Dave Eggers and Michael Kimmelman were good. Eggers is self-taught in everything he does--drawing, writing, publishing, etc. He was very refreshing. He talked about working for Esquire, which has 1.2 million readers, compared to McSweeney's, which he founded so he and his friends could publish what they wanted. He said he couldn't have done what he has without the internet, but he has some "Luddite" tendencies (my word). He likes publishing tangible, limited edition books which are art objects themselves.
Three young men from the Lost Boys community in Cleveland were there, and eventually Eggers spoke about Sudan, stressing that the Darfur nightmare and the plight of the Lost Boys (and girls and their families and villages) are connected: the same regime in Khartoum has perpetrated years of horror.
Eggers and his McSweeney crowd have developed these tutoring centers for kids. The founding one in San Francisco is simply called 826 Valencia. There are now similar places in six other cities. One audience member asked if we could get one in Cleveland. There was a visible stirring among folks in the crowd. (Humorous fact: the landlord of 826 Valencia wouldn't let them just have a nonprofit tutoring center; they had to sell something too. So the front of the place is a "pirate supply store," complete with fake parrots, eye patches for special occasions, etc.)
I'd love to hear Michael Kimmelman speak alone, and speak frankly, about the art world.
(Sorry, this is a long post.)