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  • Writer's pictureDiana Brandt

Facetime on steroids in Downtown Tempe

Downtown Tempe is the latest location to host a Portal - an immersive audiovisual space that opens a window to a network of sites around the world. Portals are physical structures that bring people together who would never otherwise meet. When you enter a Portal, you come face-to-face with someone somewhere else on earth, live and full-body—as if in the same room. The Downtown Tempe Portal is a gold shipping container offering an immersive, interactive experience unlike any other.

Portals connect people separated by distance and difference for conversation, education, collaboration, and play. The Downtown Tempe Portal will connect to other Portals around the world, including sites in Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Mexico City, Afghanistan and more. Live interpretation is available, and the experience is free and open to the public.

The Downtown Tempe Portal is located at Centerpoint Plaza, 600 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe AZ 85281 and is available both to students and to the local community to use. Guests may walk up or schedule a specific time to connect with other Portal users from around the world at a specific date and time. The Portal is in Downtown Tempe and open to the public from March 1 through March 31, 2019:

· Mondays – Thursdays 11am – 2pm

· Fridays 11am – 2pm, 5pm – 10pm

· Weekends 12pm – 5pm

· *Exception: Tempe Festival of the Arts weekend (March 29-31, 2019) it will be open 10am – 5:30pm

Up to ten people can fit inside the Portal at a given time, and guests are encouraged to experience, inspire and explore with others by sharing a hosted meal, art performances or music, or simply connect and have conversations with others from around the globe.

“We’ve been working for over a year to bring The Portal to Downtown Tempe,” remarked Julie Kent, Director of Placemaking for Downtown Tempe. She noted that, “This extraordinary temporary installation is kind of like Facetime on steroids, and there’s no way to explain it. You should just come experience it for yourself.”

Programming for this project is made possible by the Downtown Tempe Authority, Shared Studios, City of Tempe. Arizona State University and APS.

For more information on the Downtown Tempe Portal or schedule a session, please visit:

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