert H. Humphrey Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the goal of this unique multimedia arts after school program is to provide participants opportunities to engage in positive artistic and social education activities as well as the encouragement for self-expression, communication and leadership.

The program, which runs 12 weeks in the summer and 10 weeks recurrently during the school year, which at no cost to parents addresses current economic concerns, provides participants with the creative platform and tools that are vital to creating multimedia audio and visual projects from conception to completion. They will learn recording techniques, record audio and video information on digital workstations, study music basics and computer software to create music tracks, videos, produce and record individual multimedia projects, develop skills in the areas of collaboration, presentation, “completion and delivery,� and acquire professional capabilities.

To kick off the opening of the school, a ceremony was held in Powderhorn Park where the school is located. The event was hosted by Jessica Berg, concert and events coordinator for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and emceed by entertainment journalist, television host, and recent regional Emmy Award winner Kristen Aldridge. They introduced a program of various speakers from the community including Obie Kipper Jr., district manager of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board; André Fischer, executive director of music industries at IPR and acting president of the JLR Foundation; Keith Parker, director of special partnerships with Twin Cities Public Television; Mary Merrill Anderson, commissioner at-large and vice president of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board; and JP Hungelmann, pro audio outlet development administrator at IPR.

Morris Hayes, producer, artist, and long time musical director for Prince, took time out of his schedule to fly back to his hometown of Minneapolis to show his support for this exceptional program. “As a personal friend of the late Jackie Lee Robinson, I have nothing but heartfelt appreciation for the efforts of all involved to help make Jackie’s vision for Ideawerks come to life,� says Hayes. “I will continue to stay involved with the program and encourage all community members to do so as well. Students are given the remarkable opportunity to learn recording techniques and music basics at no charge, allowing them to express themselves in a creative way, and in a safe environment, too. This program will change many lives and I am happy to be a part of it.�

“Ideawerks® couldn’t have been made possible without the support of some of the biggest names in the pro audio industry,� says Fischer. “I would like to send a special thanks to Avid, Digidesign, Sennheiser, M-Audio, Ableton, S4 Design, ADFX, Allied Audio and Apple for donating some of their best-selling professional gear to be used as learning tools for the program participants.�

“We were also fortunate enough to have the support of several leading educational and scholarship organizations and foundations, including Public Achievement®, the Globe Education Network, the Minneapolis Park Foundation, and the Page Education Foundation, which has been gracious enough to donate the first scholarship to the program,� continues Fischer.

“IDEAWERKS� sessions begin Monday, June 15 in the Powderhorn Park Studio in Minneapolis. Registration is required. For more information, please visit

About IPR
Integrating a liberal arts education with business and technical training expertise, The Institute of Production & Recording provides a learning environment that reflects today’s evolving entertainment industry. Its classrooms invite active discussions, creative problem solving, and presents an open forum for the exchange of new methods and ideas. Encouraging creativity and recognizing achievement, IPR assists its students in reaching their career goals in music, multimedia production, audio recording and music business. IPR is based in Minneapolis, MN. For further information, visit

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