Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

exploring the role of sound and listening in natural and cultural environments

Chicago, IL   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

EIN: 83-1084531


The Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology (MSAE) is dedicated to understanding the role of sound in natural habitats and human societies, while promoting public dialogue concerning the identification, preservation, and restoration of natural and cultural sound environments.

Ruling year info



Mr. Eric B Leonardson


Mr. Alex Braidwood

Main address

1322 W Sherwin Ave

Chicago, IL 60626 USA

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Subject area info

Arts and culture



Environmental health

Occupational health

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Population served info

LGBTQ people


Women and girls

Men and boys

Ethnic and racial groups

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NTEE code info

Professional Societies & Associations (C03)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

By placing an emphasis on community and multidisciplinary collaboration we seek to serve our stakeholders in the broadest possible sense. Our world exists in sound. Listening is our primary interface with sound. In this environment human impacts have profoundly transformed the world’s soundscapes through technologies in unintended and negative ways. We believe understanding the complex systemic relationships of acoustic communication involves all who are impacted, from cutting edge research institutions to our grassroots citizenry. Study of the changing imbalances in our acoustic environment needs the involvement of everyone, human and beyond human, who are impacted by those imbalances. To remedy this we seek positive approaches, convening people for discovery and enjoyment through art and science.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Summer Soundwalks in the Parks

Seasonal soundwalks offered as part of the Chicago Park District's Night Out in the Parks initiative, since 2016.

Teaching artist members of the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology, along with science experts and musicians from partner organizations the lead series of guided soundwalks, workshops and training sessions that engage multi-generational communities in their own neighborhoods across Chicago.

Participants' relationship with their environment mediated by sound are involved. Rivers, streets, residential and commercial dwellings, traffic patterns, human and animal sounds all feature in these soundscapes.

Past artists: Experimental Sound Studio, Lindsey French, Amanda Gutiérrez, Billie Jean Howard, Ryan Ingebritsen, Inferno Mobile Studio, Eric Leonardson, Chloe Lin, Norman W. Long, Paige Alice Naylor, Christophe Preissing, Veronica Anne Salinas, Andy Slater, Jonas Sun, Marvin Tate, Sadie Woods & Sara Zalek.

Summer 2023 Program:

Population(s) Served
Artists and performers
Retired people
Unemployed people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

World Forum for Acoustic Ecology 2020

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

By supporting artists, scientists, scholars, and designers in multidisciplinary productions and connecting them with those who benefit from their effort, we promote a critically engaged citizenship and agency that is urgently necessary for achieving ecological and sustainable balance in all its diverse acoustic dimensions.

We promote public dialogue concerning the identification, preservation, and restoration of natural and cultural sound environments. We realize our mission through local and regional initiatives. These include public soundwalks, educational workshops, and creative and scholarly productions.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

Financial data

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: 2021

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Contributions, Grants, Gifts $3,814
Program Services $0
Membership Dues $0
Special Events $0
Other Revenue $0
Total Revenue $3,814
Program Services $3,000
Administration $1,000
Fundraising $0
Payments to Affiliates $0
Other Expenses $0
Total Expenses $3,790

Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: 2021

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total Assets $1,920
Total Liabilities $0
Fund balance (EOY)
Net Assets $1,920


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


Mr. Eric B Leonardson

Eric Leonardson, a Chicago-based composer, radio artist, sound designer, instrument inventor, improviser, and teacher, devotes a majority of his professional career to unorthodox approaches to sound and its instrumentation with a broad understanding of texture, atmosphere and micro-tones. As a practicing artist and educator he has an interest in the elusive lines that separate art media and disciplines; the promise of technology to enable new possibilities in art, discovering connections between physical action, sensory perception, and ideas. Leonardson serves as co-founder and President of both the Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. He is an Associate Professor Adjunct in the Department of Sound at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Since 1994 he performs locally and internationally with the Springboard, a self-built instrument made in 1994 and often presents on acoustic ecology to new audiences.


Alex Braidwood

Sound Artist, Director of Graduate Graphic Design Education at Iowa State University, Director of Iowa Lakeside Lab Artist-in-Residence Program.

There are no officers, directors or key employees recorded for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology

Board of directors
as of 09/17/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mr. Eric Leonardson

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Term: 2018 - 2023

Norman W. Long

Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education

Billie Jean Howard


Linda Nelson Keane

Next CC, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Adrian Wood

University of Virginia

Nomi Epstein

Berklee College of Music

Alex Braidwood

Iowa State University

Lindsey M French

University of Regina, Canada

Veronica Anne Salinas

Oxford American Magazine

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/1/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Decline to state

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data