If you don’t know about 826 Valencia, my guess is that you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years. Started by local author Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari, the tutoring center and pirate supply store has my vote for the best combination of community activism and creativity the world ’round. (You can watch Eggers talk about it at the TED Conference here.) It’s proof positive that writing and all of the arts should be an integral part of K-12 education, and lucky us that these centers have started to pop up all over the country in cities like Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and Ann Arbor, too.
I was lucky enough to attend an 826 Valencia fundraiser breakfast this morning with the celebrated filmmaker Gus Van Sant, late of Milk and Paranoid Park. Eggers introduced the director and warned that he was going to read a 50-minute treatise on film without any accompanying imagery. Nervous laughter ensued as Van Sant took the podium ... More