Pop-Up Magazine Productions creates multimedia storytelling spectacles performed live for tens of thousands of people a year at grand historic venues across North America.
We bring together the world’s great and emerging storytellers from across media and the arts to create magical live shows, experiences, and multimedia productions that open minds, create lasting memories, push the boundaries of journalism, and inspire creativity and action.
Live Journalism and Storytelling
Pop-Up Magazine is the acclaimed “live magazine” show, featuring original and unforgettable true stories, art, music, and performances from Oscar-winning filmmakers, New York Times bestselling authors, popular radio and podcast voices, and internationally-renowned artists—accompanied by illustration, animation, film, photography, and an original score performed onstage by our musical collaborators, Magik*Magik Orchestra. We’ve worked on journalistic storytelling projects with dancers, actors, shadow theater companies, musicians, an AI programmer, and a candymaker, commissioned editorial art for a vending machine and a t-shirt cannon, presented a science story with a medieval choral ensemble, and more.
Our touring productions travel across North America, selling out venues like Lincoln Center and BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York, the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, and Davies Symphony Hall and the Paramount Theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area. Join our mailing list for the latest news.
Partnerships With Global Brands
We’re a full-service content and creative agency that imagines and executes projects across live and online events, video, podcasts, photography, print media, and social platforms. We’ve produced special live events with Apple, Nike, Hermes, ESPN, Facebook, Amazon Studios, Google, Dropbox, National Geographic, LeBron James’s Uninterupted, the Atlantic, Zendesk, Aspen Snowmass, and X Labs (Alphabet). And we’ve created original branded content for Chanel, Patagonia, Google, Marriott, Mailchimp, Airbnb, Stella Artois, Converse, Citi, Bulleit Bourbon, Dropbox, Allbirds, Impossible Foods, Warby Parker, Skyy Vodka, Toyota, LEGO, Squarespace, Coach, Nest, Omidyar Network, Instacart, Zendesk, Got Milk?, Arnold Ventures, Lexus, SoFi, Shinola, and Uber. Contact us to learn more.
Print and Online Journalism and Storytelling
Pop-Up Magazine Productions is a distributed company based in California. In late 2014, we launched The California Sunday Magazine, which covered California, the American West, Asia, and Latin America for a national audience. Published from 2014 to 2020, California Sunday was one of the most critically-acclaimed new magazine projects of its generation. Our work was honored with a 2021 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing, a James Beard Award for food writing, a George Polk Award for public service journalism, a Livingston Award, a Michael Kelly Award, and 17 National Magazine Award nominations, for feature writing, design, reporting, photography, video, and general excellence. California Sunday was named Magazine of the Year in 2019 and 2020 by the Society of Publication Designers.
“Pop-Up Magazine Presents: Field Guide,” released in July 2021, was featured as a “New and Noteworthy” podcast by Apple Podcasts and named one of the best new podcasts of the year by Spotify. The nature-themed audio series invites people to listen as they go for a walk, sit by the water, visit the woods, or look up at the night sky, and hear a lovely, atmospheric collection of voices and stories to accompany their travels. We also produced a limited edition photography journal to accompany the podcast.
Installations and Experiences
In 2021, Pop-Up Magazine’s “Sidewalk Issue”—a cross between a magazine, a scavenger hunt, and a public art project—presented stories in a range of media around San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn neighborhoods. We covered a wall with a graphic novel, published a food story as a takeout menu, shared phone numbers on DIY-style flyers that led audiences to intimate audio stories, printed a photo essay about love as a tabloid newspaper and distributed it in custom newspaper boxes, and more.
In 2020, at holiday time, we released our first “Issue in a Box,” sponsored by Instacart. This limited-edition, food-themed collection brought true stories to life through beautiful visuals, interactive objects, captivating audio, and delicious treats. (We later worked with Zendesk to make a similar collection of designed storytelling objects for a virtual event.)
Earlier, we opened a storytelling-themed pop-up restaurant with chef and author Samin Nosrat (Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat), featuring live performers, sound design, video projection, and designed objects that presented stories timed to each course of the meal (for instance, the water glasses were an infographic about drought in the West).
In 2018, we commissioned and presented “At Home,” an exhibition in New York and Los Angeles featuring 19 photographers on the theme of home, accompanied by audio interviews with their subjects. And more.
Bridgette Ambrose is the Managing Editor of Pop-Up Magazine Productions. She has previously worked as a Post Production Supervisor at Fuse, and a Producer at MTV, VH1, BET, and BBC America in New York. Bridgette holds a Master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and is a member of the Producers Guild of America. Email | Linkedin
Chida Chaemchaeng is Sr. Event Manager for Pop-Up Magazine Productions. Previous project management, marketing, and event production experience include high-profile live and streaming events for Pokémon, Amazon, and Unity Technologies. Prior to her work in tech, she was Fellowship Director at Emerging Arts Professionals/SFBA and Director of Communication and Community Relations at Intersection for the Arts. Email | Linkedin
Alyssa Chavez-Upp is the Art Director of Pop-Up Magazine. She was most recently a Senior Designer for Metaleap Creative and previously an Editorial Designer for Dwell and Condé Nast Traveler. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Publication Design, and she was also selected to be a 4A’s MAIP fellow. Alyssa received a BFA in Communication Design from Texas Tech University. Email | Linkedin
Elise Craig is the Director of Editorial Operations and Strategy at Pop-Up Magazine. Previously, she served as Managing Editor at San Francisco and Assistant Research Editor at Wired. Her writing has appeared in Marie Claire, The New York Times Magazine, The California Sunday Magazine, and The New York Times for Kids. Email | Linkedin
Chas Edwards is the co-Founder and President of Pop-Up Magazine Productions and Publisher of The California Sunday Magazine and Pop-Up Magazine. He was co-Founder at Federated Media, where he served as Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer. As CRO at Digg, he helped launch the first native ad product for social news feeds. Email | Linkedin
Derek Fagerstrom is the Executive Producer of Special Projects and a Founding Creative Director of Pop-Up Magazine. Email | Linkedin
Michelle Fernández is the Brand Partnerships Director for Pop-Up Magazine Productions. Previously, she worked on strategic partnerships and marketing with TEDx San Francisco, Watsi, Clorox, and La Cocina. Earlier in her career Zagat recognized her on their 30 under 30 list for her innovative approach to marketing and partnerships. Email | Linkedin
Haley Howle is a Senior Producer at Pop-Up Magazine. Previously, she worked as Director of KUT Austin’s statewide news show Texas Standard. She also worked to launch the Austin Music Map and the annual MAPJAM festival and was a Producer for the award-winning music journalism program Texas Music Matters. Email | Linkedin
Leo Jung is the Creative Director of The California Sunday Magazine, which won the National Magazine Awards for Excellence in Design in 2017 and Excellence in Photography in 2016 and 2017, and Pop-Up Magazine. He is the former Design Director at Wired and Deputy Art Director at The New York Times Magazine. His work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, and the Society of Publication Designers. Email | Linkedin
Mark King is the Senior Creative Producer of the Pop-Up Magazine Brand Studio. Mark is an internationally-exhibited visual artist whose work encompasses photography, installation, fashion, and sculpture. He holds an MFA in photography from the Academy of Art University and is an active board member of Yaddo. Email | Linkedin
Li Anne Liew is the Digital Designer for Pop-Up Magazine. She recently graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Film Production and an emphasis in directing. Previously, she has created artwork for the Los Angeles Times, Paramount Pictures, and musician Vance Joy. Email | Linkedin
Douglas Mcgray is the co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Pop-Up Magazine Productions. He was also co-Founder and Editor in Chief of The California Sunday Magazine. His features have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine and he has made radio stories for This American Life. Email
Scott Polach is the Event Director of Pop-Up Magazine. His career has spanned event design and production, curating, and teaching art. He holds an MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, was a Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, and has an active studio art practice. Email | Linkedin
Albert Schatz is the Production Manager of Pop-Up Magazine. Albert is a Baltimore-based audio engineer/musician. When not on tour with Pop-Up, Albert is the live sound engineer for electronic music composer Dan Deacon. Email | Linkedin
Louise Tan is the Assistant Controller of Pop-Up Magazine Productions. She held accounting positions in the hotel and travel industry for more than 15 years. Previously, Louise was the Staff Accountant at a travel technology company in San Francisco. Email | Linkedin
Maureen Towey, a Contributing Producer at Pop-Up Magazine, is a director working across artistic mediums. For The New York Times, Towey has directed long-form content for NYT VR and served as the Senior Producer for The Daily 360. Towey has worked as a Creative Director for award-winning musicians such as Arcade Fire, Ray LaMontagne, Tune-Yards, and Esperanza Spalding. As an ensemble member with Sojourn Theatre, Towey directs radical community-based arts events, such as Finding Penelope and The Islands of Milwaukee. Towey has been recognized as a Fulbright scholar (South Africa), a Princess Grace fellow, and a PBS/AOL MAKER. Email | Linkedin
Erin Walter is the Productions and Operations Associate for Pop-Up Magazine Productions. She’s a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Feminist Studies program and was previously a Research Assistant at UC Santa Cruz’s Blum Center on Poverty. Prior to that, she was an AmeriCorps Team Leader at City Year. Email | Linkedin
Melissa Weil is the VP of Sales for Pop-Up Magazine Productions. Previously, she ran the global sales team for advertising tech startup Taykey (acquired by Innovid). Earlier in her career, Melissa sold custom content offerings to brands at both Federated Media and Zagat Survey. Email | Linkedin