JCCSF Podcasts -

Welcome to Arts & Ideas Podcasts! Every year, we bring dozens of the country's most innovative and inspiring artists, thinkers and writers to the JCCSF  stage and to our program on KALW, Binah. Now we're bringing them to your computer, MP3 player or mobile device, too!

Whether you missed an event or simply want to experience it again, you can now listen to some of the outstanding speakers presented by the JCCSF through our podcasts. Want to see the entire list of authors from the last four Arts & Ideas seasons? Just select "List by Author". Check the "Recent Recordings" tab for podcasts as they become available, and/or subscribe to get the newest lectures as soon as they're posted. And, of course, you can always join us and enjoy the excitement of being part of the live audience at an upcoming  lecture!  

Dr. Vint Virga


Animal lovers of all stripes showed up to hear animal behaviorist Dr. Vint Virga, in conversation with KQED’s Amy Standen,  explain why animals—in zoos and in our homes– get depressed or obsessive compulsive or lonely and how we can help them.


Amanda Palmer

AmandaPalmer_1of1_ShervinLainez_WEB_klAmanda Palmer
Amanda Palmer wowed a sold-out crowd with some songs, readings from her new book, The Art of Asking, and a fun, revealing conversation with beloved author Armistead Maupin. Fans came all over the Bay Area and beyond to hear the indie rock icon.

Lawrence Lessig

Lessig_PhotoCreditYanaiYechielAccording to Harvard Law School professor and activist Lawrence Lessig, the outcome of elections is decided ahead of the vote by a tiny fraction of the population — the donors who give to Super PACs. Lessig believes that we, as American citizens, can change this. Using his unique presentation style of rapid-fire visuals, he discussed some of his efforts toward reform, including Mayday PAC and the NH Rebellion and inspired the audience toward action.

Cory Doctorow


Cory Doctorow and David Pescovitz engaged a rapt audience with their fast-moving conversation on the state of copyright and creative success in the digital age. Cory eloquently and elegantly discussed the pitfalls and opportunities creative industries are facing today—about how the old models have failed or found new footing, and about what might soon replace them. His new book, Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, is an essential read for anyone with a stake in the future of the arts.

Philip Hook


Charming, debonair, and terribly British, Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art specialist Philip Hook revealed the inner workings of the fine art world and explained how art is assigned value. 


Bob Odenkirk


From his unconventional ‘hidden’ introduction intro of Arts & Ideas Director Barbara Lane to his hysterical ruminations on high fat ice cream, Bob Odenkirk was in brilliant quirky form.  Video clips included Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman, Charles Manson as a dog, and a phantom Abraham Lincoln…and if that doesn’t make sense, well, you just have to listen.

Rowan Jacobsen


What a wonderful way to start off the 2014 Fall Arts & Ideas season! James Beard award winning writer Rowan Jacobsen captivated an audience of food enthusiasts, home cooks and local farmers with a delightful hour dedicated to apples.  Who knew there were over 7,000 varieties in America? Hear Rowan speak and read his beautiful Apples of Uncommon Character and you’ll never eat a mealy Red Delicious again.

Aflie Kohn

AlfieKohn_1of2_WEB_kl_2Alfie Kohn made many parents feel less guilty about hovering over their children, saying there’s little proof that such parenting hurts kids and even some that say it’s beneficial.  Kohn also decried what he perceives as a “right wing conservative” bias against hyper-involved parenting and gave a strong endorsement for progressive education.


Mandy Aftel


Natural perfumer Mandy Aftel kept a crowd riveted with stories about the origins, lore and sensibilities of five key scents (cinnamon, mint, frankincense, ambergris, jasmine), while her friend Daniel Patterson (Coi) brought out wonderful, unexpected connections between them and other aromas.  The experience was augmented by scent strips.  A fascinating, fun, and sensual evening.


Modern Family’s Steven Levitan


Modern Family show runner Steven Levitan took the audience behind the scenes of his Emmy-award-winning sitcom, showing clips not only from the show but also home movies that inspired several episodes. It was an evening filled with laughter and affection for the multi-generational unconventional gay/straight/Asian/Latino family that has won the hearts of TV watchers everywhere.