DEVENS -- Lowell native Chris Byers has gained 28 years of experience in the film industry, spending a number of them in the heart of the action in L.A. But he saw his next big opportunity when he returned to his home turf to scout locations for a film.
As an industry insider, Byers saw an obvious need for a facility that could meet the studio-specific needs of the many production companies lured by beautiful New England scenery and the tax credits the state was offering.
Six years of research and planning ultimately brought the idea to fruition, and the local arts community wants to recognize Byers for the doors he's opening and making the studios a reality.
On Nov. 8, 3Rivers Arts will present its Regional Arts and Innovation Award to New England Studios' Chris Byers at its annual celebration, a ball aptly themed "Hollywood in Black and White."
What better way to present an award like this one than at a swanky venue dressed up for an old Hollywood-style ball? The festivities will take place at the Marriott's Devens Common Center in Devens, home of the newly opened studio space, and will include dinner, dancing and a multi-media nod to the industry's Golden Age.
Among the participating groups are the Anarchist Society of Shakespeareans, the Dead Pony Party, DJ d-tension and the Lowell Film Collaborative, along with a host of individual artists whose work and talents will be showcased throughout the evening.
"This is a tremendous honor. Massachusetts is home to a thriving community of artists and I am thrilled to be recognized by it," says Byers. "We see such a bright future ahead and I can see no better way to celebrate this new beginning."
3Rivers Arts Director Monica Hinojos said the purpose of the award is to "shine a light on innovators within the creative community in our region who are spearheading initiatives that help to spur the creative economy and bring attention to the talented artists in our communities."
Byers has clearly hit the mark.
Hollywood in Black & White will take place at the Devens Common Center at 31 Andrews Parkway in Devens, on Friday, Nov. 8, from 6-11 p.m.
For tickets and information, visit www.3riversarts.com.