It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years!
We first opened the Beat Museum in 2003, in Monterey, California. We quickly outgrew our small space, and in 2004, Jerry Cimino and John Allen Cassady took it on the road with the Beat Museum on Wheels, performing a two-man show introducing the Beat Generation to audiences all over the country.
Realizing the Beat Museum belongs in San Francisco, and especially in North Beach, we landed temporarily at Live Worms Gallery on Grant Avenue, and spent a short time at the Cannery near Fisherman’s Wharf, until we found our current home at 540 Broadway, directly across the street from City Lights.
Since our humble beginnings, the Beat Museum has been a labor of love, collecting, archiving, sharing and spreading the spirit of the Beat Generation. Every year we receive thousands of visitors from all over the world. For some it’s a pilgrimage to the home of the Beats, a chance to see up close what they’ve read about in the books, while for others it’s an introduction to a previously unknown chapter in history. We created the Beat Museum to be an enriching and memorable experience for scholars, enthusiasts, and novices alike.
In the last few years we’ve seen a resurgent interest in the Beats. New books are being written and published constantly, while older books are coming back into print, along with new documentary films and movie adaptations of the Beats’ work. The values of the Beat Generation—tolerance, compassion, acceptance, and the courage to live an authentic life—are just as relevant, if not more so, all these decades later. We believe it’s important not only to preserve the history of the Beats, but also to educate and inspire in current and future generations that ideas matter, and can change the world.
Thank you for your support these last 15 years, and we look forward to many more ahead. If you haven’t been by in awhile, we welcome you to stop in soon, and invite your friends!