Q & A about the Book Fair

  1. Why is the Anarchist Book Fair leaving San Francisco? We would love for the Book Fair to stay in San Francisco! However, like many of our friends and comrades, the Book Fair is essentially being priced out of San Francisco. We have been unable to find a venue that is large enough and convenient to public transportation that is also within our budget.
  2. Is Bound Together sponsoring the Book Fair this year? No. The Bound Together Collective has decided not to sponsor the event this year because none of their collective members are interested in working on the Book Fair committee.
  3. Why are you changing the Book Fair to be one day? The Book Fair existed as a one-day event for more than a decade. After consulting with several vendors and attendees, we are moving the Book Fair back to a single day event (Saturday, March 22, 2014) to lessen the focus on bookselling and encourage other groups to provide programming on the days surrounding the event.In addition, as a new group without the support of an established organization (like Bound Together), our funds and the ability to pay in advance for a venue deposit and other expenses are limited.
  4. Why The Crucible? We chose The Crucible because as well as being large enough, close to BART, and in our price range (similar to what we paid last year at The Armory Community Center), they are familiar with the Book Fair and excited about our event.  We will also have the ability to provide food and coffee again.
    The Crucible opened in 1999 and has been located in West Oakland since 2003.
    The first floor of The Crucible (including the vendor areas and at least one of the workshop spaces) are fully accessible. One of the workshop spaces is only accessible by a flight of stairs.
    Here is some information on their youth programing.  They also provide programming for school groups.
  5. What about Gentrification? Gentrification is taking place in many parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, including (and probably particularly so) the Mission District, where the Book Fair was last year, and also in West Oakland.
    Anarchists and activists need to confront the issue of gentrification head on, and not shy away from it because it is complicated and difficult. Some have characterized it as one of the most urgent AND most paralyzing issues of our community. Our inability, as anarchists, to hold an event such as the Book Fair in an area that is not being gentrified only underscores the importance of creating and supporting proactive approaches to the issue.
    As a committee, we have focused on the question: how can our event be a benefit to the neighborhood? We plan on sourcing food and services from local groups, as well as using the book fair to highlight some of the excellent organizing going on in the neighborhood.  We are looking for ways to minimize our impact in the West Oakland Community and welcome any suggestion that will help with that.
  6. I don’t think The Crucible is a good venue. What can I do? When we began negotiating with The Crucible as a potential venue, we made our announcement and asked for suggestions from the community before confirming. If you would like to suggest a venue for next year, please review the criteria below and email us.
  7. What were your criteria for a venue? We looked for a venue that:

    • Has approximately 5,000+ square feet of space for vendors
    • Has one or two rooms or areas for speakers/workshops
    • Won’t object to the political nature of our event (and ideally would support our event)
    • Costs less than $5,000 per day for venue, tables, and security
    • Is within reasonable distance of a BART station
    • Is indoor
  8. Lists of Venues that we considered The following venues were considered and ruled out because they are too expensive, didn’t return our phone calls/emails, are not available during any weekends in March, are 21+ only, are not convenient to public transportation, or are not large enough. If you have specific questions about any of these venues, please email us.
    • The Armory Community Center – (in addition to the controversy of last year, The Armory is going through a permitting process with the city and are currently not permitted for our type of event)
    • City College – Mission Campus
    • Inner Mission (formerly Cell Space)
    • Public Works
    • The New Parish
    • Horace Mann Middle School
    • Laney College
    • Regency Ballroom
    • Fort Mason
    • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
    • Golden Gate Park County Fair Building
    • American Steel
    • Theater Artaud
    • Oakland Metro Opera House
    • Radiance
    • Classic Cars West
    • Uptown Body & Fender
    • Oakland Convention Center
    • The Concourse Exhibition Center
    • The Moscone Center
    • Mission High School
    • The Women’s Building
    • Mission Cultural Center
    • MLK Jr Middle School
    • Great American Music Hall
    • Oakland Asian Cultural Center
    • Berkeley Community College
    • California Institute for Integral Studies
    • Mission Bay Conference Center
    • San Francisco Design Center
    • Lakeside Park Garden Center
    • Lake Merritt Sailboat House
    • The Verdi Club
    • The Polish Club
    • The Swedish American Hall
  9. I want to propose a workshop or panel. How do I do that? You can propose a session here. Please submit proposals by December 15. We will confirm workshops by January 15 at the latest.
  10. Can I have a table at Book Fair? Vendor applications are available here. Space is limited and applications are due by December 31, 2013.
  11. How is the Book Fair funded? The Book Fair is funded primarily by the fees vendors pay for their tables. In the past, the Book Fair has received a portion of the profits from the Anarchist Café.
  12. Can I join the Book Fair Committee or help with the event? A book Fair is a lot of work! We need help publicizing the event, coordinating vendors, setting up and cleaning up on the day of, reviewing workshop proposals, and lots of other things. If you want to help, please get in touch.
  13. What about the East Bay Anarchist Book Fair? The East Bay Anarchist Book Fair is on October 26, 2013. You can find all the information about the event here.