The belief that art should be public and freely accessible does not preclude the belief that artists should be paid for their work. To that end, the Studio One Reading Series, which has been free since its first show in 2008, is holding its inaugural benefit this weekend.
“We’re trying to set an operating budget for the series in the hopes that we can raise enough money to pay small stipends to the authors and have an event budget so we can do things like make broadsides if we want,” said Casey McAlduff, who’s curated the series since 2012.
Until recently, McAlduff donated all the food and drinks, which are complimentary. The Studio One Art Center provides the space free of charge, even hiring staff to watch over the events, which usually run first Fridays from September through June.
“I don’t try to bring any personal aesthetic or ideas to who reads,” McAlduff said. “I’m really looking for community-minded people … people who want to collaborate, and that’s generally what we get at Studio One anyway because we get these wonderful writers to come that we can’t pay.”
The benefit consists of two parts: The first is an afternoon talk by architect Murray Silverstein, who has two books of poetry out on Sixteen Rivers Press.
“He was our inspiration for the theme, ‘The Architecture of Poetry,’” McAlduff says, “and he’s going to start off the day giving a talk about how architecture and poetry are aligned. There’s so much history there in terms of the two fields: ideas of form, and design, and light.”
After the talk, Dora Malech will read with Silverstein at Studio One.
McAlduff says she might open the doors to donations on the day of the show. “Whatever people can donate. … I just want to get people in the room; I want people to be there to hear Dora and Murray read because they’re so good and they’ve given so much of their time for this.”
IF YOU GO
The Architecture of Poetry: 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10. 3 Doris Place, Berkeley. $100. Studio One Reading Series Benefit: 5 p.m. Saturday. Free; donations encouraged. Studio One Art Center, 365 45th St., Oakland. (510) 597-5027.
Photo by Murray Silverstein