Music Community Lab
Music Community Lab is the non-profit entity that organizes music technology events in New York City. This page details our mission and values.
Music Community Lab’s Mission
Music Community Lab exists to organize events for music and technology: workshops, talks, creative and social events, and all day ‘hackathons’ such as Monthly Music Hackathon.
Music Community Lab (MCL) is an independent not-for-profit organization managed by volunteers. We are proud of our strong industry relationships and grateful for their generous support, but MCL operates wholly outside the scope of any other entity. Combined with creating a safe environment, this also means MCL events are no place for intellectual property (IP) grabs, explicit advertising, or recruiting.
Music above All
Music Community Lab is a celebration of music, creativity, and collaboration. We adopt the concept of “hacking” music from the tech world as an effective way to approach experimenting with nearly any aspect of art. That said, technology is just one means of making and interacting with music; we encourage hacking of music in the broadest possible sense, for example through remixing, instrument-building, data visualization, collaboration, improvisation, or any other way you can imagine.
Promote Diversity across Backgrounds, Perspectives, and Abilities
Music is a fundamentally human phenomenon, and MCL welcomes people and music of all kinds. There are an infinite number of approaches to music, and a bewildering variety of them are represented in New York’s music scene. We believe it is both healthy and vital to establish common ground with people who have different experiences. What’s more, in addition to being good for humanity, this also helps foster a greater potential for innovation [see here, here, or here].
Drive Personal Growth through Creation, Collaboration, Communication
The participants decide what to work on and what the events will be like. We help people develop skills, we support newcomers, kids, and people who are more comfortable learning and creating in a structured environment with hands on mentorship.
Cultivate a Safe Environment for Innovation and Experimentation
We champion artists, scientists, and other music hackers who are doing good work but not getting the attention they deserve, for whatever reason. We do this in part by making diversity an explicit goal that extends to the diversity of our organizing group, of invited guests, and of participants.
We provide a platform for underserved communities such as but by no means limited to: music and accessibility; music therapy & education for the young and old; regional or cultural genres; gender identity in music.
What it isn’t
MCL strives to be many things, but there are a few notable common misconceptions that we would highlight here.
We do not offer (or allow) prizes. We discourage competitiveness and encourage collaboration, encouragement, and providing productive feedback.
Whereas other hackathons or similar events provide explicit opportunities for promoting current or prospective business, this is not the goal.