Kate McCallum: the Center for Conscious Creativity, Transmedia Storytelling and the 21 Century Camerata

I was very lucky to meet up with Kate McCallum, at her offices at LA Center Studios, in June 2012. I had been hoping to catch up with her for a while, she is one of the global pioneers in bringing together alternative futures thinking with media and storytelling. I had heard many good things about her and was really impressed by her work with the Millennium Project node  on the future of art, media and entertainment, where she brought together dozens of  professionals from a variety of backgrounds, science, art and spirituality, in a collaborative exploration of emerging transdisciplinary patterns for the future of creativity.

Since that time much has happened. Due to Kate’s commitment to tracking future trends in the arts and media, her company Bridge Arts Media, LLC, was contracted by www.createasphere.com to help design and chair a new media conference they named TransVergence Summit.  An entertainment educational summit addressing Tech+Story, innovative narrative, transmedia and cross platform storytelling, emerging technologies and branded content.  Concurrent to launching and programming the summit, she also launched and has been serving as the Managing Editor of www.transmediacoalition.com which has entailed curating contributors and content, the companion editorial platform for the TVS. Createasphere then contracted her to curate, program and produce a Digital Asset Management (DAM) conference in NYC and also a Post Production Master Class in both NY and LA.  She’s also co-created a DAM 101 Workshop and Certification program launched at the DAM conference. Currently, she’s working with Createasphere to design and launch a new conference called StoryWorld Quest for Canadian clients NAIT and AMPIA.

She was recently nominated and voted on to the PGA National Board and also serves on the New Media Council Board as a Delegate. Her university WMU in Michigan honored her with an Alumni Achievement Award last year as well. Toward the end of 2014 she produced an event for the c3: Center for Conscious Creativity STATE OF THE ARTS 2013:  The Future of Fulldome co-hosted with IMERSA.org and provided a panel, talks and screenings of fulldome content and immersive storytelling.

Recently Kate was invited to Singapore to teach a Masterclass in Transmedia Storytelling at the Singapore Media Academy and will also be lecturing and teaching a Transmedia Storytelling Workshop at the Hong Kong Design Institute in July.

Since our initial meeting, Kate has been working with her partner, Ed Lantz, President of Vortex Immersion Media www.vorteximmersion.com to build out an experimental AIR: Artist In Residence program in The Vortex Dome theater www.thevortexdome.com that they operate and maintain. Together they have supported R&D in the fulldome immersive space and have produced several unique dome projects with a growing collective of talented artists and creatives.

Upon her return from Hong Kong, Kate will be getting back into creative development with Vortex to hopefully launch in their fulldome theater one of her passion projects — VISIONS FROM THE EDGE — a series focusing on the innovation and the future.

In my interview with her she talked about her roots in television and film, the Los Angeles media culture and working her way through the ranks the old-fashioned way. She also talks about her love of art and music, and her music and singing background. Creating the C3 Center for Conscious Creativity has been a profound journey for her and she talks about what it means to bring arts to bear on social change, the evolution of humanity and the future. Her introduction to foresight and futures through both the WFSF and  Millennium Project inspired her to begin to make new connections between thinking about the future and creative media, and importance developments in the futures of media. In an important digression, she talked about the Florentine Camerata, a very important analogy to the monumental transitions happening today in media and creativity. The role of storytelling being fundamental, she explained the importance of exploring and developing new stories for the future of humanity and our world. Alongside this is the importance of hope in developing a new story, new narratives for empowering futures even as we face the harsh challenges. We ended the interview with a discussion on the emerging area of Transmedia Storytelling, and the way in which participation can transform the story space through a new mode of public story hacking. She is definitely one of the most amazing people I have talked to and it was an absolute pleasure. Thank you Kate and I hope others enjoy our conversation.