THE CENTER FOR SEX & CULTURE MOVES TO NEW LOCATION
San Francisco, March 3: The Center for Sex & Culture, San Francisco’s sex education-focused community center, has announced that it has moved from the space it has occupied at the former Jon Sims Center at 1519 Mission, effective March 1. Its new location will be 1349 Mission between 9th and 10th Streets at Grace Street.
Their two-block move down Mission Street will put them into a street-level 2500-square- foot venue, one of just 25 SOMA buildings which survived the 1906 earthquake and fire and which has seen use as an industrial space, a church, and a clinic. It will hold CSC’s library and archive and provide space for the sex education and enhancement workshops and sexuality-themed cultural events for which the organization is known. Rotating art shows will grace its gallery wall, and they hope to use Kickstarter.com this summer to raise funds for a mural on the Grace Street side of the building.
Events at 1519 Mission, where CSC’s archives, classes, and cultural offerings have been located since 2007, have curtailed the Center’s ability to grow. After the sudden collapse of Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory, the theatre that shared that address, CSC supported the Queer Cultural Center and MCVF’s remaining staff in presenting the LGBT Pride Month event series that had been booked in that space in June 2010. It then requested assistance from the building’s landlord to improve accessibility and emergency exits so that the Voice Factory staff, Ernesto Sopprani and Wolfgang Wachalovsky, could continue to hold theatre events in the space; when that request was refused, the CSC board directed founders Carol Queen, PhD and Robert Lawrence, EdD to look for a more appropriate venue.
Center for Sex & Culture director Carol Queen acknowledges the bittersweet feelings CSC stakeholders currently share: “We are delighted to become closer neighbors with our friends at the St. James Infirmary and CounterPULSE and to have a ground-floor building all to ourselves — we will have no impediments to the programming we would like to schedule at the new building and are excited to set up a new, improved venue. We do hate to leave behind a vacant building that has been so central to the queer and performance communities for so long, and wish the landlord had wanted to see this historic space upgraded and its capacity increased. We worked with the Jon Sims Center before we ever had our own venue, and their contribution to this city’s culture is missed. It’s been an honor to occupy the same rooms that had been used for performance and cultural incubation since 1978.” Typical of the range of events CSC hosts, its last reading was My Sucky Valentine on February 14; the last rehearsal was booked by burlesque cheerleaders The Cock-Ts; and the last theatrical event was in November, a two-part show featuring Bobby Gordon’s original solo work “Debbie Does My Dad” with his father, former porn star Richard Pacheco, doing a spoken-word performance memoir of his life and adult industry career. The last sex ed workshop was given by Francesca Gentille and Tim Emert on the theme of spiritual sexuality and BDSM.
CSC programming, while not on hiatus, will be reduced temporarily while the new venue is set up. The organization is beginning to plan a series of benefit performances and will gratefully welcome donations for its moving fund. They can be sent to its mailing address, 2261 Market Street #455-a, San Francisco, CA, 94114.
The Center for Sex & Culture is a two-time winner of the SF Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay award (Best Emerging Sex Non-profit, 2005, and Best Erotic Resurrection for its Erotic Reading Circle, 2007) and was included in SF Weekly’s 2005 Best Of San Francisco listing as “Best Place to Watch Pornos (and Be Considered Intellectual).” CSC hosts educational and cultural events having to do with sexuality for adults of every orientation and gender. It also maintains a sexuality library and archive. CSC is a 501(c)(3) educational organization; for more detail, to sign up for twice-monthly e-mailed event updates, make a tax-deductible donation, or to peruse the events calendar, see www.sexandculture.org.