Hanukka is over, we lit our candles, said our prayers, and rejoiced. Now our Christmas tree is out (we’re a diverse family), and I’m ~12 out ~26 performances through my run as Bob Cratchit in Christmas Carol.
Here’s to 2018, a phenomenal year, a growth year. My health-tech company eVisit continues to climb, striding confidently higher into what is surely the most exciting market of our day. It has been, and continues to be, my honor and pleasure to be a part of it.
Many of you will have heard me say, “we brought deep expertise to eVisit from both health-tech and entertainment, because we knew our apps would have to look good on an iPhone between Facebook and Fortnite”. Well, they do. eVisit has the most beautiful, and most fully functional, remote care apps on the market.
That entertainment experience came both from me, as co-founder, CTO, and lead architect, and the heroic engineers I brought with me into eVisit. I have parallel passions. I began my career in health-tech (I wrote the first EHR for wireless devices in-clinic when I was too young to shave). Then I moved into entertainment and media tech where I built an animation studio, co-invented DigiClay Animation, co-founded Radiate Media, ran the film distributor Yekra as CEO, and built gaming and media delivery experiences for Electronic Arts, Blizzard, ESPN, and lots of others.
At Yekra, my mission was to discover and nurture up-and-coming artists, and build careers. I did that, advocating for hundreds of indie filmmakers. (We set the record for the #1 and #2 highest-grossing web-premiered feature films, both of which were newcomers.) But it wasn’t enough, and I left knowing I’d only scratched the surface.
Over the last several years I’ve worked closely with non-profit Salt Lake Film Society to design a new kind of artist nurturing and content development program. It has been the brainchild of SLFS CEO Tori A. Baker and me, and we’re calling ourselves its founders. This program was funded a few months ago by a private endowment, and today I proudly stood with the Salt Lake Film Society in launching it as “MAST”, a “media accelerator studio”.
I love to say that eVisit is changing the world, working to solve the second biggest global problem: the high cost and unavailability of health care.
I love media because it also changes the world. I believe our stories are what make us human. They are the stuff of our empathy, our hopes, our ambitions. Our progress and evolution. They give us our consciousness, our soul. We tell these stories, we all do; we all should. And some few can show them, conjure them visually through language, art, and motion.
The tools and techniques for doing this are wildly different today than they were twenty years ago, or even ten. And they call for a new kind of artist: the artist entrepreneur, the artist technologist.
MAST exists to discover artists, then connect, nurture, and empower them, grow them into tech-savvy artists with business smarts. These artist entrepreneurs will then be better equipped to create their art from wherever they are, raising a diaspora of accessible art in every city across the globe. A diverse and democratic art. A free art.
This is the dream. This is the mission.
Any of you who would like to help shape the next generation of media artists—who themselves shape the next generations of minds, who then build our future societies—consider donating to this effort either through me or at www.MastStudio.org. Donations are tax deductible. And you’ll be underwriting the fellowship of young artists, many of whom will come from minority or under-served backgrounds, as they build the skills they need to create content the world needs—in the 21st-Century way.