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An addictively entertaining new breed of public radio show utilizing innovative narrative structure & widespread public participation.

An addictively entertaining new breed of public radio show utilizing innovative narrative structure & widespread public participation. Read More
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on January 8, 2012.

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About this project


From all of us here in the SonicSF Micro-Newsroom in San Francisco’s North Beach, we want to extend a huge thanks to you for following our campaign and pledging your support to this unusual project. As this was our first attempt to rally public support, we’re overwhelmed with the positive responses we’ve received! And because of your enthusiasm, we fully intend to see SonicSF produced.

We’re hoping that you’ll continue to be there with us as a shining “Founding Underwriter.” We’ve determined that with the amount of funds pledged, we would be able to purchase two editing stations and two reporter’s kits which will allow us to move forward with casting and begin production of our initial season.

 Instead of attempting another campaign through a middle-man website, we are simply transferring all of our supporter levels to our own website at As of Sunday, January 8, you’ll be able to donate directly to SonicSF through our PayPal link. All rewards will remain the same – so you can still get that amazing print or chance to narrate an epsiode! By transferring your gift, you will also remain part of the SonicSF community, and you'll be recognized on our website as a Founding Underwriter.  PLEASE JOIN US and MAKE SONICSF YOURS!!

 Finally, if you want to be sure and get updates on our progress and projects, please join our official mailing list here:

 P.S. Good News! We've decided to complete the recording of the Showdown Quartet singing the names of all of our initial backers! To ensure you’re included in this Thank You gift and receive your .mp3, please make your donation via our website before noon PSD on Saturday, January 14th.

 And THANK YOU again for your support! This is going to be a great show!


SonicSF is a new breed of radio show that takes its standards from NPR and its narrative tendencies from pop-culture, to deliver an addictively entertaining "reality news" series.  We've coined that term, "reality news," to describe our particular style, and it's the way we'll explore the underground stories and untold secrets of a dynamic, creative city.

We need funding for a few basics:  editing workstations, simple recording gear, web development, and a few months' rent for our newsroom.


YOU NEED US.  If you're a fan of RadioLab, This American Life, or the Sound of Young America -- our show is for you.  You need more than just a few hours of unusual radio each month!  We have a sound all our own, just as each of those shows do.  SonicSF is set in San Francisco, but you don't have to live here to listen and love it (you didn't have to live in New York to love Seinfeld).  We passionately believe there are undiscovered stories and fascinating people here, and that San Francisco -- the city that inspired Hammett, Hitchcock, Kerouac, and even Jobs  -- should be the breeding ground for this new kind of programming. 

WE NEED YOU.  Almost all public radio innovation started independently.  Ira, Jad and Jesse each had to go it alone at first, and now it's our turn.  Like a few innovators before us, we want to challenge the idea that radio journalism can't be innovative, entertaining, and fun.  Isn’t it more interesting to hear events as they unfold rather than listening to a reporter reading from a script?  Wouldn't you like to be where the action is taking place?  Not every news story has to be investigative; small moments can also be revelatory.  We want to deliver more than just information.  We want to deliver an experience, and one that you are part of!  But to do that we need your support.


WE TRUST YOU.  We know we don’t have to tell you every little thing.  Don’t know what silicon photonics are?  That’s okay, you’ll look it up!  Need more background?  You’ll get it from a listener comment.  We realize we’ll be just one of many sources you get information from, and we’re okay with that.  It gives us more room to have fun and to be compelling with our material.

PARTICIPATORY.  New ideas and technology developed in the Bay Area are continually shaping the way we connect with each other and learn about current events.  SonicSF takes advantage of partnerships with creative new tech platforms, making it possible for listeners to become directly involved. There are at least eight ways to participate with the show, including simple online interaction, our mobile assignment desk, mixed-reality mapping, and others, which we aren't revealing just yet.

MULTI-DISCIPLINARY.  SonicSF incorporates audio, visual art, text, music and live events in a way that promotes a larger experience for fans and contributors. 

INNOVATIVE. As RadioLab's Jad Abumrad said: “[Public Radio] needs more joy.  It needs more chaos.  It needs more anarchy.  And it needs more moods.” SonicSF is the program public radio needs: groundbreaking, amusing, informative, compelling, tech-savvy – and completely unlike anything else out there.

Want to hear a sample?  Check out the audio promo on our website!  

OR listen right here:


SonicSF sounds like life in San Francisco.  Here are some micro-scenes from the pilot:    


WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO?  Public Radio's current funding system discourages experimentation, and unfortunately, grants are still most often awarded to radio projects that are similar to projects that came before them.  The result is a homogenous style of reporting that covers the same topics again and again, even if utilizing new technology to do so.  We’re living in a renaissance for public media (all media, really), and this is the time to try new things!  Once we publish eight episodes and illustrate there's an audience for this program, we'll be in a much better position to secure grant funding.  We can’t do it without you!  PLEASE help us make the show a reality.


  • To make public radio, which we LOVE, meaningful and relevant for a new generation.  We’re also making it smart and fun.
  • We'll create eight episodes of SonicSF.  Then, if you like it, we’ll make more!  The first round of casting and recruiting has already been completed.  The second round begins at the end of January, with web development and correspondent training taking place shortly thereafter.   The show will launch in the Spring of 2012.
  • Off-air programming is an integral part of SonicSF, and we encourage and thrive off collaborations with creative professionals, small businesses and other organizations. We'll frequently be working with local musicians, artists, and other makers to promote and contribute to the creativity that fuels this vibrant city.  We already have two of our next off-air events in the works, so stay tuned because you’re invited!



  • SonicSF doesn’t yet have a permanent distributor, but we will eventually make the show available to public radio stations around the country via Content Depot, and of course, you'll also be able to access all of our content online!

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  • The money from your pledge will go toward financing our SonicSF website, and technology needs for our newsroom, which include computer workstations, audio recording equipment for correspondents, and basic office supplies.

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  • We can definitely exceed our fundraising goal, and really hope to do so, especially since the actual cost of equipment and operations for SonicSF are more than double our current goal. If we don’t get up to $10,000, then no money is exchanged hands and we will have to start over. Please don’t let this happen!

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  • You can always increase your pledge amount: simply sign-in to your Kickstarter account, go to the SonicSF campaign page, and click “Manage Your Donation.” You can then change the amount or incentive level of your pledge. Unfortunately your pledge is not tax-deductible, though we are currently in the process of receiving 501(c)(3) status and will let you know once this is possible.

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  • YES: what a perfect time of year to gift a SonicSF Kickstarter pledge! Once the campaign has ended, we will follow up with you to direct your gift to the proper person.

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  • SonicSF currently has a small staff of five producers and correspondents, and one illustrator, but will soon include other San Franciscans and anyone who supports the program! WE ARE:

    Silvi Alcivar -- Correspondent Silvi, owner and poet of The Poetry Store, uses her red royaltypewriter to write poems on demand for people at events of all kinds. She also makes art and jewelry. Her work has been featured in 7x7 Magazine,Daily Candy, The SF Chronicle, as well as exhibited at Secession Art and Design. She lives inthe mission and loves to take walks or runs around the neighborhood and upBernal Hill. Her favorite thing about San Francisco is a tie between thewind and the ocean and the wild parrots.

    Lindsey Baird – Assistant Producer & Correspondent Although Lindsey was born and raised in Minnesota, San Francisco has been her home for the last seven years. Attending the Academy of Art for film editing and producing; she is now the Asst. Producer for SonicSF. In addition to working in the news room, Lindsey also has her hands in the food and beverage industry. She’s opened several staple San Francisco restaurants including Flour and Water and Comstock Saloon. Lindsey lives in the Mission District but you can often find her in North Beach pouring delicious cocktails to sip on or shoot!

    Stacy Bond – Executive Producer Until the age of ten, Stacy lived just outside of Dallas, where she spent her time rounding up the neighborhood kids and convincing them to be in conceptual productions modeled after variety shows such as “Donny and Marie on Ice” and “Pink Lady and Jeff.” Still obsessed with making shows, some of her time these days is spent planning all the writing and art projects she’ll be able to tackle once she gets SonicSF launched. When not toiling in the show's micro-newsroom, she can be found cooking Weston A. Price style, thrifting, looking at art while wishing she were making it, and running her mouth. She lives on lower Nob Hill with her husband Rich Bartlebaugh. Her favorite thing about San Francisco is everything.

    Hunter Oatman-Stanford – Online Manager & Correspondent Hunter was born and raised in Austin, TX and spent the last 5 years moving around (Poughkeepsie, Marfa, New Orleans, Berlin, etc.) and exploring the dynamic cultural scenes in each of these unique places before settling in the city by the bay. He has previously worked in interior/graphic design, managing visual arts organizations, and installing exhibitions. Hunter is a maker of all kinds of amazing things (clothing, furniture, jokes, vegetarian food) and lives in the Inner Sunset, the SF neighborhood he is currently most obsessed with. His favorite thing about San Francisco is the locavore food scene.

    Dana Laman – Senior Producer & Story Editor Dana hails from southern California but currently resides in San Francisco. She loves storytelling in all forms, and works as a creator and editor across multiple mediums, including illustration, audio and film. In addition to her design and media work, Dana is a producer for SonicSF and continually looks for creative ways to assemble content. Some days you’ll find Dana doing post-production on her latest film endeavor, other days relaxing at home in the Excelsior, listening to the Papercuts. Her favorite thing about San Francisco is its complexity (and its karaoke).

    Mark Lukach – SonicSF Correspondent A former history teacher at Woodside Priory School, Mark has left the schoolyard and is now focusing on journalism. Mark is the associate editor of the Ocean Beach Bulletin, and a founding correspondent for SonicSF. As a freelance writer, he has been published in 7×7 magazine, Shmoop, MYOO,, Scuttlefish and The Inertia, and he is currently working on a memoir with his wife Giulia. Mark currently lives in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco with Giulia and their bulldog, Augustus. His favorite thing about San Francisco is Ocean Beach – a wonderful place to surf, walk your dog, and find some solitude in an otherwise busy urban environment.

    Patrick Rossetti – Illustration & Design Patrick was born and raised in Southern California. He studied illustration in Long Beach and is currently pursuing a freelance career. Patrick is a music nerd and film-buff, and lives in the Lower Haight. His favorite thing about San Francisco is the incredible architectural diversity.

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  • SonicSF is the brainchild of Stacy Bond, an artist and veteran-NPR producer and a former producer at KQED. While NPR was interested in an early partnership with SonicSF, we have decided to produce the show independently in order to maintain editorial control and further the level of innovation possible.

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  • Kickstarter is a website that allows groups to help raise financing for creative projects, utilizing a unique all-or-nothing fundraising method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

    For more info, click here:

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  • You can spread the word about SonicSF by reposting our Kickstarter link on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog! Talk about us to your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. and get them excited, because we want you all to be involved. This is your city, and should be your show.

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  • To join our mailing list, click here:…. You should also follow our blog, or find us on Twitter or Facebook!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8 USD

    You will become one of our "Founding Underwriters," receiving credit on our website from now to eternity AND a special handwritten thank-you note on a SonicSF postcard! Becoming a Founding Underwriter will show the world you possess amazing vision and foresight; after all, you were first in supporting a new genre of public radio!

    Estimated delivery
    12 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    Besides your Founding Underwriter Credit, you'll also receive a gorgeous 18″ × 24″ Cityscape Poster of a drawing by SonicSF illustrator Patrick Rossetti. It features a compelling composite view of San Francisco cityscape elements -- including the SonicSF/Sentinel Building -- and was commissioned specifically for SonicSF. This will look so great on your wall!

    Estimated delivery
    20 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50 USD

    In addition to the Founding Underwriter Credit and a Cityscape Poster, you’ll receive a top-secret CD recording of the unpublished Pilot Episode of SonicSF. You'll get to hear the inside scoop before our cast members made it big: stories include Launching the Poetry Store, Secret Surf Restoration and hilarious audio from a casting interview! The CD comes in a limited-edition, customized & hand-printed sleeve. The SonicSF Pilot -- a perfect excuse for a listening party!

    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $67 or more About $67 USD

    Art collector alert!! Beyond the Founding Underwriter Credit, Cityscape Poster and Secret Pilot Episode CD, you will receive two beautiful, limited-edition prints by show illustrator Patrick Rossetti! You can choose two of the eight gorgeous prints that feature lovely composite scenes of San Francisco’s classic cityscape. Each artwork measures 6″ × 8″, is hand-signed and numbered by Patrick, and perfect for framing.

    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    Press Club Ephemera! On top of the Founding Underwriter Credit, Cityscape Poster and Secret Pilot Episode CD, you get a hand-personalized SonicSF "Press Pass." This allows you free entry for one year into any of our "Press Club" parties (including our grand launch party), special events, and SonicSF meetups, which will become a regular part of the show’s off-air programming. The Press Pass is designed by artists Patrick Rossetti & Dana Laman, and features images of famous San Francisco journalists and historical characters. If you'd prefer to preserve this little item as the work of art it truly is, you'll be glad to know it's also suitable for framing!

    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250 USD

    Champagne Breakfast! You will receive the Underwriter Credit, Poster, CD, Press Pass, AND -- the SonicSF crew will host you at a personalized "Donor Breakfast Party and tour of the SonicSF Newsroom" in Francis Ford Coppola’s famous Sentinel Building in North Beach. You’ll get to try tasty local treats, meet the whole news team, and have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the amazing architectural and historical heritage that is our great city! If you are not in the Bay Area, we will thank you with a lovingly assembled SF-themed breakfast party care-package by mail!

    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500 USD

    An Exclusive Go Game! This is a stunning reward you can share with 7 friends! Not only do you get the Underwriter Credit, Poster, CD, Press Pass, and Donor Breakfast, but you'll ALSO participate with your friends in an exclusive SonicSF edition of the "Go Game" – a site-specific clue hunting race through the city, culminating in a secret party to celebrate the magic of SonicSF! Bring up to 7 friends along on this competitive, one-of-a-kind, technology-fueled game featuring live actors and hidden hints. It's a great way to explore our favorite sights and sounds in the quintessential San Francisco neighborhood of North Beach. Get your friends together so you can donate at this level -- you'll have an unforgettable experience!!!

    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    GET AMAZING PRINTS! NARRATE AN EPISODE! As an incredible top-tier patron, you will receive our undying love, the Underwriter Credit, Poster, CD, Press Pass, Donor Breakfast, Go Game, AND (deep breath) a set of 4 beautiful, limited-edition prints by show illustrator Patrick Rossetti. These prints are part of a full edition of 50, and include lovely composite scenes featuring classic elements of San Francisco's visual landscape. Each artwork is 6″ × 8″, hand-signed and numbered by Patrick, and suitable for framing.

    Finally, you will also receive a once-in-a-lifetime chance to NARRATE AN EPISODE of SonicSF! You, or an individual of your choosing, will get to record in our North Beach studio (or at a studio near you, anywhere in the world if you are unable to be in the Bay Area). Your cameo appearance on SonicSF will ensure that your voice will be among those of the original vocal cast members of our groundbreaking series!

    Estimated delivery
    0 backers

Funding period

- (30 days)