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About Gray Area


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Gray Area Foundation for the Arts applies digital art and technology to create positive social impact.

We are a new type of arts nonprofit, combining the best of the creative world and the tech world. Founded in San Francisco in 2009, we have produced festivals, hackathons, exhibitions, residencies, projects, and other initiatives that have quickly become internationally recognized.

This presentation reviews our work over the past four years with an eye toward the future.

Learn more and join us at

Published in: Technology, Real Estate
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About Gray Area

  2. 2. The Art & Technology Theater 10,000 sq/ft Events Classes Incubator Workshops Performances Community Spaces
  3. 3. A public digital display to provide the general public an enjoyable and engaging way to discover urban information.
  5. 5. OUR MISSION we apply digital art + technology to create positive social impact
  6. 6. WHAT WE DO we advance the creative use of technology to experiment and explore new solutions to social challenges
  7. 7. WHO WE ARE coders artists designers innovators makers community builders
  9. 9. OUR WORK
  10. 10. We test and scale projects with high impact potential. ! We teach digital tools to support artists and technologists. ! We host inspiring events that promote meaningful new work. ! INITIATIVES ! ! ! EDUCATION ! ! ! PROGRAMS ! ! !
  11. 11. testing creative projects to scale solutions ! 10 hackathons // 100+ prototypes // 1,000+ GRAY AREA INITIATIVES
  12. 12. EXPERIMENTAL initiatives RAPID prototyping IMPACTFUL outcomes
  13. 13. EXPERIMENTAL ! Innovation happens by taking risks. ! That’s why our initiatives are the first of their kind.
  14. 14. OUR INITIATIVES Urban Prototyping Creative Currency Summer of Smart Art Hack City Centered Great Urban Hack exploring new applications of tech in the public sphere uniting community development with technology reimagining democracy in the digital age uncovering new possibilities in digital art + culture using local data + storytelling to understand issues helping community groups leverage locative media
  15. 15. RAPID ! We need creative solutions, faster. ! That’s why we prototype to find them.
  16. 16. Pulse of the City Art Here SMART Muni I Just Wanna Hold Your Hand turning heartbeats into data + music connecting artists with unused spaces managing SF transportation in real time using digital art to promote public interaction SAN FRANCISCO Highlights Darkness Map Your SQFT Bridge reviving dark alleys with 3D projection art collecting light data from city streets bringing popups to underserved neighborhoods helping residents find and reserve local services OUR PROJECTS Creative Currency SUMMER OF SMART
  17. 17. IMPACTFUL ! We support teams as they grow ! so that projects can create lasting change.
  18. 18. PROTOTYPE ! ! ! PILOT ! ! ! PRODUCT We bring together leaders in art + technology to spark new projects. ! We select teams to test their ideas in the real world. ! We work with our network of partners to maximize their impact. OUR RESEARCH MODEL
  19. 19. teaching code to create art ! 3 years // 50 classes // 500 students GRAY AREA CREATIVE CODE
  20. 20. RESPONSIVE curriculum EXCEPTIONAL quality ACCESSIBLE pricing
  21. 21. RESPONSIVE ! Digital tools change every day. ! That’s why our classes do too.
  22. 22. Generative art Interactive media Data visualization Digital cartography Projection mapping Augmented reality Audio synthesis Game engines Spatial sound Soft circuitry ! + many more WHAT WE TEACH
  23. 23. ! Arduino Processing Max/MSP/Jitter openFrameworks HTML5 / Javascript Quartz Composer TouchDesigner WebGL GLSL D3 ! + whatever’s next OUR TOOLS
  24. 24. EXCEPTIONAL ! Learning can be inspiring. ! That’s why we choose the most reputable faculty.
  25. 25. Michal Migurski Grace Kim Sha Hwang Mary Franck Michael Chang Spencer Salazar Partner & Director of Technology Stamen Design Senior Interaction Designer Yahoo Design Technologist Trulia Interactive Art Engineer Obscura Digital Ph.D Student Stanford University Creative Technologist Google OUR FACULTY + many more
  26. 26. ACCESSIBLE ! Technology skills should be open to all. ! That’s why we keep our class costs low.
  27. 27. College-level tech education for ! $30! per classroom hour
  28. 28. building community to advance creative technology ! 20 exhibitions // 100+ events // 30,000+ attendees GRAY AREA PROGRAMS
  29. 29. INVENTIVE programming INSPIRING events DIVERSE community
  30. 30. INVENTIVE ! Bringing people together is powerful. ! That’s why we offer so many new ways to engage.
  31. 31. performances hackathons exhibitions workshops speakers meetups festivals demos panels WHAT WE HOST
  32. 32. INSPIRING ! Inspiration gives life to great experiences. ! That's why we celebrate visionary projects and people.
  33. 33. Leo Villareal Dorkbot SF Meetup w/ other artists Art Hack Weekend Hackathon + Expo w/ Creators Project Aaron Koblin + Robert Hodgin Digital Art Exhibition Douglas Rushkoff Public Speech Senseable Cities Data Art + Design Exhibition w/ MIT Atom TM Live Performance OUR EVENTS + many more
  34. 34. DIVERSE ! Disciplines and communities are often isolated. ! That’s why we bridge the GRAY AREA between them.
  35. 35. creative coders sound artists data artists designers urbanists makers students city agencies service organizations underserved communities WHO WE SERVE
  36. 36. PRESS + MEDIA
  37. 37. OUR COVERAGE
  38. 38. OUR AUDIENCE [2012] 24,000 7,900 1,209,535 1,021,187 HITS UNIQUES FOLLOWERS LIKES
  39. 39. BUDGET + BACKING
  40. 40. OUR BUDGET $54,500 awarded to projects + artists $726,600 funding for programs + research
  41. 41. OUR BOARD Julie Bottrell Stamen Ben Cerveny VURB, Bloom Janetti Chon Golightly House Chris Delbuck Gray Area Di-ann Eisnor Waze Alona Esposito Gray Area John Gage Sun (formerly) Peter Hirshberg Re:Imagine Aaron Koblin Google Josette Melchor Gray Area Eric Rodenbeck Stamen Chloe Sladden Twitter
  42. 42. ! NONPROFIT ! SF Planning + Urban Research Intersection for the Arts Code for America Hacks/Hackers Shareable Eyebeam The Hub SPUR ! PUBLIC ! SF Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation SF Mayor’s Office of Economic + Workforce Development SF Planning Department Swissnex ! ACADEMIC ! Imperial College London UC Berkeley Stanford SFSU CCA MIT ! ! ! CORPORATE ! American Express Creators Project 5M Project IDEO Rebar ! OUR PARTNERS
  43. 43. ! Nat’l Endowment for the Arts Adobe Foundation American Express 5M Placeworks Kenneth Rainin Foundation SF Arts Commission SF Grants for the Arts ! ! ! $100,000 $70,000 $60,000 $50,000 $32,000 $30,000 $20,000 $20,000 ! ! OUR SUPPORTERS
  44. 44. JOIN US