Adobe Books has been a vital supporter of the Bay Area's cultural community for 25 years, now they could be forced out of business.
If you've ever been to San Francisco's Mission District you've probably come across Adobe Books at one point or another. Tucked into a sunny storefront on 16th and Valencia Streets—the neighborhood's epicenter—this used bookstore has been a vital hub of Bay Area culture for 25 years. Not just a peddler of beautiful publications, the shop has also nurtured San Francisco's artists with their Backroom exhibition space since 2001, giving people like Chris Johanson, Devendra Banhart, Andrew Schoultz and other misfits, graffiti writers, and skaters a place to experiment long before these now bigger names were seen in a traditional exhibition setting.
For me personally, going to college in San Francisco, it was the one of the first places where I understood the concept of community. It was a space where people with shared interests could come together and experience art, music, and literature—for free—all under one roof. And it has continued to maintain this clubhouse vibe throughout San Francisco's many iterations whether it be dot com boom or bust.
What's more, the bookshop itself has also been its own work of art. For one week, artist Chris Cobb rearranged the 20,000 books on its shelves—not in alphabetical author order like your normal bookseller—but rather by color. The result? An awesome book rainbow, some confused bookworms, and some pretty great photos that live on.
But Adobe's founder Andrew McKinley is faced with a $4,000 a month rent increase, a hike that the small business simply cannot afford. In order to stay afloat their team has done their homework looking at alternative business models and have come up with a new way of running things including a membership-based cooperative, and getting with the times (they've shied away from Amazon, social media, and even selling new books for years). Through a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo, they hope to raise $60K to revitalize and transform the business—and pay the rent. So if you believe in art, books, color coding, the underdog, and keeping small businesses in local communities, consider giving to the campaign–but hurry! It ends in 24 hours.
This project will be featured in GOOD's Saturday series Push for Good— our guide to crowdfunding creative progress.
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Images courtesy of Adobe Bookshop.