Today, we’re launching the Spark Indigenous Augmented Reality Creator Accelerator in partnership with Slow Studies Creative. The five-week incubator program provides 10 Indigenous creators in Canada with customized, hands-on training to incorporate immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences as part of their cultural expression and storytelling.
Emerging technology like AR, which overlays digital objects onto the physical world, allows creators to express themselves and showcase their culture in new ways, while connecting with audiences beyond the limits of physical spaces. Meta Spark currently enables more than 750 million people to experience AR for connection, communication and expression across Meta’s technologies every month.
Multi-disciplinary Indigenous artist and founder of Slow Studies Creative, Josh Conrad, developed Spark Indigenous to empower Indigenous creators to be cultural stewards in this emerging digital space. The program aims to break down the barriers of entry that often prevent underrepresented communities from establishing their presence in digital spaces, ensuring that Indigenous voices and culture are represented for the world to hear and see.
The program will provide participating creators with the training and support to build their own AR experiences and bring their creative ideas to life using Meta Spark Studio, a free AR design toolkit. Throughout the program, each creator will work closely with Josh, and use AR assets developed by the program’s lead creators — Emma Hassencahl-Perley, Ovila Mailhot and Mel Beaulieu — to build immersive experiences based on their art practice.
Creators will participate in weekly sessions that will offer them the opportunity to share ideas, learn from one another’s artistic practice and consider how AR experiences can be used to support social movements and amplify meaningful causes. Once the program is complete, Slow Studies Creative will make the tutorials available to anyone interested in learning to build AR experiences.
Having the voices and values of diverse communities represented in emerging digital spaces is vital to creating inclusive experiences for all to enjoy. We’re committed to ensuring our technologies are a place for First Nation, Inuit and Métis people to connect to their communities, share their stories, enable cultural preservation and share history — now and in the future.