Black-owned digital media company RYSE Interactive is moving forward with plans to redevelop a historic school space in Southwest Atlanta into RYSE Creative Village, a new dynamic content production studio and development incubator, according to a press release from the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The production studio will be located on 1261 Lockwood Drive, where Atlanta Public School Preston Arkwright Elementary was located. The school closed in 2004. RYSE Creative Village will be tailored specifically to creatives seeking to enter the film, music, gaming, and digital media industry.
“Investments from innovative companies like RYSE Interactive highlight our state’s support for new business ventures in the rapidly evolving creative digital media and production space,” Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said in the release. “The state’s creative industries are vital to our economy, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome this incubator of diverse talent to Georgia.”
The first phase of the project, estimated to open in the summer of 2021, is estimated to bring $10 million in investment and 85 jobs to Southwest Atlanta. The building will include co-working spaces and acoustically treated studio production spaces for film, music, photography, and podcasting. Additionally, the space will include a virtual reality and gaming center, a screening theater, and an onsite cafe.
“We see RYSE Creative Village as a resource for curating and cultivating local, diverse creatives – helping them get connected to some of the larger opportunities,” Jay Jackson, founder of RYSE Interactive, Inc. said in the release. “We envision RYSE Creative Village as being part of a much larger ecosystem of resources for local creatives, similar to what accelerator programs have done in fostering the development of tech start-up founders.”
According to the Georgia Council for the Arts, the creative industries make up five percent of all employment in the state and four percent of all business revenue, amounting to 200,000 jobs and $37 billion in revenue.
“Our creative community continues to grow and diversify in every corner of the region,” Metro Atlanta Chamber President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick said in the release. “Having a nexus where our aspiring artists can interact with established leaders in the ecosystem is critical, and RYSE’s decision to locate in Southwest Atlanta will play a key role in ensuring access to jobs for everyone.”