92nd Street Y has long sought a way to add global reach to its local roots. Thanks to the generosity of two visionary trustees, former board chairman Philip Milstein and longtime board member John Rosenthal, 92Y is now able to realize its goal. In October 1999, the Milstein/Rosenthal Center for Media & Technology was established with its primary initiative being to ready 92Y's media, telecommunications and computer systems for the rapidly changing and growing landscape of information technology.
From its inception in 1874, 92nd Street Y has been on a growth trajectory. Its physical space has had to become progressively larger in response to an ever-increasing demand for its programs and services. From a small brownstone to a series of buildings uptown and down to the current facility at 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue, 92Y has never stopped growing. Now, with the technology revolution in full swing, it is clear that in the future, expansion will take on—and take place in—a whole new dimension.
The Milstein/Rosenthal Center for Media & Technology exists largely through its counterparts. Working with the other program centers, it develops technology-based programs and solutions that enable 92Y to reach beyond its local community. Our website, 92y.org, programs such as Live from 92nd Street Y satellite broadcasts, livestreaming of many of our programs, online classes, and our 92Y On Demand audio and video archive demonstrate an emerging role for 92nd Street Y—as the world's first global community center. Relaunched in 2002, our website enlightens a global audience on our breadth of program offerings and optimizes the process of purchasing tickets and registering for classes at 92Y. At Live, men and women from over 200 Community Centers, universities and other organizations in the United States and Canada are brought together electronically to learn and interact as renowned entertainers, thinkers and leaders share their thoughts about the contemporary world.
92Y's efforts to move forward technologically continue a long tradition of using the newest media available to enrich people's lives—from the concert hall in 1930 to the tape recorder in 1949 to today's cable networks and the Internet. With the Milstein/Rosenthal Center for Media & Technology, 92nd Street Y can now plan the next phase of its technological development, a step that will entail an entirely new way of thinking about how 92Y realizes its core mission.