Given you can count the number of art spaces in North America focused (exclusively) on art that engages emerging technology with one hand, each venue that does plays an important role. Gray Area Foundation for the Arts is a self-described “non-profit organization supporting art and technology for social good” and has been operating in San Francisco for a decade. After several years of nomadism, the org put some roots down last year when they signed a ten year lease on a historic Mission District theatre space and mounted a successful $300,000 capital campaign to renovate it. CAN was on-hand for their launch event last spring – the coinciding first edition of the Gray Area Festival – and it was a welcome breath of fresh air for the North American festival circuit. With the second edition of their festival drawing near, we engaged in a dialogue with Gray Area’s Barry Threw (BT), Matt Ganucheau (MG), Chris Delbuck (CB) and Anna Ploegh (AP) to check in and see how the org’s various educational and programming initiatives are progressing.
It’s a 10,000 square foot theater, complete with co-working space, educational and workshop spaces, a bar, and full facilities for both performances and exhibitions. We have a full schedule of community meetups, workshops, panels, and symposia. We also run an eight-week Creative Code immersive educational program, providing a variety of learning opportunities centered around the creative use of technology.