13EXP

13Exp is a new experiential social impact entertainment studio, one of the first in a growing field focused on interlocking scaleable, digital and physical content with social impact as a driving force. Experiential narratives tell stories that reflect the reality of what it is to be human in the modern world: many of us now experience and engage with the world indiscriminately on media platforms, content sources, social channels, and live moments.

As the founder of 13Exp, leading Experiential Architect Mikhael Tara Garver is building a hub network for immersive artists, social impact designers, fan-builders, technologists, and story creators. The 13Exp team envisions a culture where experiential narratives and entertainment cultivate fans and communities that create social impact as the foundation of pop culture experiences, rather than just one-off commercial activations.

A number of pop culture fandoms—from Harry Potter to Steven Universe to Black Panther—demonstrate how well-designed narrative systems can bring together communities with shared values and teach them how to take meaningful actions that serve a shared agenda. The mission of 13Exp is to lead these emerging fields in a direction that considers social impact as the foundation of the stories and design of pop culture experiences. Through this grant support, 13Exp will assemble a team of experts working at the cross-section of fandoms, experiential storyworlds, the arts, technology, and social justice to document usable insights, recommendations, and resources to build social change into fandoms and experiential storyworlds. Also, working in collaboration with immigrant rights social justice organizations and entertainment industry partners, the 13Exp team will create a detailed blueprint for an experiential storytelling project and integrated fan-creation experience focused on an immigration issue. As part of this project, 13Exp will continue to hone their ability to lead content creators, influencers, and social justice groups in methods of storytelling that inspire social action.

“Experiential is more than a buzz word, an activation, or AI. Its fandom brought to life. Its stories experienced uniquely through the different ways we live: social, scripted, new technology, and live. And it holds the complexity of multiple intersecting stories across demographics and backgrounds. It has the potential to change our hearts with story, change our actions with physical movement, and bring us together in new community. Up until now, experiential has been seen most often as a marketing tool. There is a reason for that – it moves people.” – Mikhael Tara Garver