Salt Lake City, UT
Rick Wray doesn’t consider himself an artist, but rather a media arts educator and community organizer. In 1996, Rick brought an educational vision to fruition when he co-founded Higher Ground Learning (HGL), a creative tutoring/mentoring center focused on creating customized learning models based on students individual learning needs. Realizing the dynamic educational nature of digital multimedia after designing and teaching nearly 25 creative media workshops in digital photography, filmmaking, and animation while at Higher Ground Learning, Rick passed on the reins of HGL in 1999 and co-founded Utah’s only not-for-profit youth media center, Spy Hop Productions. Nearly ten years later, Spy Hop Productions has swelled to 20 full and part-time media mentors and its programming has involved over 7,500 young people ages five to nineteen through innovative audio, video, and web programming. In 2002, Rick collaborated with the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration of Salt Lake City and founded the LocoMotion International Film Festival, an annual event that celebrates the cinematic visions of teenage filmmakers from across the globe. In 2003, Rick received the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Service to the Arts Award. In 2005, taking the “best practices” learned from Spy Hop Productions, he founded the Interactive Digital Education Academy (iDEA), a teacher professional development model dedicated to integrating the filmmaking process into the core curriculum. Rick Wray continues to serve as the Executive Director of Spy Hop Productions.