San Francisco Institute of Possiblity

From the blog

Tipsy 2019 Patron Pitch

Hey everybody,

Camp tipsy is 16 weeks away! Make sure you mark it on your on your calendars June 20th to June 23rd (but you should come early! Entertainment starts the 17th!). Tipsy is great. It’s the best thing we do and if you haven’t been you should come. You’ll laugh and be happy the whole time. It’s like what Burning Man used to be like before money and art careers and power trips and billionaires.

General admission tickets to Tipsy 2019 are $125 and we plan on releasing them on March 1st. There are some patron tickets available now, for those of you who are of means and love us.

There won’t be any sales or specials for tickets this year, we just dropped the price by 1/3rd and hopefully that will make it more accessible for everyone.

I’m writing this note to you today about Camp Tipsy, June 20th – June 23rd 2019.

This year we have a new ticket system. It’s neat. We wanna lower the price so it’s more accessible to people. So drop it from $180 to $125 We are going to do this by selling 100 Patron Tickets at $250. It all balances out really nicely. If you are a person of means and can afford to buy a $250 ticket instead of a $125 one, you are perfectly within your means to be a Tipsy Patron! Is this something you can do? We would be ever so grateful. We can not release the $125 tickets until we sell 100 of the $250 ones, or we have to re-think the entire thing…
But time is running out:

If this isn’t you, then don’t you worry, Patrons will step up and we will be releasing the $125 tickets by March 1st. I’m sure of it. We just have to nudge people a little.

Camp Tipsy tickets are here:

There is extensive information on the ticket site, but you get the general idea. Tipsy HAS to grow if it’s to survive another drought. Or a slow year. Not tons. Just a little. Everything gets more expensive every year. It’s just the way of things. Having tickets for $125 will increase our numbers by 10% or so. New blood. New boats. More fun. Last year was great, but the money didn’t work. The rent at the storage doubled from $400 to $800. Labor costs rose. And this year I’ll have a 3 month old kiddo so I won’t be able to be there as much, which will have consequences…

Things as cool as Tipsy don’t work like other things work. They don’t make rational sense. They can’t be confined to normal systems. It’s a caper. It requires careful planning to create this much Chaos. It’s confounding and confusing.

1. 1.
a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, or cause.
“a celebrated patron of the arts”
synonyms: sponsor, backer, financier, subsidizer, underwriter, guarantor, benefactor/benefactress, contributor, subscriber, donor;

That’s you! The patron of the arts! Lets celebrate! Please buy a Patron Ticket to Tipsy and see if you can’t think of anyone else who can afford to be a Patron and ask them to buy as well. The quicker we get 100 tickets sold, the quicker we release the $125 tickets and the more people will come…

Thank you ever so much,
Chicken John

Flamenco! An evening of music, dancing, dinner and comedy

As part of our monthly fundraising series of shows for the Camp Tipsy greater community, our yearly Flamenco evening is fast approaching. This year we’ll gather on February 13th in the SoMa along with Mark Smalls our comedian, Daniel Fries on guitar, Azriel Goldschmidt our cante (flamenco singer), and Marina Elena and Kerensa deMars as our dancers.

Chicken John, Spanky, and Genevieve are cooking up a yummy 5 course meal complete with appetizers and dessert.

Whether you decide to come with a date or simply treat yourself, we’ll have you covered. Tickets went on sell this week with three different packages to choose from. But don’t wait too long, seating is limited and we usually have a packed house for the evening. Tickets can be found here. 

Don’t forget to mark Camp Tipsy on your calendars now. June 20th – June 23rd. If you wish to come earlier, you can always buy early arrival passes to build and play with us even longer.

Robin Frohardt and the Plastic Bag Store

We are trying to get Robin Frohardt to bring her Plastic Bag Store to SF! It’s a great project and we want to host it!


It’s a store that sells stuff. But all the stuff is made from plastic bags. It’s amazing. Totally immersive experience, unlike all the crap that all the newly minted “experience designers” are plying. This is what it looks like when a true artist spends years of their lives immersed in their vision. It’s just amazing.


Cheers to Robin, she’s one in a million. From a humble (and underage!) bartender at the Odeon to NYC’s most respected puppeteer. We are proud to call her friend!



‘Goodnight Little Machines.’

Sxip Shirey is at it again. His brilliant producing and composing is bringing forth a new album entitled Goodnight Little Machines. Only this time, his new project also includes visual art, animation and film by artists such as Shaun Tan, Coco Karol, Funquest and many more – all inspired by Shirey’s music itself.

But this can’t be done without the help of you.

The Indiegogo for the new album closes TODAY and we think it’s absolutely worthy of supporting.

So go take a look, poke around his website and be awed by the artist. You won’t regret it.


Behind the scenes at the SFIOP,


Last night’s Supperclub with Rachel Lark

Last night we wrapped up our three part series of Camp Tipsy’s Supperclub events. Nestled at a dazzling cabaret spot in SoMa, Chicken and Tipsy friends served up a delicious 3 course home cooked meal. Musings of upcoming Tipsy excitement circulated in conversations where merriment was plenty.

We were delighted to have company of the lovely Rachel Lark playing her ukelele and songs off her Christmas album “Hung for the Holidays.” If you’re a fan of sassy, thoughtful and filthy songwriting that certainly challenges some overrated societal patterns, we recommend giving her music a listen. She had us laughing, sighing while saying “Ooo, ouch” and even singing along with her contagious heartfelt nature. Then again, I can’t remember a show of hers when this wasn’t the case. Ten out of ten, would do it all over again.

If you weren’t able to make it out, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time to catch some laughs with other Tipsy kin at the upcoming Flamenco and Knotluck dinners in 2019.

And don’t forget! Camp Tipsy tickets make an excellent holiday gift this year.


Behind the scenes at the SFIOP,













Upcoming SFIOP events

Here at the SFIOP, we want you to be up to date on the latest happenings. There are some great upcoming opportunities to hear some eclectic music and even mingle with Camp Tipsy folk if that’s your sort of thing.


November 14, 2018 – Supperclub goes Goth Night 

December 10, 2018 – Supperclub with Rachel Lark

February 7, 2019 – FLAMENCO!

March 13, 2019 – Camp Tipsy Knotluck

April 16, 2019 – Camp Tipsy Knotluck

May 13, 2019 – Camp Tipsy Knotluck

June 20-23, 2019 – Camp Tipsy 2019!!!!

Special Note about Camp Tipsy 2019

OK, big new changes for Camp Tipsy 2019 tickets…

We are hearing that Tipsy is too expensive for some folks and as a non-profit driven, community-based event- we hate that. Our collective mission is to make Tipsy more accessible but we can’t do it for less money (costs keep rising, in this last year alone the rent on our storage DOUBLED) so we decided to try something new! Check out our new ticket price structure below. It’s HEAVILY dependent on people who have the means to provide counter balance to those less blessed (but quite often who’s contributions are come in other forms).

Here’s what we hope to do:

  • General Admission Tickets will drop by 1/3rd to $125!
    • We hope to sell these to those who need to be more financially conservative and/or who don’t know if Tipsy is for them and feel a higher ticket price is a barrier to trying it out.
  • Kids tickets will cost 50% of General Admission, $62.50
  • Patron Tickets will be $250, $2,500 & $25,000
    • Patron Tickets will offset the costs of General Admission Tickets. Since many fine camping events cost $300-$600 or more so we know many in our community are blessed with the means to chip in extra for an event they love. If you can please do! Don’t let us tell you what this event is worth… you tell us!
    • $250 patron tickets gets you the knowledge that you paid extra to open the gates for others to come. We hope to sell 100 of the these.
    • $2,500 Super Patron tickets– Purchase one of these and you get free entry to Tipsy for life. We hope to sell 10 of these.
    • $25,000 UBER Patron Ticket– Purchase this and you get to come to Tipsy for life with 9 of you friends. We hope to sell just one of these.

There will also be the usual early entry tickets available to get you in before the gates open. We HIGHLY recommend coming as early as you can to get the most out of your boat building experience! Live entertainment starts on Tuesday night.

This is us responding to your feedback! Let’s see if this works, we think it will! If this fails, we’ll go back to our old ways but this year, let’s seriously try to make Tipsy more accessible… and for dogs sake, lets do away with the flash sales, specials, early birds and discounts.

Patron tickets go on sale first! We’ll open up the others in early 2019.

Your First Chance to get CHEAP TICKETS to Camp Tipsy!!!

Camp Tipsy is all about showing up and making magical things out of re-purposed materials.

So in that spirit, this year we’re only offering the cheapest level tickets to Camp Tipsy 2018 to people who show up!

Come have dinner with us!  We’ll make food for you, provide entertainment, talk about how to make boats of out junk, and show some amazing photos and videos from last year!

Never been to Camp Tipsy?  Come out and see what it’s all about!

Love Camp Tipsy?  Bring all the friends who you think should be there!

Our Early Bird Ticket Supper Club is:

Wednesday, Oct. 11

7:30 – 10:30

At the San Francisco Institute of Possibility building: 3359 Cesar Chavez, San Francisco, CA 94110-460

These events are the only way to get the Early Bird tickets to Camp Tipsy!

In October, our musical headliner will be Daniel Fries the Flamenco player !

Get Tickets Here!

Join the Camp Tipsy Facebook Community here!


Out of the Ashes in Oakland

Out of the Ashes in Oakland, Bay Area Arts Organizations Vow to Enhance Venue Safety and Support Community and Underground Art Spaces

San Francisco, Dec 9th, 2016 – For many Bay Area artists, Oakland’s terrible fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse is a call to action.

“This should be a time for grieving, but artists are already being evicted,” said Courtney King, a Board Member of the San Francisco Institute of Possibility (SFIOP), an arts and education non-profit. “The very community most affected by the loss of life is now facing the loss of its homes and livelihoods. The damage to individual lives and the vitality of the Bay Area art scene is worsening every day, and we must act now.”

In the wake of this tragedy, many of the Bay Area’s artists, musicians, performers, and leading community arts organizations are determined to ensure that the loss of life is not compounded by a loss of culture.

“Underground art spaces are integral to the unique character and success of the Bay Area. They are not a problem to be solved — they are part of the solution to the Bay Area’s affordability crisis,” said Colin Fahrion, SFIOP Board Member. “Safety does not need to come at the price of access to the arts for all people. We can have both, and it begins with community outreach.”

Nonprofit arts organizations in Oakland and San Francisco are now beginning to coordinate outreach and response efforts, including the SFIOP.  The SFIOP board has also formed a partnership with We the Artists of the Bay Area (WABA), a group of talented individuals that has recently joined together in response to this tragedy to help protect the Bay Area’s vital art culture. WABA’s quick growth has been impressive and it is now on track to be the largest self-organized groups of artists in the Bay Area.

The SFIOP is developing partnerships with these organizations to share expertise and create a joint program to reach as much of the community as possible. The goals of this program are to:

  • Connect a network of experienced event managers and place makers to the community and underground art scene in the Bay Area.
  • Offer free, confidential consultations on the state of current venues with an emphasis on safety. The network will offer assistance on everything from managing exits to upgrading electrical wiring.
  • Offer free classes on safe venue development and effective event management.
  • Help educate local governments on the value of these spaces, and the housing problems artists face in the current economy.
  • Serve as liaisons between underground venues and local governments, where appropriate.
  • Encourage regulatory agencies and property owners to work with these all important creative spaces and foster their growth, rather than shut them down.

“The Bay Area has an extensive community of artists who have been running daring but safe events, in all kinds of spaces, for decades,” said Tyler Hanson, cofounder of WABA. “We lead the world in our collective expertise on these issues. This is a tradition to be proud of and a vital resource not to be overlooked. And that is why we are organizing an alliance, to be artistic voice for this community”

Cofounder of WABA, Will Chase agreed. “Working with local agencies, we can make immediate strides in safety while supporting the Bay Area’s diverse art scene. The answer starts with open communication, and a message to artists that their contributions to our communities are valued.”

For more information, contact

Benjamin Wachs
Board Member of the San Francisco Institute of Possibility
(415) 862-4273

The San Francisco Institute of Possibility is a Bay Area based 501(c)3 arts and education non-profit dedicated to creating a sustainable ecology of art: enabling new and established artists, fostering community and civic engagement through art, and perpetuating an inclusive artistic community that lives the art it produces. Since 2013, the SFIOP has produced large and small scale interactive art events in the Bay Area, involving hundreds of local artists.

What Constitutions Can do for Arts Organizations – a public dissertation defence


While many artists involved with the SFIOP already have their copies, the official release date for the forthcoming “Book of the UN” has been set for March 8, where a “dissertation defense” of the book’s thesis on art and culture will be held at the Booksmith in Berkeley.

Many of the theses in the book were initially tried and tested as art events in the San Francisco Bay Area, including SFIOP events such as Camp Tipsy, the All Worlds Fair, and especially The Fallen Cosmos, which has its own section in the book.  (And whose “Gifting Graphic” is displayed in the art above.)

You can stay tuned to this channel for more details about the dissertation defense and the book release, but in the interim it’s worth considering the fundamental thesis of the book, which proposes that arts organizations need to stop thinking in terms of organizational charts and start thinking in terms of citizenship:  arts organizations must develop constitutions, and think of themselves as constitutional cultures, in which rights, privileges, and responsibilities are made explicit rather than assumed.