Ferlinghetti-Yevgeny event that put Project Artaud on the map.

Project Artaud flew under the radar for a while. Floors were laid. Walls were built, plumbing and electricity installed, and or dreamed about. All the while people were dropping by, friends, and friends of friends, were spreading the word that something was going on with the hippie artists over at 17th and Alabama Street in the Mission District.

One day, out of the blue, Lawerence Ferlinghetti called Joe Krysiak about renting the theater for a poetry reading he was planning with Russian poets Yevtashenko and Broshenski. This was unprecedented during the dark ages of the cold war when Russsian poets were barely allowed to travel. The event turned into a huge international event which put Project Artaud firmly on the map.

As always fame broght its share of problems. When Project Artaud went from an obscure warehouse in the Mission to the stage of the day, the fire department came to investigate. They freaked. No way could they allow a huge audience in that space without sprinklers or no fire exits.

But this was an opportunity for San Francisco as well as Project Artaud, and Mayor Agnos told the Fire Chief to “find a way”. The best the chief could come up with on short notice was to build a big wide raked fire exit on Florida Street and to station fire engines on all four sides of the building. So the first big event at Project Artaud, was staged with fire engines. The relationship with Ferlinghetti became very important to Joe, and when left Artaud, Joe started City Lights Poetry Theatre with Lawrence.


Project Artaud HIstory Artists Art Homepage

Ferlinghetti-Yevgeny event was photographed and filmed by a number of people. These photos were shot by Marino Colmano.

Other artists who covered the event:

Robert Pacelli, producer

Jerry Abrams, Jahl Productions