WolfBrown Presents: Making Sense of the Landscape of Immersive Experiences

A Two-Day Intensive Seminar for Performing Arts Administrators

Immersed in the Future

While nonprofit arts organizations work to rebuild audiences post-pandemic, the commercial entertainment landscape has shifted dramatically. Producers of immersive experiences of all kinds are extracting millions of dollars in demand for live entertainment from major markets across the US, much of it arts-based. 

This two-day seminar will delve deeply into the theory and current-day practice of immersive programming, drawing on 1.5 years of research. The seminar will cover the core drivers behind public adoption of immersive experiences, the range of technologies that make different kinds of immersive and virtual experiences possible, new approaches to storytelling, the role of immersive design, the function of setting/venue, and the challenges of product development in the immersive space. Participants may bring specific ideas for new programs to the seminar, or use the seminar as a launch pad for conceptualizing new programs. 

Our purpose in offering this seminar is to support participants in gaining a sense of the range of new programming opportunities in the augmented, immersive and virtual programming spaces in order to make smart investments in the most promising new programs.

At a glance

Who should attend

Artistic administrators, programming directors, and CEOs with purview over programming. 


Monday – Tuesday, May 22 – 23 , 2023*

*Suggested arrival the evening of Sunday, May 21, 2023

All events will be held at the Motown Mansion, 918 W. Boston Blvd., Detroit, Michigan, 48202

Maximum class size

12 – 15 


$1,595 per person

Reduced rate registration

A small number of reduced rate registrations for $395 are available for administrators representing small and mid-sized organizations, specifically serving historically marginalized populations. Accommodation may also be provided at no cost to these registrants. Please indicate on the registration form if you would like to be considered for a reduced rate registration. 

Motown Mansion

What previous participants had to say

  • 100% worth it. We learned so much and it helped shape my thinking for the future of our org.”
  • “It was all relevant and provided a common knowledge base and vocabulary […](which I think was helpful given our various starting points).”
  • “I’m tired, but feeling really inspired and excited to dive back in at [my organization] once I get home. I have already been sharing what I learned at the intensive with some of my [ensemble] and Board members, and everyone is super jazzed! I can tell that the information you all shared will have an impact on [my ensemble]. Thank you for helping us (nonprofits) think critically about how we can inhabit these immersive spaces.”
  • “The theoretical information is important background.”
  • “I am writing from the airport, snow falling thickly outside the windows, nearly bursting with the percolation of ideas. Excited to return to my team to share! The hospitality in that gorgeous historical home, chocked full of interesting colleagues, in-depth presentations, delicious meals catered to every dietary need, and one hound for every three participants, made for memories I will cherish, and hopefully, a future that will enrich even more lives [back home].”
  • “I’ve been sad, crusty, and cynical for months, and participation in the session – in such a beautiful, intellectually stimulating, generous environment with smart, charming, caring and interesting people – was the best possible antidote.”
  • “What a stimulating couple of days with you at the Motown Mansion. I heard you. Immersive work is coming: there is demand for it, based on human need; arts orgs need to ground ourselves in stories and story structures that could be rich in immersive formats; and we must invest in R+D and in collaborations of substance to succeed in this new realm. […] The knowledge you shared—after painstaking research and preparation—will help us to conceptualize the future and to commit to experimentation. I feel lucky to have had my understanding deepened. I carry with me a sense of responsibility as I share visions of a likely future.”

Agenda overview 

Sunday, May 21, 2023 from 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

  • Evening reception for participants at the Motown Mansion

Monday, May 22, 2023 from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

  • Genesis, history, and drivers of public interest in immersive experiences
  • Adoption of immersive products in fashion, architecture, nightlife, theme parks, public art and visual arts
  • Key categories of immersive programming in the performing arts (augmented, in-real-life, and virtual experiences)
  • The critical role of setting
  • Overview of immersive technologies
  • Sharing concepts for immersive experiences

Tuesday, May 23, 2023 from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

  • New approaches to storytelling
  • Immersive design
  • Economic models, human resources, and investment requirements
  • Concept development of three to five specific immersive program ideas
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Marco Emilio Bruscoli Headshot

Marco Emilio Bruscoli‘s research on digital, immersive, and virtual arts and entertainment projects has provided the foundation for a significant new focus on immersive experiences, positioning WolfBrown as a thought leader in this burgeoning new area of programming. Marco continues his work with WolfBrown for 2022-23 as a Scholar-in-Residence, supporting new research activities and product development efforts for the opera, theatre, classical music, and presenting fields.

Alan Brown Headshot

Alan Brown, Managing Principal of WolfBrown, is a leading researcher and management consultant in the arts and culture sector worldwide. His work focuses on understanding consumer demand for cultural experiences, evaluating support structures for the arts, and helping industry leaders make informed decisions and respond to changing conditions. His studies have introduced new vocabulary to the lexicon of cultural participation and propelled the field towards a clearer view of the rapidly changing cultural landscape.

A third (guest) speaker will be announced shortly.

Accommodation, meals, & travel


The following meals will be provided –

  • Sunday, May 21: Dinner 
  • Monday, May 22: Breakfast, lunch, & dinner 
  • Tuesday, May 23: Breakfast & lunch 

The registration form will include an opportunity to note any dietary restrictions. 

Travel planning

Plan to arrive on Sunday, May 21 in time for a 7:00 p.m. reception for participants, if possible. The program begins on Monday, May 22 at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, allowing for 6:45 p.m. and later departures out of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) Airport. 

Suggested accommodation and transportation

Individuals will be responsible for booking their own accommodations. We suggest the St. Regis Hotel, which is approximately 5 minutes from the Motown Mansion by car. Shuttle service will be provided to and from the St. Regis Hotel.

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Registration information

Deadline for registration

Monday, May 1, 2023

Registration instructions

Early registration is encouraged. Registrants will be admitted on a rolling basis based on available capacity. Expect to hear from us within a week of registering. Please wait to make travel plans until you have received confirmation of your admittance. Once admitted, payment instructions will be provided. To register, click on the link below.

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Here’s a preview of where you’ll be, though we hope in May that it will be quite a bit warmer here in Detroit. These pictures are from our previous seminar, held in January at the Motown Mansion.

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Get in touch

Please contact Annick Odom, our Director of Communications and Field Learning, if you are interested in applying or need further information or details about the course.