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Cynthia Lopez Named New Commissioner
On April 18, 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio, flanked by Cynthia Lopez and Doug Steiner, spoke from Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The mayor was appreciative of the work the Steiner family has accomplished by turning a space in the navy yard into a leading production facility.
Mayor de Blasio addressed the present members of the crowd that included elected officials, presidents and leaders of NY entertainment and media. In attendance were representatives from Kaufman Astoria Studios, Silver Cup Studios, Broadway stages, actors, writers, stage hands and district council members or as the mayor summarized, "the gangs all here, we have a cast of thousands..."
Since January 2014, "18 television pilots, 55 films in production at this moment," the Mayor boasted and thanked the Office of Media and Entertainment.
The mayor was taking a tour of the production facility, but his main purpose was to announce the new Commissioner for the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment. Mayor de Blasio introduced Cynthia Lopez. Lopez, a Sunset Park native, has served as the Executive Vice President and Co-Executive Producer of the POV Documentary series for PBS. The series has won 8 news and documentary Emmys. Mayor de Blasio noted that Lopez, as the commissioner, is the "first time the office has been held by a person of color."
Lopez plans to build on her predecessor Katherine Oliver's legacy and work with Hollywood film and television studio execs by fulfilling all of their needs. She also stated, "New York is open for business" from $10,000 to $100 million productions.
The Mayor continued to speak of the resources of NY: talent, production graduates, and behind the scenes professionals. de Blasio beamed with enthusiasm when describing the work opportunities throughout the boroughs and economic impact the industry's expansion can provide.
"History supports us" in regards to the industry growth and potential New York has to facilitate the industry unlike even a decade ago. Digital media and commercial production are equally a part of the value New York has embedded naturally.
A recurring message heard from both the Mayor and Lopez could be summarized like this: maximize inclusion and opportunity.