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Richmond Hill museum honored for programs

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The Museum of Sound Recording in Richmond Hill was recognized at the New York Youth Media Arts Show last week for its work with city youth and for helping to establish a cultural institution in the borough.

Dan Gaydos and Bernard Fox, co-founders of the museum that plans to officially open June 7, were at the March 19 awards ceremony that recognizes organizations working with borough and city youth to help them in future careers in media and the arts. Gaydos said the museum was honored for its programming, which includes recording and music workshops to be held this fall.

"This was in honor of our work educating city youth," Gaydos said. "But it was also to welcome us to the city and specifically to Queens."

The Museum of Sound Recording is located in the old RKO Keith's theater in downtown Richmond Hill at 117-09 Hillside Ave. It originally opened on March 22, 1929 as part of the Orpheum chain of cinemas started by Benjamin Franklin Keith and his partner, Edward Franklin Albee.

Gaydos said in a statement that the New York Youth Media Arts Show, held at the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, honors students' works in video, computers, photography, film and multimedia disciplines from all city junior high and high schools. He said students presented their works, which included animation, documentaries and other short narrative pieces.

He said the event was coordinated by Eric Heyworth, the TV studio director at the Louis Armstrong School in East Elmhurst. Gaydos said the event was co-hosted by the New York State Education Department, the Media Arts Teachers Association and the American Museum of the Moving Image.

"A unique approach that the museum is known for is that all exhibits of historical or present-day recording production equipment are installed to use," Gaydos said. "Being operational, the actual museum pieces are demonstrated and utilized for all the historic, educational and performance programs."

The museum has partnered with theater co-owner Bob Wooldridge with a goal to re-establish RKO Keith's as a cultural center in southeast Queens, Gaydos has said. He said the museum is planning its first exhibit of antique recording equipment in the gallery and lounge of the theater.

"Such a significant event once again demonstrates the dedication and involvement that Queens organizations and policymakers have in being on the forefront of support for arts and culture," Gaydos said.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 156

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