Volunteer in Prospect Park = free studio time

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The new Prospect Park recording studio

If you’re a musician in need of studio time, put down the mic and pick up a rake.

In an unusual new program funded by REI through the National Audobon Society, New Yorkers can exchange Prospect Park volunteer time for recording hours in a state-of-the-art new sound studio in the park’s Audobon Center. Spend eight hours gardening, weeding or erecting erosion barriers, for instance, and you can get three recording hours–enough time to record a single track–in the “Beat Cave,” as the studio is called. 

Jonathan Wells, who’s in charge of education programs at the Audobon Center, says the new recording studio is geared toward hip-hop artists and singer-songwriters; 16-piece swing bands need look elsewhere.

Why, you may wonder, does the Audobon Center have a recording studio at all? It has nothing to do with red-tailed hawks. “We’re looking to engage young people in the environment through the arts in a non-traditional manner,” he told Brokelyn. “With this program people can actively participate in conservation, express themselves, and have fun doing it in a unique way.”

The Audobon Center is also looking for an audio engineering student for an internship, which comes with a modest stipend. You need to have recording chops; you’ll gain studio management skills. The only catch is that for both the volunteer program and the internship, you have to be under 26, owing to the terms of the grant, which is specifically aimed at “young people,” Wells said.

For more information, call 718-287-3400 x309.

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