Doors open at 6:30pm, event begins at 7:00pm • This event is being held in partnership with Shack 15 • Please visit Book Passage’s Ferry Building store to receive a free pass for the event and directions to Shack 15’s location on the second floor of the Ferry Building.
The story: back in 2002, some friends in San Francisco had an idea for a youth writing and tutoring center. They rented a building for this purpose, only to learn that the address was zoned for retail; they could do their writing and tutoring, sure, but they had to sell something in the front of the building. So they decided to sell pirate supplies, and to decorate the storefront as if it were a real shop for working buccaneers. It was a ludicrous solution to a bizarre problem, and it ended up being the key to everything. —from the introduction by Dave Eggers
Every kid in the world needs a safe, welcoming—and especially weird—place to write. That’s the theory behind 826 Valencia, a writing and tutoring center started in 2002 by writer Dave Eggers and friends in San Francisco. That center inspired similar centers around the world, from New York to Melbourne—all with their own bizarre themes designed to make learning fun and destigmatize tutoring centers for kids falling behind. In Boston, there’s the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute. In Minneapolis, there’s the Midcontinent Oceanographic Institute. Los Angeles has a convenience store for time travelers.
Filled with stunning photos of each space, along with detailed spreads showing the range of creative “merchandise” the centers have for their theme, the book also includes interviews with center directors and staff on their space, how they’ve used it in programs, one-on-one connections with young learners, and community outreach, in hopes of creating a blueprint that others might follow. Dozens of centers are featured, from cities across the US and around the world.
A celebration of creating joyous and welcoming wild spaces for young minds, Unnecessarily Beautiful Spaces for Young Minds on Fire seeks to inspire more communities, schools and libraries, and civic and corporate organizations around the world to build their own centers for young writers.
Dave Eggers is the author of twelve books, including The Captain and the Glory; The Parade; The Monk of Mokha; The Circle; Heroes of the Frontier; A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award; and What Is the What, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of France’s Prix Médicis Étranger and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. His nonfiction and journalism have appeared in The Guardian, the New Yorker, The Best American Travel Writing, and the Best American Essays. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company, and cofounder of Voice of Witness, a book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. He is the cofounder of 826 National, a network of youth writing and tutoring centers with locations around the country, and of ScholarMarch, which connects donors with students to make college accessible. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into forty-two languages. He lives in Northern California with his family.
Nínive Clements Calegari is an educator in the United States. Following ten years of classroom experience in public schools, she became an author and founded a national literacy program, 826 National. She also founded The Teacher Salary Project. Currently she is the CEO of Enterprise for Youth, an organization that empowers young people to prepare for and discover career opportunities in the San Francisco area through a three-phase program model of job-readiness training, paid internships with college credit, and ongoing career development and networking support.