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Oakland, CA         

Thingamajigs is a genre-crossing arts organization that promotes, presents and performs music created with made and found materials or alternate tuning systems. Our mission is to develop and nurture the exploration of alternate materials and methods of creating sound, and promote collaborative efforts between artistic disciplines and practices. With open workshops, performances and educational programming, we welcome audiences/participants of all ages and backgrounds to join in a wonderful tradition started in the Bay Area by such composers as Henry Cowell, Harry Partch, Lou Harrison, John Cage and Pauline Oliveros.

Since 1997 we have presented world premiere works and performances by over 200 local, national and international artists. Known for our adventurous and genre-crossing programs, many of our artists have gained international recognition, with two MacArthur Fellows, Gerbode Foundation’s Emerging Composers Awardees, and a McKnight Composer Fellow, to name a few.

Thingamajigs was founded as an art project in 1997 at Mills College, Oakland California. Created by Edward Schocker and Dylan Bolles, the project was originally conceived as a forum for composers/performers who develop new and unique ways of producing sound. The project soon broke out of the college environment and into an annual music festival called Music for People & Thingamajigs.

In 2004 a permanent group of organizers and advisors was created. They articulated the essential mission of the Thingamajigs: to develop and nurture the exploration of alternate materials and methods of creating sound, as well as promote collaborative efforts with other artistic disciplines. In addition to the annual festival, Thingamajigs began offering arts education workshops in local schools, providing instruction in the creation and performance of handmade musical instruments, and formed the Thingamajigs Performance Group.

With over 20 years of existence, Thingamajigs is recognized as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.

Music for People & Thingamajigs Sample

A few performances and community outreach events from the Music for People & Thingamajigs Festival.

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