The Season for Giving

As the end of the year approaches, some of you may well feel inclined to part with some of your hard earned money to some charitable causes. I would like to suggest a couple of organizations that are deserving of your patronage this holiday season. All of the following are 501(c)3 organizations.

Soundwave / ME’DI.ATE

The MEDIATE group is responsible for the biennial Soundwave festival, which is, in my humble opinion, the most interesting festival in the Bay Area, and curatorially has some of the best emerging talent in interesting venues and performing under well-planned settings.

Soundwave is MEDIATE’s acclaimed biennial festival of innovative sound, art and music. Soundwave is a multi-venue and multi-date sound performance series happening over the span of two months every two years in San Francisco USA. Each season investigates a new idea in sound and invites diverse multidisciplinary artists and musicians to explore the season’s theme in new and innovative directions. It is a project dedicated to challenge and inspire artists and audiences to look deeper into the sound medium and discover new connections to sound making and the sound experience. Soundwave was awarded Best Sound Sculptures – Future Classic by San Francisco Magazine’s BEST of 2007 issue. It has been featured on SPARK*, KQED’s (PBS) television arts show and Educator Guide on Experimental Music, SF Weekly, SF Chronicle, BBC Radio 3 (UK), San Francisco Bay Guardian, 7×7 Magazine, SFist, WNYC Public Radio, ResonanceFM (UK), KUSF, KALX, KPFA, amongst others.

Donate to MEDIATE.

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts continues to be the top game in town for a community focal point focused on digital arts, in a city ostensibly at the forefront of technological innovation. Your donation allows us to support our year-round exhibitions, events, workshops, panels and lectures focusing on digital culture at the intersection of art, science, technology, and society.

Here are just some of the things Gray Area has produced this year:


Future/Canvas 2: The Emerging Medium of iPad Art
TRANSMUTATIONS: Sound, Data, and Mechanics
Zimoun: Solo Exhibition
Milieux Sonores: Sound and Imaginary Space
SENSEable Cities: Exploring Urban Futures


Arduino 101
Visualizing and Mapping Data
Buildling Augmented Reality Apps with Layar
Real-time Video Manipulation in Quartz Composer
Digital Cartography, Interactive Mapping, and Data Visualization
Summer of Smart Mayoral Forums
Cinema Speakeasy
Introduction to Touch Designer for Projection Mapping
Dr. Hubert Burda on the Digital Wunderkammer
Atom(tm) / Senor Coconut Live!
Sound Research Meetups
Introduction to openFrameworks
Max for Live Hack Night
Immersive Audio Environments for Composition and Simulation
Game Based Learning Salon
Breakneck Prototyping with Microsoft Pure Data and Kinect
You get the idea….

BEAM Foundation

The BEAM Foundation is a music technology think-tank led by electronic music innovator Keith McMillen. It’s prototype technologies have spawned the successful spin-off business Keith McMillen Instruments which has produced a successful line of products targeting live electronic music performance.

BEAM’s mission is to create the conditions that will spark a new music movement based on the tools and techniques of the 21st century. Based on the concept of enhanced instruments coupled through an intelligent network, BEAM’s musical vision encourages formal structures that are reactive to improvisation while modifying timbral detail and ornamentation resulting in a new complexity and intimacy.


Noisebridge is an educational space for technical-creative projects, collaboratively run by its members. A 5,600 square-foot space located in the heart of San Francisco is a locus for all manner of creative exploration from programming to electronics to languages to boardgames. There is invariably a gathering of creative people learning together at all hours of the day and night at the space, and it contributes a vital grassroots community foundation for the arts scene in San Francisco that we would be much worse off without.

Donate to NoiseBridge

LongNow Foundation

The LongNow Foundation was founded in 01996 to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common.

Their Long Term Thinking Seminars are among the best and most interesting speaking lineups around the Bay, if you haven’t checked them out, do.

Donate to LongNow

826 Valencia

826 Valencia is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our work is based on the understanding that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success and that great leaps in learning can happen when trained tutors work one-on-one with students.

Donate to 826 Valencia