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About Us

Third Coast International Audio Festival

third coast


Third Coast in 2020

Based in Chicago, the Third Coast International Audio Festival (TCIAF, or simply Third Coast) is a nonprofit arts organization that celebrates the art and craft of narrative audio storytelling every day of the year. The heart and soul of Third Coast lies in our commitment to access, equity, and creative expression in an ever-changing artistic landscape and evolving professional industry. We center community-building as a means of pushing the boundaries of the medium. We believe and advocate for audio as an art form unto its own.

Explore the website to fnd out more about our core programming and major initiatives, including: the Third Coast Conference & Pocket Conference, the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition & Best of the Best, Re:sound , the Third Coast Fund, our Community Advisory Group, the Third Coast Radio Residency at Ragdale, public programs, including experimental live audio events like no others (see: The Fest), and more.

When was Third Coast founded?

In 1999, after two decades of working as a producer at WBEZ, Johanna Zorn had the idea of creating the first festival in the United States to celebrate audio storytelling as an art form. In 2001, a talented producer named Julie Shapiro joined Zorn in co-founding what would become the Third Coast International Audio Festival. Once a project of WBEZ, TCIAF went independent in 2009.


Our sincere thanks to the following organizations and individuals for their generous support of the Third Coast Festival.