William "Will" Noffke, 1929 - 1997, was a radio-host whose lifework documents the cultural and religious changes which began
to emerge in the 1960s in
California. Originally a New York City Off-Broadway set designer,
he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area where over the course of two decades,
1970 to 1990, he hosted and produced radio programs on KQED-FM and KPFA-FM,
as well as in his own performance space and bookstore, Shared Visions,
in Berkeley, California.
As a radio host he interviewed hundreds of spiritual leaders and luminaries who
expressed new cultural perspectives and inspired innovation, including Joseph
Campbell, Buckminster Fuller, Jacob Needleman, Fritjof Capra, Robert Hillman,
Reshad Field, Ram Dass, Jean Houston, Werner Erhard, Barbara Marx Hubbard,
Marilyn Ferguson, Mark Satin, Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg. While Noffke's
range of conversations and panels, in this regard, included many religious
leaders from a diversity of spiritual traditions, including Krishnamurti,
it also included politicians, such as John Vasconcellos, health practitioners
and physicians, such as Andrew Weil, indigenous leaders, social activists,
and local flower children, of diverse traditions, knowledge, and sensibilities.
From 1972 to 1974, Noffke hosted "The Meeting of the Ways", a radio program on
KQED-FM. It was a program featuring interviews that gave voice to the diverse
spiritual constituency that had assembled under a local umbrella organization
by the same name. "Meeting of the Ways" also staged a number of celebratory
events in the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco during that time period.
From 1975 to 1979, Noffke co-hosted, with Michael Tom at KQED-FM, a popular
Saturday night radio program called "New Dimensions". From 1979 to 1990,
Noffke produced and hosted his own show, "New Horizons", on KPFA-FM.
Among his other activities, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the
Dancer's Workshop of San Francisco, and belonged to the Melvana Foundation.
Noffke, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1997, described his spiritual
path in his own words as "Vedanta/Sufi/Taoist!-unity of existence!"