After a 15-year hiatus, the Beat Museum on Wheels is heading out on the road again! Starting in 2022—Kerouac’s centennial year—we’ll be embarking on more journeys across America, spreading the spirit of the Beat Generation.
The Beat Museum began in Monterey, California, in 2003. Long before becoming permanently established in North Beach, San Francisco, in 2004 we announced our first national tour with the Beat Museum on Wheels.
Following in the tire tracks of Kerouac and Cassady, founder/director Jerry Cimino and John Allen Cassady (son of Neal Cassady) hit the open road in a 1987 Airstream 345 RV—dubbed the “Beatmobile” by our fans.
Read more about the previous adventures of the Beatmobile here
Traveling cross-country as a roving exhibition and two-man stage show, we made appearances at dozens of colleges, high schools, and other institutions all over America, captivating audiences with an engaging, dynamic, and informative presentation all about the history of the Beat Generation, how they changed America and the world, and the ongoing importance of their values.
Program Offerings for 2022
The Beat Museum on Wheels is part mobile museum, and part stage presentation. At each of the stops on our tour, items curated from the Beat Museum’s collection will be on exhibit, along with books and souvenir items available for purchase.
The main event of every visit from the Beat Museum on Wheels is our live stage presentation. Cofounders Jerry & Estelle Cimino discuss the origins and history of the Beat Generation—how it came out of World War II, and how inspired by jazz, spirituality, and nonconformity, it captured the wayward energy and restlessness of youth in the postwar period, and created a renaissance of American art, literature, music, values and ideas.
Some of our programs include:
- Jack Kerouac@100: The Man vs the Myth
- The Women of the Beat Generation: A Woman’s Perspective
- The San Francisco Renaissance: The 1950s Ethos of the Left Coast
Through the summer, the Beat Museum’s 2022 Kerouac Centennial Tour will focus on the entire West Coast, from San Diego to Seattle with stops in Los Angeles, the Central Coast of California, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Portland. In September the Beat Museum on Wheels will travel across the USA to the East Coast with stops in major US Cities including Tulsa, St. Louis, and Chicago. Eventually it will arrive in Kerouac’s hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts for the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, remembering Jack Kerouac on the anniversary of his death, October 21, 1969. Continued stops in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland will follow. The Beat Museum on Wheels is part mobile museum, and part stage presentation.
Read the Press Release (PDF)
Want to Get Involved?
Help the Beatmobile make it to the next town!
When we first drove across America in 2004 and 2005, gas prices had just jumped by over a dollar a gallon the week we left. We weren’t even sure we’d have enough gas money to make it to the East Coast! We sent out an SOS and Beat fans around the world responded.
By purchasing a half-tank of gas, you can help the Beat Museum on Wheels along our journey—and hopefully make it to your town!
We’ll provide you with a certificate of appreciation—our way of saying thanks for contributing to our Gas Fund.
Yes! I want the Beat Museum on Wheels to visit my school or institution!
If you’re an educator, administrator, program director, etc—we want to talk to you! Our programming is flexible, and can be tailored to your specific needs, for groups large and small. Contact us here:
Read the Press Release (PDF)
The Beat Museum on Wheels is a project of the Friends of The Beat Museum, a registered 501(c)3 public charity dedicated to the arts and education. IRS ID #74-3198671. Donations are tax-deductible.