Meet the people behind Engadget's $500,000 immersive art grant

Just two weeks left to apply for a grant of up to $100,000.

Just over a month ago, I announced the Engadget Alternate Realities grant program, an initiative aimed at funding art projects that embrace new media and immersive technologies. With just two weeks left until our submission deadline (June 30th, 2017), I wanted to give you a little more information about the project and the people who helped shape it.

We're at a critical moment in the development of new creative platforms. Companies like HTC, Sony, Microsoft and Google are fundamentally altering the way we experience the world through AR, VR and AI. Meanwhile artists, musicians, filmmakers and developers are pushing the boundaries of traditional storytelling, embracing those technologies to explore worlds beyond our own.

Engadget wanted to shed a light on that work, so we reached out to some of the people making that work possible and with their input created the Engadget Alternate Realities grant program. From now until June 30th, we're accepting submissions for new, existing or altered works that make creative use of new technologies to explore the theme of alternate realities. Those projects will debut at The Engadget Experience, a one-day event at the United Artists theatre in downtown LA on Nov. 14th, 2017.

You can find more information about the event, our grant program and how to apply at the event page here. In the meantime, it's my pleasure to introduce you to the incredible people helping to shape the event and select the recipients of our first-ever Engadget Alternate Realities grant program.

Stacy Switzer, Fathomers

Stacy Switzer is curator and executive director of Fathomers. Launched in Los Angeles in Jan. 2016, Fathomers is a creative research institute dedicated to producing sites and encounters that challenge us to live and act differently in the world. Fathomers' first projects include a round-the-world collaboration with artist Michael Jones McKean designed to unfold over the next seven to 70 years, visioning the biological internet with artist and MycoWorks founder Phil Ross, and an exploration of value and ethics with artist Jill Magid. Switzer was artistic director of Grand Arts, a contemporary art project space in Kansas City, Missouri, from 2004 to 2015, and is co-editor of Problems and Provocations: Grand Arts 1995-2015, published by Grand Arts and available from Artbook | D.A.P.

Alison Hearst, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Alison Hearst is assistant curator at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Hearst is the curator of the museum's FOCUS exhibition series and has presented solo exhibitions of artists including Fred Tomaselli, Joyce Pensato, Glenn Kaino, Thomas Demand, Lorna Simpson and Stanley Whitney, among others.

Hearst was the assistant curator of the major exhibitions "Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s" (2014) and "México Inside Out: Themes in Art Since 1990" (2013). She recently organized "Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings" (2016), which was on view at the Lowe Art Museum, Miami and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The exhibition is currently on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., and will travel to the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, and the Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln.

Bryn Mooser, RYOT

Bryn Mooser is the CEO and co-founder of RYOT. Recently acquired by AOL, RYOT is the leading immersive-media company specializing in virtual and augmented reality. As a twice-Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Mooser has overseen the production of more than 200 linear and immersive films created by RYOT. Mooser is also pioneering narrative virtual reality storytelling, launching the first-ever virtual reality global news show and comedy series.

RYOT's work has earned accolades across the industry, including recognition as an Emmy Awards 2016 finalist for HuffPost RYOT's "The Crossing" and a Peabody Award finalist. Before starting RYOT, Bryn spent years as a humanitarian, serving in the Peace Corps in Africa and working in Haiti, where he helped build the country's largest secondary school in Port-au-Prince, which now educates 3,000 Haitian youths per year.

Eugene Chung, Penrose

Eugene Chung is a film director and the founder of Penrose, a startup focused on augmented and virtual reality. Previously, Eugene was head of film & media at Oculus VR, which was later acquired by Facebook for $2 billion. While at Oculus, Eugene co-created Story Studio, bringing together storytellers and artists from Pixar. Prior to Oculus, he was with New Enterprise Associates and Pixar Animation Studios. He holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Harvard.