Alumna Leads Eco-Friendly TV Production Studio in Brooklyn

Gina Argento headshot

Gina Argento ’94C, ’96G rooted for the Red Storm while earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at St. John’s University. Along the way, she helped improve the planet through “green” initiatives at her company, Broadway Stages, Ltd., one of the film industry’s few eco-friendly soundstages.

Ms. Argento, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Government and Politics, credits her experiences at St. John’s for cultivating her innovative spirit. She said they have helped her thrive as Broadway Stages’ President and Chief Executive Officer, positions she has held since the 1990s. 

Broadway Stages, once a small music video production company, has emerged as one of the largest film and television studios in New York. Among the shows currently filming there are CBS’s Blue Bloods, NBC’s Law & Order: Organized Crime, Showtime’s Billions, HBO’s The Gilded Age, and a host of streaming service and big-screen movies. In the process, the studio has employed thousands and supported a host of New York City-based nonprofits that share its commitment to an eco-friendly future.

To help inspire the next generation of St. John’s students, Ms. Argento recently endowed a scholarship. The Broadway Stages Endowed Scholarship Fund will be awarded annually to a St. John’s student in a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM)-based curriculum, with a focus on those majoring in the arts. 

“We feel a sincere responsibility to not only meet the needs of our clients and industry, but also to help bring equity, inclusion, and well-being to our community,” Ms. Argento said. “We want to do our part as a catalyst for lasting change and to drive prosperity—economically, socially, and environmentally.”

Long before Hollywood embraced eco-friendliness, Ms. Argento and her brother, Tony, were contemplating ways their studio could become better environmental citizens. Founded in 1983 in Astoria, Queens, it eventually expanded into Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where today it boasts 1.6 million square feet of space with 60 soundstages. 

The studio’s rooftops feature 100,000 square feet of solar and green infrastructure. In addition, in 2008, Broadway Stages funded the city’s first organic rooftop farm, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, that sits atop a warehouse in Greenpoint.

The company has also funded Kingsland Wildflowers, a meadow and bee habitat that sits atop one of its buildings and serves as a stop for migratory bird species. In 2019, Ms. Argento’s company received a $1.5 million grant to develop another eco-friendly roof on its site. Named the Broadway Stages’ Green Corridor, it includes 30,000 square feet of garden space—with another 31,000 square feet planned—to support nearby habitats and the community. 

The company continues to search for ways to enhance environmental sustainability, hopeful its commitment to the common good will attract more TV and film clients. 

“Our communities are our legacy,” Ms. Argento said. “It’s incumbent upon us to ensure they continue to thrive. We’re proud to lead as supporters of sustainable business practices; our aim is to be the studio production company partner-of-choice to clients and community alike.”

She uses her innovative spirit and concern for the planet to energize her employees.

“The core values of St. John’s and the education I received verified what my parents taught my brother and I,” Ms. Argento reflected. “Truth, love, respect, opportunity, excellence, and service are not just words; these are a way of life. That’s what I bring to my staff and family each day. There is no space for compromise. It’s about doing the right thing every time.”

Those St. John’s-shaped values include inclusivity and a commitment to community elevation. Broadway Stages uses local companies for its service needs, and it encourages its clients to do that same whenever practical. The company’s website features testimonials from a host of Brooklyn-area nonprofits, including one from Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation parish in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; FDNY chaplain; and vicar for development for the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens.

Ms. Argento’s company funded a scholarship program for Msgr. Gigantiello’s foundation that cleared a path to Catholic education for many lower-income children in Brooklyn. “The gift of education is priceless. Broadway Stages’ support of our Angel scholarship program has been just that,” Msgr. Gigantiello said. “We are blessed to have Broadway Stages as a community partner.”  

Ms. Argento’s generosity also extends to her alma mater. Nicholas A. Legakis ’97SVC, ’07MPS, the University’s Senior Director of Institutional Advancement and Development, says Ms. Argento’s commitment to the University is “an inspiration to St. John’s students.”

“We wanted to tell Gina’s story—and she jumped at the opportunity and invited us to tour the studio,” Mr. Legakis said. “Gina has been involved ever since in supporting the University and our students.”

Other Broadway Stages partners include the Greenpoint YMCA; P.S. 110 in Greenpoint; NoOsphere Arts of Brooklyn, a leading producer of eco-friendly art and music shows; and even the nearby New York Police Department’s 94th Precinct. Many of those partners respect Broadway Stages’ reputation as an industry innovator and good neighbor to Greenpoint’s 35,000-plus residents.

Likewise, Ms. Argento says the company intends to remain at the cutting edge of film and TV industry innovation while never forgetting its commitment to Brooklyn and its people. Her advice for the next generation of St. John’s entrepreneurs? Stay humble and treat others with respect—golden rules she learned as a student at the University.

“You should never forget where you come from and stay grateful always,” Ms. Argento said. “Today’s bounty can easily turn into tomorrow’s trial.”

Click here to view the Broadway Stages, Ltd. photo gallery.