USDAN SUMMER CAMP FOR THE ARTS LAUNCHES “THE INCUBATOR PROJECT” -- AN OFF-SEASON CREATIVE FACULTY CULTIVATION PROGRAM
INAUGURAL PROJECT FEATURES LONG ISLAND’S FIRST 360-DEGREE INTERACTIVE ROOM POP-UP IN AUGMENTED REALITY
ON VIEW BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: APRIL 25-MAY 7th AT USDAN
WHEATLEY HEIGHTS, NY - April 25, 2017 - Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts -- the nation’s preeminent summer day camp for the arts— today announced the launch of The Incubator Project — a new program which provides the Camp’s creative faculty access to and space on campus to cultivate and develop artistic ideas off-season. Kicking off The Incubator Project will be Usdan’s long-time musical theater artistic director Charles Kirby who –—exploring the question of how virtual reality and creativity together can change our real lives— will showcase The Harkness iRoom, the first-ever pop-up iRoom on Long Island. It is a 360-degree interactive room pop-up in augmented reality which will be free and open to the public by appointment from April 25-April 29 at Usdan (185 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights).
The idea for the installation was cultivated during a narrative image project Kirby presented in the Czech Republic in spring of 2015. Upon returning to design for Usdan that following summer, he began exploring how bleeding-edge technology like VR could be used for teaching and playing and creating better art. Of particular interest: How the technology could get creative teams to get their heads out of their little screens and make eye contact with one another more often. Hence, Kirby’s project was born by utilizing off-the-shelf technology to transform the walls of one of the music rooms into a touch screen “Makerspace.” According to the creator,
“It’s kind of like a Steve Harvey game show meets
Steve Jobs’ sensibility.”
"We’re thrilled to have Charles kick off The Incubator Project,” says Lauren Brandt Schloss, Executive Director of Usdan. “Charles has been a member of the Usdan family for over a decade. He is an incredible member of our faculty – a group composed of the most extraordinary educators, creators, and artists. They are part of what makes Usdan the unique experience it is during the summer. It’s our distinct pleasure to be able to stay engaged with them by offering members of the creative faculty the time and space to incubate and develop their artistic ideas beyond the camp season.”
"I considered the mindful, collaboration techniques I learned with my theater colleagues and combined them with the apps and gear we use in 360° filmmaking today to explore an enhanced physical reality when we meet up." says Kirby, "I was inspired to try to put it all together in one platform for my artistic community. I am thankful to the be the first of The Incubator Project at Usdan and to have access to the space and tools on the Campus to try something completely new.”
Mr Kirby believes that this is just the beginning of reality 2.0 and that how we will make, play and do absolutely everything within some form of augmented reality – as evidenced by the success of the Apple Watch, Fitbit and Android cell phones in everyone’s pockets, that we already function in some form of VR/AR but how does it relate to our physical reality; and what will be next?
Those interested in attending can make an appointment to visit his installation on the Usdan Campus (185 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights) on www.CollabRjabbR.com/events or calling 917-453-4762. More information is also available by following @CollabRjabbR on Twitter and Facebook LIVE.
ABOUT CHARLES KIRBY
An Art Director for film and theater (www.charleskirbydesigns.com & www.thematics.net) as well as the inventor of the Fiber Optic/LED truly 3D pre-visualization tool known around the world as LIGHTBOX (www.seeLIGHTBOX.com), An enthusiastic Long Island CollabRjabbRer, Mr. Kirby has worked for the past 10 summers as the Artistic Director of USDAN’s renowned musical theater program.
About Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts
The nation’s preeminent not-for-profit day camp for the arts, Usdan (usdan.org) has been declared a “Best Of” camp by TimeOutNY/Kids, and by NY Metro Parents. Diverse and playfully rigorous from the start, for nearly fifty years we have brought world-class teachers and visiting artists – actors, directors, playwrights, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers, dancers, poets and novelists – to teach and collaborate with Usdan campers ages 4 to 18. Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts ignites each child’s artistic spirit in a fun, welcoming environment. We believe art making is brave making, friend making, freedom making and future making. Usdan is an agency of the UJA-Federation of New York. All programs will take place at the camp’s magnificent 140-acre woodland campus, located at 185 Colonial Springs Road in Wheatley Heights, NY 11798.
For Usdan: Meryl Cooper, meryl@theCOOPERationinc.com, 917-974-0022
For CollabRjabbR: Charles Kirby, 917-453-4762 or Charles@CollabRjabbR.com