New Sandbox for Inspired Thinkers!!

HubX  is a new kind of media lab - a place to imagine the future.

Located in downtown Santa Cruz, California, the hub is a creative space where people of all ages can explore exciting new and immersive technologies like VR, Interactive Media, AI, Simulation Art, and Audio Design. At the intersection of science, technology and art - we are focused on empowering people with tools to visualize and invent the future.

In order to launch our Teen & Internship Programs in early 2020, we are seeking funds to equip the media center with more computer workstations, video wall, 360 camera, 3-D printer, sensors, and a few other challenging and fun gadgets.

HubX vision:

●  To be a place for local youth to engage with the changes and challenges that are happening today, since they will ultimately will be designing the world of tomorrow.

●  To be a collaborative center for creatively hacking complex topics that are reshaping the 21st century.

●  To be a place where anyone can use new and immersive technology like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Simulation Art, Machine Learning, Generative Music, and AI.

●  A future focused learning lab open to anyone who wants to explore how visual technologies inspire critical thinking.

Teen Program
Beginning in early 2020, HubX will open its doors for an after school program for teens looking to explore unique and new mediums like virtual reality, simulation, interactive installation, generative music, AI based art, game building, and more.

Our aim is to inspire out-of-the-box thinking by focusing on group projects around a specific question or challenge. Students will learn how to create and implement a plan for solving the challenge, and get hands on experience working towards their goals by using hardware, software, unique coding, invention, robotics, and other tools available at HubX.

Each project will be guided by local volunteer tech professionals who specialize in different areas of engineering, science, mathematics, and art. Projects are structured with a focus on outcomes and solutions through fun and hands-on learning experiences. Structured projects will have a beginning and end, with opportunities to share and present strategies and results.

Specialized workshops for teens looking to explore the more creative and artistic side of mediums like simulation, interactive media, generative music, visual effects, and AI based art. These workshops are designed for students wanting to go deeper into a single medium to build skills, a portfolio or resume.
Internship Program
In coordination with the teen program, HubX will offer volunteer and paid opportunities for self-motivated college students to lead and assist teens through projects and workshops. Interns, guided by volunteer professionals, will gain valuable and practical experience in their field of interest, as well as have opportunities to network with local business owners and engineers for future career opportunities.

HubX Story
In 2018, when their son was attending high school in Santa Cruz, local tech business owners, Anne-Marie Napoli and Ethan Summers, often had a group of teens dropping by their studio. During this time, their Visual Effects Company was developing for virtual reality and their son’s friends were eager to see what was going on and to play with the VR rig.

While these encounters were a fun opportunity to share with the kids an exciting new technology, the conversations would always lead to what wasn't available at high school - or anywhere in Santa Cruz.

What they realized is that kids yearn to have access to new technology and want to be a part of its evolution. Their future depends on it.

Through their company and involvement in local Meetups, Anne-Marie and Ethan were already part of a fascinating flow of innovators - world renowned scientists, AI engineers, interactive artists, TedX organizers and oddball, out-of-box thinkers would pass through their doors.

An idea emerged to find a way to share this incredible intersection of creative thinking with the rest of the community: to bring together the teens who want access to new ideas and technology, to college students wanting more hands on experience in their majors, and tech companies and professionals looking to enrich the communities they live in.

By joining together with other like-minded parents, educators, artists, and engineers, they’ve established a non-profit educational center and are now opening that place: HubX .
Hub BuDs:

Alan Peevers is a senior software engineer at Adobe. He’s a passionate inventor, with broad technical skills, who enjoys being on small teams build something fun and amazing. His 30 years of engineering and management experience is in the areas of multimedia systems, 3D graphics, audio/DSP algorithms, hardware design, 3D graphics, plug-in development, and systems design, and he also maintains a consulting services business.

Anne-Marie Napoli co-owns local interactive media and visual effects studio, Almost Human Media  where she’s been integral in the foundation and leadership of the company’s educational focus. With her broad experience in accounting, IP Technology, and program coordination she’s been the stable backbone of the company, and pulls her skills from a solid background in biology and science writing, visual arts, interactive media, project conceptualization, and graphic design.

Chris Cain is Technical Director at the University of California Santa Cruz Film and Digital Media, and founder of Cruz XR Meetup  group. Previously, he has been a lecturer at California State University, Long Beach; Engineering Manager at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts; and tested complex systems and managed test divisions in the Defense and Entertainment industries. Chris’s extensive knowledge as an audio & cinema technologist combined with his enthusiasm for teaching interactive media ……..

David Warren has been a local activist and educator in the Santa Cruz area since the 1970’s. He is one of the founders of TedX Santa Cruz , retired Cabrillo College faculty member, technologist, husband, and father. During his tenure at Cabrillo College he helped establish adaptive computer labs for disabled students, obtained a $2 million grant to hook up 50 regional schools to the Internet in the early 1990s, and taught the first desktop publishing classes which lead to the establishment of the Cabrillo College Digital Media Program.

Kathleen Deck received her MFA from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Digital Art and New Media. With both traditional and digital art skills, she’s an emerging artist contemplating science, art, the environment, and climate change in her work. Through her artistic research practice, she seeks to create work that challenges viewers to become actively engaged and educated in environmental issues with the hope that an informed public can help forge a more sustainable society.

HubX Advisors:

Alex Lamb specializes in data discovery, analysis, and prediction using machine learning and advanced simulation techniques. His experience spans data engineering, AI model deployment, systems design, scientific computing, interactive data visualization, agent-based modeling, game theory, and human social systems. Complimenting all of his technical skills, Alex is also a professional science fiction novelist, and a leadership and communication skills coach, training through the use of behavior science and improv-based techniques.

Brinda Dalal helps organizations discover customer needs, develop technologies and services based on those needs, and improve how people can experience, adapt and engage with new platforms and programs. As a research scientist, director and consultant for two decades, she has worked with large companies, start-ups, non-profits, and in the public sector, as part of small, agile teams that create breakthroughs in cleantech and galvanize ways to improve health and well-being. More recently, she is supporting experiments in Silicon Valley that can help people learn new skills and create new communication modalities, in addition to having an impact on an organization's bottom line.

Ethan Summers is an Emmy awarded digital environment specialist and VFX artist with 30 years of experience in fine art, visual effects, scientific & educational visualization, and project conceptualization. He has created and directed projects ranging from the future of energy, 3d software design, interactive education, public art display, and museum exhibition on various themes. Through his years of experience, Ethan has become passionate that modern techniques in film, visual effects, CG animation and time-lapse imagery can be used as an effective way to communicate difficult to understand scientific and environmental topics.

HubX values the interrelationship between everyone in the community, and is especially dedicated to creating pathways that encourage confidence and a sense of personal agency for anyone who walks through the door.

HubX is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable media learning center.

Donations (11)

  • Alan Peevers
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $3,000 (Offline)
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $1,550 (Offline)
    • 4 yrs

Fundraising team: Hub Buds (4)

Anne-Marie Napoli
Raised $2,500 from 3 donations
Santa Cruz, CA
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
David Warren
Team member
Raised $80 from 2 donations
Ethan SUmmers
Team member
Kathleen Deck
Team member

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