Only the fireworks will be missing from a big July celebration Tuesday when 2112, the creative industries incubator part of Dan Mahoney and Kent Neilsen’s vast Fort Knox Studios, called “the largest music ecosystem on earth,” reveals a new production studio and other additions.
VIPs from the city (Mayor Emanuel is expected) and state, music, film and tech industries will be among those celebrating the fast-moving accomplishments of non-profit 2112, led by director Scott Fetters, in only one year after opening last July.
Guests at this July 12 invitation-only event will be treated to music and artist performances at Fort Knox, tour 2112 facilities and hear about its plans for the future, including national expansion.
The centerpiece display of 2112 is “The Hangar,” another city-enhancing film space. The new 7,200-sq. ft. venue available for visual media and still photography production is situated within Ft. Knox’s sprawling 160,000-sq. ft. building in Portage Park.
The Hangar offers a stage, in-house equipment rental, set design and construction workshops, a large production office, dressing rooms, a craft service kitchen and private and street parking.
Also being introduced Tuesday are a new 30-seat classroom and partnership with Mobile Makers Academy coding boot camp and a formal partnership with Iceland’s Music Export Office.
In the past 12 months alone, 2012 has grown under Fetters’ leadership and a team of four. The incubator has 75 member companies, co-working space conference rooms and members’ access to business mentors, educational programming and investors.
Among its vendor/partners are AbelCine, AICP, Cinespace, Flow Motion Motion Media, O’Connor Casting, Daufenbach Camera, TFF Pouctions, Third Coast Music, Tribeca Film, Trackforce Productions and 12 Line Studios.
2112 occupies 20,000-sq. ft. of Fort Knox Studios’ 160,000-sq. ft., single storey, former Zenith Television set factory.
“2112 is one of the few places in the world with the proper resources and community to support the development of a startup in music technology,” says Fetters, who has a strong background in the music industry.
Fetters attributes privately-funded 2112’s “wild success” to the comprehensive ecosystem that connects music tech startups to community, education, mentorship and access to capital, the artists and established businesses within Fort Knox.
Fort Knox was founded in 2011 by partners Dan Mahoney and Kent Neilsen as a music rehearsal and recording space under one roof, in what was the former Zenith Television set factory.
Fort Knox has 92 practice rooms, six recording studios, instrument repair, a fabrication shop for building out studio furniture, cabinetry and office space for managers, entertainment lawyers and other music-related professionals.