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‘Y’ opens MetaMedia Center for youth

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The McGaw YMCA opened its MetaMedia center today — a free after-school digital media lab and hang-out space for middle-school youth.

The center, funded with a $1.1 million grant from the Lewis-Sebring Foundation completely revamped the old youth lobby on the Maple Avenue side of the YMCA building into a 3,000 square foot space that McGaw officials say will provide production-centered learning guided by adults who offer collaboration and critique.

District 65 School Superintendent Paul Goren checks out a computer as visitors stream into the open house.

The center was developed by the 'Y' in collaboration with Northwestern University's Office of STEM Education Partnerships and Evanston-based Youth Organizations Umbrella.

Y.O.U Executive Director Seth Green with Mayor Tisdahl at the event.

A studio space, complete with a green screen used in combining video images.

The center will be available free to students six days a week. They'll be able to use 3D modeling software, produce stop-motion animated videos, cut a track in the music studio, try out a virtual-reality headset or share original poetry, raps and songs at open mike events.

Trying out a keyboard-equipped studio.

A favorite saying of an early MetaMedia Center worker who didn't live to see the opening day.

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