In 2007, MNN committed to expand its community media services and identified the East 104th Street Firehouse as a potential site for this purpose. After conducting an extensive architectural, engineering and environmental assessment of the Firehouse, MNN decided to purchase it. The historic building constructed in 1883 achieved landmark status, and MNN began a total renovation. The MNN El Barrio Firehouse broadcasts its programs on Sundays at 8pm on MNN1 and Thursdays at 8pm on MNN4. These El Barrio Firehouse programs feature artists, writers, poets, and filmmakers, community and social justice activists, and neighborhood residents engaged in advancing human liberation, culture, and politics for the benefit of the community. Programs may also be seen on MNN.org.
MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center
MNN El Barrio Firehouse launched the Community Studio Dialogues to bring together activists, artists, authors, and media producers to discuss contemporary media and social justice issues. Hosted in the George C. Stoney Community Studio, the series encourages sharing of knowledge, resources and Collaboration.
At the Firehouse, Youth Peer Trainers work with high school students and interns to produce programming for a 10-hour Youth Channel block that is cablecast on MNN. Youth receive production and editing training. To learn more, visit the youth section of the website.
MNN launched the Community Builders Training in February as a pilot program for persons interested in producing community programming. The two-month intensive course provides basic camera and editing knowledge. Upon completion, participants will become certified MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center field producers.
The Firehouse has an interesting history that dates back to the 1800s. Designed by Napoleon Le Brun & Sons, the official New York City Fire Department architects, the Fire Department purchased the lot on 104th Street for $5,500 in May 1883, and Engine 53 moved into the brand new building on January 15, 1885.