To drive this system we decided to use a Raspberry Pi and Arduino Micro combination.
The Raspberry Pi runs a stack of Nginx, Memcached and NodeJS which then feeds desired LED colors to the Arduino Micro which streams them out over the WS2811 protocol to the LEDs. We'll cover this in more detail later.
First we got this setup working on the breadboard:
Then we attached the electronics to the backboard using double sided adhesive tape and tested it with the LEDs.