Membership & Support


ESS was conceived in 1986 as a safe space for experimentation and exploration. 33 years later we remain dedicated to that mission as we continue to facilitate, present, and document some of the most dynamic work being made today. This work, and the artists who make it, are essential to the progression of contemporary culture. ESS looks to you, our community, to support us in this endeavor.


Your contribution impacts ESS on a daily basis. For example:

$50 supports:

  • CAA database hosting for one quarter

  • Supplies for every attendee to one workshop

  • Transcription of one interview for publication

  • 72 La Croixs for artists in the Green Room

$150 supports:

  • Keeping the lights on and equipment powered up for 1 month

  • Half the funding for one commission of new work for Florasonic

  • Production of one full-length video + excerpt for the public, artist use, and archive

  • Travel for one US-based artist to Chicago for a residency

$500 supports:

  • One Audible exhibition

  • Two Creative Audio Archive Listening Session playlists, which are each used in a public event, submitted to DRAM, released as podcasts, and included in select issues of Sound American

  • Fair W.A.G.E. certified artist fees for two OPTION performances. Each performance is open to the public, live streamed online, archived on YouTube and in CAA, and professionally recorded for use by the artist in whatever way they see fit.

Employee Matching Gifts

Double your support by securing a matching contribution from your employer. Corporations that provide matching support will be recognized on ESS’s website.

Corporate Support

As a Corporate Donor, you have the opportunity to reach out and become involved with an international audience through your support of OPTION. Your support is more than a donation—it is an investment in the legacy and future of improvised music. 

ESS is happy to work with its Corporate Sponsors to tailor a benefits package that best suits their community goals and directives.

Corporate Sponsor benefits vary depending on level of support, and may include:

  • Logo listing on the ESS OPTION streaming channel

  • Discounted admission for up to 5 employees

  • Preferred seating for up to 5 employees

  • Unlimited Benefit Compilation downloads

  • Access to the OPTION Video Archive

  • Logo listing on ESS's webpage, with a hyperlink to your corporation’s home page

  • Opportunity to host a private event at ESS with room rental fee waived*

  • Opportunity to host a catered dinner party for 10 in the space*
    *Catering and related costs to be assumed by sponsor; events are scheduled based on availability.

In-Kind Contributions

ESS gladly accepts support in the form of donated services, products, and promotions that help supplement our programming.

Please contact Olivia Junell with questions or for more information regarding Corporate Sponsorship, Matching Gifts, or In-Kind Contributions.