From Afghanistan to Honduras: Mission Citizens Can Now Connect to the World Through Portal

Mission Economic Development Corporation (Mission EDC) partners with Shared_Studios, an art, architecture, and technology organization, to bring the global public art initiative Portals to Mission, TX

The project calls for the installation of a Portal inside the Center for Education and Economic
Development (CEED), which will be equipped with immersive audio-visual technology. When
individuals enter the Portal, they will come face-to-face with a stranger in an identical Portal
located in a different part of the world but can converse live as if in the same room.

Mission joins the lists of Portals worldwide—some of which are located in Mexico, Afghanistan,
Rwanda, Iraq, Honduras, and in major cities across the US— making it the first Portal along the
US-Mexico border. Alex Meade, Mission EDC CEO, and Portals founder and CEO, Amar
Bakshi, spoke of the importance of Mission’s inclusion in this global project. “This is a
demographic that is hard to reach. Most people outside of Texas have never heard or visited
Mission, yet unbeknownst to most, our region plays a crucial part in the country’s current
economic and cultural climate. This Portal will allow us to actively insert our story into the
global narrative,” said Meade. For his part, Bakshi hopes, “that Mission gains a window into the
richness of life and diversity in the world, from Milwaukee to Mumbai, and we hope that the
network gains a sense of Mission’s richness and deep history as well.”

More than 25,000 people have engaged in one-on-one dialogues around the world through
Portals. In addition, thousands more have turned Portals into a global community space for
hosting classes, creative collaborations, and public performances. Meade emphasized the Portal’s
potential as a multidisciplinary educational tool stating, “the Portal offers an opportunity for
entrepreneurs to connect to one another, for artists to teach workshops, and even for people to
take language classes.”

The Mission Portal will remain open for one year starting on February 17, 2017. Cristina Garza,
Program Director at Mission EDC, will adopt the role of Portal Curator—engaging the local
community, scheduling Portal sessions, and creating Portal programming.

To reserve the use of the Portal you can reach Cristina Garza at
For more information on the project Portals, visit:

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