01 - Introduction


Domebase is an ongoing effort to create a low-cost digital dome authoring system. It is a project of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, which is constructing a new community science, art, and environmental center in lower Manhattan. The Center for Community includes a 30 ft fixed planetarium, media production studios, and a recording studio in a 1958 Airstream trailer.

The goal of Domebase is to create a community approach to content production for hemispheric projection, in a way that is accessible for informal science education programs and small dome operators in schools and science centers. It is also designed to foster the production of programs on both science and humanities topics, including local history and personal narratives. The final products of this project revolved around a re-imagining of a mural project, Women Who Change the World, in a community garden in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Initial funding for the creation of a mini-dome authoring system was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, through the Office of Digital Humanities, as a Digital Humanities Start Up Grant. Additional funding for curriculum development, classes, and public outreach came from the Verizon Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Work began in September of 2010, soon after groundbreaking on the Center for Community. As of this writing in spring of 2012, construction continues on the Center, which is expected to open in January of 2013.