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On the road to Tribeca: Made with Unity games and social impact experiences

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Creators are telling stories across mediums to entertain, inspire, teach, build empathy, raise awareness, and more. Inclusive storytelling can carry legacies, languages, and histories forward, and it offers richer perspectives that can unite communities. The events of 2020 reminded the world just how critical it is that all voices are heard and underlined the importance of ensuring that underrepresented and historically excluded communities’ are able to share their stories and truths. 

Tribeca’s Juneteenth programming celebrates the richness of Black stories and storytellers through short films, talks, podcasts, music, and events. In celebration of Black creators and the power of their content to speak to their experiences, change narratives, and advance new world visions and social change, Unity for Humanity granted $25,000 USD to the Black Realities Creative Grant and $90,000 USD to select creators who will be participating in Tribeca’s Juneteenth lineup. 

Unity for Humanity is a program within Unity Social Impact, created with the mission to uplift emerging and established artists of all backgrounds and support work that has the potential to change the world. The Black Realities Creative Grant was created by Sharifa Johka in 2020 to support artists whose work highlights the multilayered range of subjects, perspectives, and content of the global Black community. MINE won a Black Realities Creative Grant in March and will premiere at Tribeca this year.

MINE by Randall Dottin & Luisa Dantas

MINE, a Rise-Home Stories Project, is a short narrative web series that explores the themes of community versus self-determination and survival through the eyes of a teenager. transforming stories about home and agency. The Rise-Home Stories Project is a collaboration between artists and advocates who are working together to tell stories about home, land, and racial justice in the U.S. to explore new possibilities. Experience MINE in the Tribeca virtual arcade.

The Changing Same: Episode 1 by Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, Yasmin Elayat

The Changing Same is a magical realist, immersive, episodic virtual reality experience, that you can access in the Tribeca virtual arcade. Participants are invited to travel through time and space to experience histories and legacies of racial violence, including slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration. It was designed to help audiences better understand American history, and to imagine how the cycle of violence could be transformed into a more equitable future for all. 

Breonna’s Garden by Lady PheOnix Ruach Shaddai and Stuart ‘Sutu’ Campbell

Created in collaboration with Ju’Niyah Palmer, sister to Breonna Taylor, whose murder became a global symbol for the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. Breonna’s Garden was imagined as an augmented reality sanctuary and safe space for Ju’Niyah. The experience uses AR to honor the life of Breonna Taylor and to tell a story of grieving and hope. More details here.

Un(re)solved by Tamara Shogaolu

Un(re)solved tells a story of lives cut short and examines a federal effort to investigate more than 150 cold case murders dating back to the Civil Rights era. The outdoor location for this world premiere is to be announced. There is also a WebXR immersive experience for at-home audiences that will be available online from Tribeca.

Kinfolk by Idris Brewster, Glenn Cantave, and Micah Milner

Kinfolk is an augmented reality app that brings digital monuments to life through a phone or tablet. Hear voiceovers for each icon, see generative art emanating from sculptures, and listen to an original afro-futurist jazz composition to explore the historical and cultural contributions of Black and Brown figures. More details here.

We are inspired by all of the amazing stories creators are telling. Congratulations to all of the amazing artists on their way to Tribeca! Interested in keeping up with Unity for Humanity? Join our mailing list to hear more about upcoming opportunities to collaborate, apply for grants, attend events, and more.

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