Institute for Unpopular Culture

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Institute For Unpopular Culture (also known by the acronym, IFUC) is an alternative and outsider culture organization based in San Francisco, California.


It was founded in 1989 by David Ferguson. IFUC's stated objective is to provide a range of services necessary for non-mainstream artists to fulfill their goals of artistic expression: public relations, counseling, business opportunities, and access to equipment. Ferguson says that IFUC provides artists with grants and other funding for their projects.[1]

Ferguson calls his approach to arts patronage 'New Philanthropy'.[citation needed]

Much of the business that takes place at IFUC is volunteer-driven, or works given in trade.[2]

Ferguson has said that IFUC arranged exhibitions of William Noguera's pen and ink photorealism—a sponsorship that raised eyebrows due to Noguera's status as a death row inmate at California's San Quentin State Prison.[3] Ferguson claims that IFUC has also been associated with performance artist Holly Hughes, one of the infamous NEA Four, a quartet of artists who saw their NEA funding cut off because of concerns of indecency.[4] Other talents Ferguson claims have benefitted from IFUC backing including graffiti artist Barry McGee (a.k.a. "Twist") and installation artist Joe Mangrum.[5][citation needed] Ferguson states that The Institute helped launch the Punk Rock Orchestra, a San Francisco Bay Area music group which performs orchestral arrangements of punk rock classics.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ Martine, Lord. Ferguson finds unconventional fits him just right San Francisco Chronicle, March 29, 2002.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lawrence, Ella. In Pen and Ink SF Weekly, December 27, 2006. Retrieved on April 3, 2008.
  4. ^ Feinstein, Julie. Just Think[permanent dead link] SF Weekly, August 16, 2000. Retrieved April 4, 2008.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Kalem, Stefanie. Chamber Punk.East Bay Express, April 16, 2003
  7. ^ NPR Weekend Edition Punk Rock Orchestra
  8. ^ Osgood File PRO feature Archived 2007-04-27 at the Wayback Machine.

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