Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences
North Atlantic Books


North Atlantic Books and its imprints constitute the publishing program of the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences. The Society was founded in 1980 as an anthropological nonprofit with a Board made up primarily of biologists and anthropologists. Its rather ambitious goals were stated then as:

"To discover and develop the values already implicit in technological society for the creation of creative, ecologically cohesive communities with a commitment to the hidden inner properties of materials and systems; to bring together the ancient lost and the yet unborn, e.g. to recover the lost skills of Stone Age and tribal culture and to help spawn new skills and wisdom from a combination of the sciences, the arts, and the general inquiry into mind, nature, and body; to bring together seminars of researchers and educators in the fields of anthropology, ecology, medicine, and the arts and humanities for the purpose of developing new cross-disciplinary perspectives; to increase awareness of nonmaterialist, noncommercial activities in the areas of gardening, studying texts, recreation, self-healing, and meditation; and to sponsor radical forms of knowledge so that individuals reorient toward increasing the depth and richness of themselves and their communities."

Over the years the Society has helped sponsor a healing camp in Idaho (1982), medical aid to the Asháninka people in the Peruvian Andes (1982), an Oakland-Berkeley-Richmond Capoeira masters program through an NEA Folk Arts grant (1982-1985), Yoga workshops in Bolinas, California (1982-1988), book collections for San Quentin Prison from Bay Area publishers under a San Francisco Foundation grant (1984), supplies for the Usko-Ayar Amazonian School of Nature and Painting in Pucallpa, Peru (1989), community programs at the Japanese Cultural Center in Denver (1990-1998), Foundation for Deep Ecology (1994), and an organic farm in Gustine, California, with associated food and educational programs (see below).

In 2008 the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences was redefined as a nonprofit educational corporation, the mission of which is to publish books and foster programs that contribute to spiritual, social, and cosmic change; enhance the evolution of planetary consciousness and ecological awareness; awaken humanity to paraphysical, nonlinear, and transpersonal dimensions; and support marginalized and threatened life forms and cultures.

The specific goals of the Society's publishing programs under North Atlantic Books and its Frog and Blue Snake imprints, are to develop an educational and cross-cultural perspective linking various scientific, social, and artistic fields; to nurture a holistic view of arts, sciences, humanities, and healing; and to publish and distribute literature on the relationship of mind, body, and nature.

The Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences makes its grants out of the profits from its book publishing with the following parameters and priorities:

  • Local community organizations in Berkeley and Oakland addressing basic issues of food and shelter.
  • Community organizations in Eastern Coastal Maine providing education and cultural enrichment.
  • Animal sanctuaries and rescue organizations.
  • Ecological organizations with specific agricultural or alternative-technology goals.
  • Arts groups and organizations involved in a specific cutting-edge project related to the Society's mission. This includes documentation and translation projects related to individual books or authors.
  • Organizations supporting causes related to authors or copublishers such that the profits from a particular book or books can be designated by the author for a grant. These projects must also fit the above guidelines.

We donate only to organizations whereby the funds substantially go to the beneficiaries, We do not subsidize general overhead or salaries.

We do not fund large organizations that already have substantial assets and/or a donation base; authors or copublishers' literary or artistic projects (grants in lieu of advances or other financial support); entrepreneurial charities; or organizations that do expensive fund-raising.

We do not accept or read solicitations for funds.

In addition to the above projects and priorities, North Atlantic Books uses funds from books to underwrite spiritual, literary, and social titles, to be published on a noncommercial basis.

The following press releases, starting with the most recent, describe the Society's programs beyond the publishing company since 2000:

Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences Grants for 2007

YEAH, Youth Emergency Assistance Hostel, Berkeley, California, for housing and feeding homeless youth and youth at risk: $2500.
attn. Sharon Hawkins Leyden
1744 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703

What If? Foundation, Berkeley, Calfiornia, for providing meals to children in Haiti, $2500.
attn. Margaret Trost
616 the Alameda
Berkeley, CA 94707

Whole Health Center, Town Hill, Maine, for developing health-awareness and self-treatment programs through community education, $4000.
attn. Paul Weiss
129 Gilbert Farm Road
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609

WERU Community Radio, Blue Hill, Maine, general support for listener-sponsored alternative radio covering Eastern Coastal Maine, $2500.
attn. Matt Murphy
Post Office Box 170
1186 Acadia Highway, U. S. Route One
East Orland, Maine 04431

Milo Foundation, Albany, California, providing sanctuary and adoption services for homeless pets throughout Northern California, $4000. This donation is made in the name of Audrey Colman, illustrator of Walter the Farting Dog, out of publisher's profits from her book.
Attn. Lynne Tingle
Post Office Box 6625
Albany, CA 94706

COSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, 540 West 27th Street, New York, New York, for relocation of the chapel's museum, including Alex Grey's paintings, to a new home, $3500.
Attn. Alex Grey
540 East 27th Street
4th Floor
New York, New York 10001

Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach, Florida, for medical supplies for treating rescued sea turtles, $4000. This donation is made in the name of John and Lisa Upledger and the Upledger Institute, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, copublishers with North Atlantic Books of books on craniosacral therapy, out of our publisher's profits from their books.
attn. Nanette W. Lawrenson
14200 U.S. Highway One
Juno Beach, FL 33408

Emma's Revolution, Mount Rainier, Maryland, for documentation of lyrics, music, ceremonies, and narratives behind their folk songs and performances, $4000.
Post Office Box 244
Mount Ranier, Maryland 20712

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, San Diego, California, toward planting of trees at homeless shelters, public schools, drug-rehab centers, animal sanctuaries, and Native American reservations, $2000. This donation is made in the name of nutrition author David Wolfe out of profits from his books.
Post Office Box 900113
San Diego, CA 92190

I Have A Dream Foundation - East Oakland, toward sponsoring the later education of children housed in the Lion Creek Crossings and Lockwood Gardens housing projects, $4000.
attn. Tesia Johnson
83 Haas Avenue
San Leandro, CA 94577

Grants for 2006

Emma's Revolution, Mount Ranier, Maryland. Socially and environmentally active folk-music group; for the completion of a new CD: $400

What If? Foundation, Berkeley, California. Foundation involved in providing food and opportunity for impoverished children in Haiti; funds for Feed My Lambs Food Program: $3000.

WERU, Blue Hill, Maine. Listener-sponsored socially, environmentally, and artistically progressive community radio station; general support: $5500

The Center for Independent Documentary, Henry Ferrini, Sharon, Massachusetts. Film-maker; for a film on the life and work of Charles Olson, Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place: $1000

YEAH! (Youth Emergency Assistance Hostel), Berkeley, California. To support homeless transitional age (18-25) youth as they move into young adulthood with shelter, basic needs, counseling, education and employment linkages, and opportunities for community involvement; general support: $4000

2000 Nonprofit Program

The following farm program ran from 2000 through 2006.

June 22, 2000--North Atlantic Books, a Berkeley, California publisher, has purchased a 27-acre farm in Gustine in the Central Valley as part of a nonprofit program combining preservation of farmland with the Berkeley Youth Alternative's organic-agriculture program. BYA is a 501 (c) (3) organization incorporated in California, serving at-risk children in Berkeley and other cities in Alameda County. North Atlantic will lease the farm at no cost to Richard Firme, a third-generation farmer presently in Manteca and BYA's principal outreach farmer for the last five years. He plans an orchard and apiary as well as a wide range of vegetables and melons; in the process, he will train young people in organic farming while providing produce for BYA's food boxes and the public schools.

North Atlantic Books was founded in Vermont in 1975 (hence, its East Coast name) and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1977. It was incorporated in 1980 as a nonprofit, The Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences. Its purpose is to publish books from a holistic and non-Western standpoint in the creative arts, sciences, humanities, and healing arts. Any profits would be used to further alternative agriculture and medicine and to conserve ecologically sensitive land.

In 1980 North Atlantic was grant-dependent and solely literary, with little prospect of supporting itself, let alone raising funds. However, twenty years later, after approximately 500 titles, The Society is now able to go forward with its charitable program. Together with its sister imprint Frog Books, North Atlantic is the largest publisher in English of books on the internal martial arts aikido, t'ai chi chuan, and capoeira. North Atlantic and Frog also collaborate on a major list of innovative books on alternative healing. At the same time, they offer such diverse subjects as literature, sports, anthropology, psychology, science, Buddhism, ecology, radical underground comics, and studies of the ecological consequences of war, globalization, and indigenous land rights.

North Atlantic has published dozens of successful and ground-breaking books; these include: Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford, director of the Heartwood Institute clinic in Garberville, California; Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever by astronomer Richard C. Hoagland; In Search of the Warrior Spirit by Richard Heckler, a Petaluma psychologist and aikidoist who teaches awareness disciplines to the Green Berets and Marines; Your Inner Physician and You by Florida physician John Upledger, founder of craniosacral therapy; Conscious Eating by former Sonoma County M.D., Gabriel Cousens; Essential Teachings and Beyond Dogma by the Dalai Lama; Infectious AIDS: Have We Been Misled? by dissident University of California biologist Peter Duesberg; and Graffito by Michael Walsh, a graduate of California College of Arts and Crafts.

North Atlantic and Frog's founders and longtime publishers are Richard Grossinger and Lindy Hough. The Board includes Oakland lawyer/poet Steven Rood and former University of California medical anthropologist Margaret MacKenzie.

Grossinger's recent comments put the program in perspective: "We have been publishing books on consciousness and cultural change for twenty-five years, and we feel it is crucial to put a portion of our earnings into something that actively furthers this on the ground. Publishing is not the most lucrative activity, but it does generate some revenues. Too many publishing programs put out books that advocate spiritual, social, and ecological action while passing the profits from those very books into the corporate megastructure that supports the status quo in every way. That gap has to be addressed. We would love to have other publishers and even other businesses join with us in this undertaking. With help from elsewhere, the farm preservation program can be expanded, saving more land in the Central Valley from development and agribusiness, creating similar programs elsewhere in the country, and making organic farming available to more inner-city kids at risk."