Josette Melchor is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA), a San Francisco non-profit dedicated to building social consciousness through digital culture. Since 2005, she has been working towards opening three art spaces in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. She speaks about the importance of arts education, choosing a location, and what her organization teaches artists about digital marketing.
As a community organizer, she led the development and launch of Seaquence, a product of Gray Area Labs, an artist-in-research program for creative technologies. She also ran City Centered, a program that connects cities with data artists for public good. An early social entrepreneur, she started her first art gallery and studio program at the age of 19 by self-funding creative projects through her work in the technology industry.
As a curator, she has worked with notable designers and interdisciplinary research centers including: MiT Senseable City Lab, Institute of Computer Sound and Technology, Stamen Design; artists C.E.B Reas, Robert Hodgin, Aaron Koblin, Camille Utterback, and many more. She has spoken at PICNIC, TEDx Silicon Valley, Art Center College of Design, and Stanford. GAFFTA has received the outstanding support of the City & County of San Francisco, the Knight Foundation, WordPress.org, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, IBM, and its passionate community.