Writers’ Block Party

Five years ago, author Dave Eggers created 826 Valencia, the mostly youth-oriented nonprofit writing lab and tutoring center located in a storefront in the Mission, and God saw that it was good. The storefront, decorated with a mural by cartoonist Chris Ware, drew usually laconic twenty- and thirtysomethings in to volunteer their time helping kids ages 6-18 write, do homework, learn English, and nourish a budding pirate fetishism. Children frolicked after school, publishing books, purchasing eyepatches. And so God smiled down on 826 Valencia and said, "Let there be a day dedicated to this unusual endeavor." He waved his hand over a Nikki McClure calendar, and 8/26 Day was born. Today, the Mission Playground becomes an altar to revelry and moonbounces. Students dance, read, and cartoon. Live music descends from the heavens. Clowns polish their best noses. Pirates plank themselves just to be there. Among the exciting features is a dunk-tank offering chances to soak your favorite authors, including Eggers and Stephen Elliot (Happy Baby, Politically Inspired). Everett Middle School's dance troupe, the Everett Chicas, and James Lick Middle School's Ballet Folklorico both perform. God's attendance is not guaranteed. The community festival marks five years of student programming.
Sun., Aug. 26, 1 p.m.

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