PRG's involvement with the new degree program will be extensive, including training and equipment. They will provide equipment valued at approximately $500,000 to ensure that students are working with the most current and widely used entertainment technology. In addition, PRG will assist in recruiting leading industry professionals to work with the students. The training provided by PRG will include the university, the two colleges and the RiverPark Center staff.
“PRG has long supported a wide variety of educational efforts in our industry,” explained Jere Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG. “This is truly an exceptional collaboration that will offer students the chance to get both a foundation of real world skills along with the opportunity to learn while doing. That kind of training is rare and invaluable.”
PRG is an ideal match for the program spearheaded by RiverPark Center's President and CEO Zev Buffman, a Tony-nominated Broadway producer with more than 40 Broadway shows and 100 National Tours to his credit. Buffman and Harris have known each other for close to 30 years, having first worked together while Buffman was producing Broadway shows. Together, they bring the program unmatched professional experience and unique insight into the requirements that should be included in the degree curriculum.
Both PRG and RiverPark, where several of the classes will take place, will educate students in the different aspects of producing and supporting a professional theatrical production. The non-profit regional performing arts and civic center, RiverPark Center, has nearly 100,000 square feet including a state-of-the-art 1,479 seat auditorium (Cannon Hall), the 300 seat multi-purpose Jody Berry Experimental Theater, an extraordinary outdoor entertainment patio on the banks of the beautiful Ohio River, meeting rooms, and a bricked center courtyard, making it the premiere civic landmark on the downtown Owensboro riverfront.
Working closely with designers, producers, programmers, engineers and production managers, PRG has developed innovative products and technologies. Their proprietary products have expanded the creative possibilities of designers and producers with revolutionary advances in scenic automation, lighting control, and video control. “We will be able to bring to students equipment they might not have the chance to work with in any other academic environment,” noted Tim Brennan, Vice President of PRG. “We are very proud of our products and of the depth of inventory of other manufacturer's equipment that we can provide. The technology these students will be exposed to will be amazing and will give them a real advantage going forward.”
Program participant junior and senior college students will also be given the chance to apply for PRG's internship program. The PRG internships cover all aspects of the entertainment technology industry, including lighting, audio, video, scenic fabrication and automation. “We are proud that our internships are so highly regarded. This year, we received more than 1,000 applications for 40 intern positions,” said Richard Rubin, Recruitment/Internship Program Coordinator for PRG. Positions are available throughout the year in locations in North America and many former interns have gone on to become permanent PRG employees.
PRG is excited to be collaborating with Buffman and Cheryl King, President, Kentucky Wesleyan College; Father Larry Hostetter, President, Brescia University; and Larry Durrence, acting President of the Owensboro Community and Technical College on this innovative program. “This is an industry that is all about people and PRG is pleased to have the chance to work with these fine institutions,” commented Harris.
For more information on PRG, please visit www.prg.com.
For more information on RiverPark Center, please visit www.riverparkcenter.org
About Production Resource Group — Production Resource Group, L.L.C., (PRG) is the world's leading supplier of entertainment and event technology to a wide range of markets, including corporate and automotive events, concerts, special events, theatre, television and film, trade shows, and installations, such as theme parks, museums, retail stores and performing arts centers. PRG provides integrated services and equipment, including audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging, and scenery and automation systems, for these markets from more than 31 offices in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
About RiverPark Center — RiverPark Center RiverPark Center is a non-profit organization that strives to improve the quality of life by hosting and presenting diverse arts and civic events, with a focus on arts in education.