10-Year Pilot Program Will Explore the Edge of Digital, Virtual and Augmented Reality Storytelling and Sensory Experiences
LOS ANGELES (July 7, 2022)— Today, The Music Center announced the appointment of renowned media creative Kamal Sinclair as senior director of the performing arts center’s Digital Innovation Initiative (DII), a 10-year pilot program designed to explore and create digital and virtual reality experiences throughout Los Angeles. The Music Center’s new initiative will catalyze and engage Angelenos, artists and culture makers to collaborate on a spectrum of physical to digital experiences, which reflect the rapid changes in culture, technology and environment. Her programs will center on the convergence of art, media, culture and technology, such as the use of augmented reality to catalyzed movement to a decentralized music festival comprised solely of L.A.’s unique sights and sounds. DII is a part of the growing portfolio of experiences designed by The Music Center’s programming arm, TMC Arts.
“Kamal’s vast experiences with emerging media makes her the ideal expert to lead The Music Center’s first-ever Digital Innovation Initiative. She will help us push the boundaries of performance and storytelling and, at the same time, support our mission to convene artists, communities and ideas with the goal of enriching the cultural lives of every Angeleno,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “The Music Center is one of only a handful of performing arts centers in the nation exploring this new, exciting horizon of leveraging new technologies in the arts, and we cannot wait for everyone to experience what Kamal and her collaborators have in the works.”
Sinclair previously was director of Sundance Institute’s groundbreaking New Frontier Labs Program, which identified and fostered independent artists innovating the art and form of storytelling through the convergence of film, art, media performance, music, literature and technology. She also consulted for the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms program on a multi-year research project aimed at furthering equality and equity in emerging media. Sinclair’s landmark published work Making a New Reality, co-authored by Jessica Clark, was a result of more than 100 in-depth interviews she conducted with stakeholders across the media and social justice landscape. She got her start in emerging media as an artist and producer on Question Bridge: Black Males, a transmedia art project that facilitated dialogues between Black men to represent and redefine Black male identity in the United States. The three-hour video installation portion of the project is on display and archived at The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
Sinclair also serves as an advisor or board member to the Peabody Awards Interactive Board, For Freedoms, NEW INC.’s ONX Studio, Civic Signals, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Advanced Virtuality, Starfish Accelerator, Eyebeam and Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation. She is an Adjunct Professor at University of Southern California’s Media Arts + Practice program.
“We are living in the most dynamic, complex, expansive and abundant state of technological and communications architecture in human history. Even before the pandemic, we were amid a rapidly increasing integration of digital and intelligent technologies in our cities, homes, schools and public spaces that mixes virtual and non-virtual realities seamlessly,” said Kamal Sinclair, senior director, Digital Innovation Initiative. “The Music Center’s Digital Innovation Initiative will provide a vehicle for The Music Center to be at the forefront of the new cultural and civic landscapes that are emerging today.”
Sinclair is developing new digital projects that are aligned and resonant with TMC Arts’ engagement-based focus. The Music Center’s Digital Innovation Initiative will work with artists and partners on three pilot programs in the coming months. The first program is a participatory movement and dance project created by The Embodied Intelligence Group and with dancers and creative technologists Melissa Painter, Sydney Skybetter and Heidi Boisvert. The second program will use music to celebrate the city’s diverse and decentralized cultures with interactive artist Kadallah Burrowes. The third project will integrate augmented reality technology that delves into L.A.’s Black history led by artists Idris Brewster and Glenn Cantave in collaboration with For Freedoms.
“The pandemic has proven that digital innovation has never been more necessary to keep society connected. While our buildings were closed and public space was confined to our homes over the past year, the live performing arts field learned how to use technology to reestablish relationships with the public in new and different ways,” said TMC Arts Executive Vice President Josephine Ramirez. “The Music Center is thrilled about Kamal leading us to the next level of discovering even more new frameworks for cultural interaction that strengthen and build community.”
Sinclair has her roots in L.A.’s Watts neighborhood and was raised in Altadena. She graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and graduated cum laude from New York University with a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in theatre with a concentration in experimental theater. She earned an M.B.A. from Georgia State University, graduating cum laude with a concentration in entrepreneurship and organizational management. Earlier in her artistic career, Sinclair was a transmedia producer at 42 Entertainment and worked on projects such as Legends of Alcatraz for J.J. Abrams and Mark of the Spider-Man. She also was a cast member of the Off-Broadway hit STOMP.
About The Music Center
The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of deepening the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County. The $70 million non-profit performing arts organization has two divisions: TMC Arts and TMC Ops. TMC Arts, The Music Center’s programming engine, provides year-round programming inside The Music Center’s four theatres, on Jerry Moss Plaza, outside at Grand Park—a 12-acre adjacent green space—in schools and other locations all over Los Angeles County and on a digital platform called The Music Center Offstage. TMC Arts presents world-class dance with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, free and low-cost public concerts and events, as well as live and digital K–12 arts education programs, workshops, performances, interactive experiences and special events. TMC Ops manages the theatres, the Plaza and Grand Park, which comprise $2 billion in county assets, on behalf of the County of Los Angeles. The Music Center is also home to four renowned resident companies—Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera and LA Phil. For more information, visit musiccenter.org. Follow The Music Center on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @MusicCenterLA.
The Music Center