Driving XR Forward: Trailblazing Women in the Industry

Event Date: 
Tuesday, August 30, 2022 - 6:00pm to 9:30pm
Event Location: 
ASU California Center
Presented by: 
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication invite you to a special event highlighting women in XR.

New immersive technologies are radically transforming the way we live, play and work—including the way we share information and stories. Featuring Nonny de la Peña, Peabody winner and XR (extended reality) pioneer, this event will spotlight the advances of and opportunities for women in XR, with presentations and panel discussions, interactive demos of innovative immersive experiences by women artists, and tours of ASU's new California Center.

The founder and CEO of L.A.-based Emblematic Group, de la Peña joined The Sidney Poitier New American Film School, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, to lead ASU’s new graduate program in Narrative and Emerging Media , in collaboration with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and to found a center for narrative and emerging media in Los Angeles.

Panelists include Mary Matheson, Retha Hill, May Abdalla and Joanna Popper. Matheson is an award-winning British director and professor of practice in the Narrative and Emerging Media program, known for her innovative work directing character-driven films for social impact, both through documentary filmmaking and immersive media. Hill, director of ASU’s New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab and professor of practice at Cronkite as well as founder of AncestoriesXR.com, previously served as vice president for content at BET Interactive, the online unit of Black Entertainment Television. Abdalla is co-founder and CEO of the award-winning ANAGRAM studio, who made documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera before turning to immersive documentaries including co-directing the 2022 Emmy nominee VR animated documentary Goliath: Playing with Reality. Popper has recently been appointed Chief Metaverse Officer at Creative Artists Agency and is a well-known producer and leader in the industry.

The panel will be moderated by Erika Barraza, who produces virtual, augmented, and mixed reality experiences, often with a focus on innovative social good stories that can reach global audiences. She also works as an actor and producer in Los Angeles.

The event will include an exhibition of experiences including:

  • The Changing Same by Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster and Yasmin Elayat (Scatter)
  • On the Morning You Wake by Mike Brett, Steve Jamison, Arnaud Colinart and Pierre Zandrowicz, Michaela Ternasky-Holland (Archer’s Mark, Atlas V)
  • Goliath: Playing with Reality by May Abdalla and Barry Gene Murphy (ANAGRAM and Floréal Films)
  • The Female Planet by Mary Matheson (Surround Vision, Google)
  • After Solitary by Nonny de la Peña (Emblematic Group, PBS Frontline)
  • A Life in Pieces by Nonny de la Peña (Emblematic Group, JANM)
  • New Realities by Mary Matheson, Nonny de la Peña and Erika Barraza (Lenovo)
  • The Choice by Joanne Popinska

This event is co-sponsored by ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication