I was down at Fort Mason today to sneak a peek at the conference room that my wonderful writer friend and fellow VCFA MFA graduate, Ann Jacobus, and I have rented for the upcoming class we’re team-teaching in April and May. The course, Writing the Children’s Novel, will be offered Monday afternoons from 12:15 to 2:45. We’re so excited to be doing this at Fort Mason!
Situated on 13 acres of historic buildings and piers right on the Bay, Fort Mason houses over 50 non-profit cultural, educational and environmental organizations including the world famous pioneer of vegetarian cuisine, Green’s restaurant, opened in 1979 by the San Francisco Zen Center. (And for many years, only employed Zen students as part of their Buddhist practice of attentiveness and caretaking.)
There’s also Readers' Book Store and Café, run by volunteers to benefit the San Francisco Public Library. It’s one of my favorite places in the city to pass time and spend a little cash.
I have so many strong and positive associations with this amazing facility; watching one of my daughters perform in Pippin at the Young Performer’s Theater years ago and more recently the other daughter dance on stage at the Cowell Theater with her Eurythmy Troop; Susan Fletcher’s fantastic workshop on writing Historical Fiction and Fantasy for children in 2008; the weekend Vermont College of Fine Arts alumni retreat last summer; sitting on a bench watching sail boats in the Bay, eating vegetable curry from Green’s restaurant with writer friend Lynn Hazen after perusing the Renegade Craft Fair and buying a real butterfly wing necklace; discovering Steele Winery’s Writer’s Block Syrah at the California Family Winemaker’s tasting; watching Word-for-Word perform A Child’s Christmas in Wales as a Christmas treat at the Magic Theater.
Fort Mason’s non-profits also include BATS Improv Theater, Blue Bear School of Music, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, (where you can rent beautiful paintings for a reasonable monthly charge), Long Now Museum & Gallery (with the Rosetta Project which is archiving all documented human languages), California Lawyers for the Arts, Environmental Traveling Companions, and the San Francisco Children’s Art Center.
I'm not sure there's any place in the whole world like Fort Mason; it is truly one of San Francisco’s treasures!