Clara Francesca Creator Spotlight

As we continue with our creator spotlight series, this week we are highlighting Clara Francesca! Clara was the director of the Digital Dreaming Augmented Reality tour of Nyack, NY featured at this year’s Phoenix Festival, which Quantious proudly sponsored. She walked us through her involvement with the Phoenix Festival, provided advice for aspiring AR creators, and opened up about how she stays up-to-date in this ever-changing field.

Quantious Team
4 min readJan 11, 2024


Tell us about your experience with the Phoenix Festival. How has this experience/process been different from others? What are you most excited about?

“In September 2013 I migrated as an Italian-Australian to the USA as a guest artist and actor to NYC for Anne Bogart’s SITI Company Inaugural Conservatory. In 2014 I had the absolute joy of meeting the incredible Phoenix Theatre Ensemble Artistic Director Elise Stone, and soon after the incomparable Managing Director Craig Smith. Stone and Smith nurtured an artistic home for me. They are dedicated to honoring the human behind the artist, and the community that makes up the audience. With this, we embarked on presenting great stories of the classical canon in NYC and Nyack. I am thrilled that 2023 marked a generous partnership between Phoenix Festival and Quantious for our Digital Dreaming Walking Audio-AR Tour of Nyack Experience. In preparation for this, I have been humbled to learn from Ramapo Nation Clan Mother Cynthia Fountain who journeyed towards the end of 2023. We prepared a land acknowledgment that I am most excited to share with the Nyack community and our wider audiences. Digital Dreaming for Phoenix Festival 2023 Nyack Live Arts presented by Quantious features my phenomenal colleagues and friends Orsolya Szánthó, Amelia Fowler, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Attilio Rigotti, Kerem SmithStone, and Leo Lion. The upcoming events I encourage folks to buy tickets for are… Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ opening January 19th and Glyn Maxwell’s ‘Drinks with Dead Poets’ opening February 2nd.

Do you have any advice for viewers who are looking to get started in AR creation?

“ I have been so grateful to be teaching XR at the Museum of the Moving Image NYC (MOMI) now for over a year with tremendous success in having intergenerational conversations about how XR art can foster responsible artistic and humanitarian conversations between demographics. When I teach the teenagers base-AR creations, (of which I certainly am no excerpt, I’m humbled to work with truly amazing collaborators), we usually create using Styly which my friend and colleague in Tokyo, Japan Brittany Kurtinecz got me onto. Styly I think is the most user-friendly for folks starting out. Spark AR is probably the most popular for mass-creation-use, however, it does require a Meta/Facebook account to work with: something my generation usually has but my teens looked at me like I had told them floppy discs were cool. I really encourage folks to go to Queens and visit the museum @movingimagenyc. My next AR creation will take place on March 2nd and March 3rd at Culture Lab in Queens, NY. Tickets will go live here and folks can join the XRE mailing list here to get ticket announcements

How do you and/or your team stay up-to-date with the latest AR technology and trends, and incorporate them into your work?

“I am very lucky to work with friends who are truly brilliant minds, hearts, artists and technicians who keep me honest. When co-founded The Extended Reality Ensemble (XRE) with Anne Wichmann (aka She’s Excited!), we embarked on a journey as a collective to bring analog and digital artists together asking the question “How do we coexist and expand our realities as artists alongside our differences?” Doing this has opened so many doors, windows, sunroofs, and all the other metaphors that keep our eyes and ears open to updates. We got to work and/or connect with phenomenal artists/creators including digital art with ARORA (formerly the #MakeUsVisible campaign), Pollinate Art, Illust, 8th Wall, Scavengar, denkFEmale, Google i/o, ThoughtWorks, interns at ReelWorks, teaching at MOMI, and our two-in-house-so-to-speak phenomenal digital creators Whitt Sellers and AR expert Sky Rolnick and of course the Internationally Acclaimed Ars Electronica Festival where XRE has been the official New York City Festival Garden for three consecutive years. Working with these hubs, and so many others, has kept us abreast of conversations we need to be savvy to. Recently I was interviewed about this very question by the generous humanitarian artist Frances McGarry, who if people have a moment to listen to, I recommend checking it out. It is a more AI than AR-focused conversation but I think there are a lot of valid considerations.

@xrensemble @shes_excited @pollinateart @8thwall @get_scavengar @denkfemale @thoughtworks @reelworks @museumofcraftanddesign @whittsellers @skymeson @arselectronica @katie_peyton_ @francesmcgarry

To learn more about Clara’s work, visit her website and social media channels: