Pittsburgh’s most well-regarded university is starting a graduate arts and technology program in the Brookly Navy Yard, further adding to the geographical confusion surrounding the film industry’s attempts to turn the borough into Hollywood Northeast.
Carnegie Mellon University — a Pennsylvania school well known for its drama and engineering programs — will begin running a special hybrid master’s program focused on arts and technology out of the Navy Yard’s Steiner Studios in 2015, Mayor Bloomberg announced on Wednesday.
“Steiner Studios, the Navy Yard, and the Brooklyn communities that they neighbor are at the heart of this exciting and innovative environment,” Bloomberg said.
Steiner is the East Coast’s largest film and television production center and has hosted shoots for the likes of “Spider-Man,” Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and HBO’s “Bored to Death.” To those Pittsburgh students whose dreams of a dual master’s are dashed by the distance between classrooms, the studio says that there is no place like this city for learning lens crafts.
“The convergence of media and technology is real and it belongs in New York,” said Doug Steiner, the chair of Steiner Studios.
The grad school extension will be in heady company, with the recently-opened Made in New York Media Center in Dumbo for a neighbor and Brooklyn College’s already-rolling graduate film program sharing the Steiner space.
Carnegie Mellon’s curriculum will up the ante with multi-disciplinary offerings including social media, gaming, film production, architecture, and performing arts.
The university’s program is coming to Washington Avenue near Flushing Street as part of the city’s applied science initiative, which is an effort by Bloomberg to pepper New York with spin-offs of major schools. Other such projects include the Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s annex campus on Roosevelt Island, at New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress in Downtown. The three-term mayor, who leaves office in January, has high hopes for his educational legacy.
“In the years to come, we expect the initiative to spin off hundreds of start-up companies and create tens of thousands of jobs,” Bloomberg said.
The Carnegie Mellon move comes 113 years after Andrew Carnegie donated $5.2-million to the city to build a system of branch libraries and could be viewed as a visitation by the steel magnate’s restless ghost.
One Brooklyn resident had a yet different take on the new grad school.
“If only the University of Pittsburgh was opening a campus, then this city would finally have a good basketball team,” said a sports-fan who asked to be identified only as a yinzer, a term for a Pittsburgh native, for fear of reprisals.