SAN FRANCISCO—The Center for Sex & Culture (CSC), San Francisco's one-of-a-kind, award-winning sexuality community center and arts space, is pleased to announce a very special event to kick off February. On Friday, February 1, the Center for Sex & Culture Gallery will debut "Letters to a Porn Star," a show featuring America's "Porn Sweetheart" (and Bay Area native) Nina Hartley's fan mail and fan-created artworks.

These letters, from our archive, address Hartley fans' diverse concerns and interests, from requests for membership information on Hartley’s fan club, to commentary on her activism against censorship, to questions seeking advice on sexual health. Spanning the amusing, the downright sexy and the touchingly serious, these letters are a fascinating read. The letters are presented along with drawings and gifts from her fans.

The show will grace the gallery walls through March 18, and will feature a February First Friday reception to be held from 7-10pm. Featuring a short talk at 8pm with Ingrid Olson, CSC Research Fellow whose curatorial project examining the CSC Nina Hartley Collection inspired this show, the convivial gathering will give interested visitors plenty of time to inspect the intimate and amusing output of a very special porn star's very special fans.

Nina Hartley’s first adult entertainment film, Educating Nina, was shot in the Bay Area in 1984. She has featured in over 650 first-run adult films, and has become one of the most enduring and recognizable performers in the industry. She has won the most AVN awards of any star in history and was the first working porn actress to crossover to "real acting" with a part in Boogie Nights. Hartley has created many sexual education videos as director, producer and sex educator. She has been a vocal anti-censorship activist fighting for pornography’s right to exist and is on the board-of-directors at Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance.

Two additional special events will be associated with this gallery show. On Sunday, February 24, a group of Bay Area-based porn performers will join us for a panel discussion about their own fan relationships, moderated by CSC founding director Carol Queen, PhD. Participants in this panel are still being booked and will be announced shortly. And Nina Hartley herself is scheduled to join us for a second reception on the First Friday in March—3.1.13.

The Center for Sex and Culture Gallery is located at 1349 Mission Street in San Francisco. In addition to this opening reception, the gallery is open Mondays from 11am-4 pm and other days by appointment; email here for more information, or to set up and appointment.

Please join us for this glimpse in to the impact Hartley has had on people and the fascinating results of her inevitable role as a screen onto which a wide variety of individuals project their sexual thoughts and their often unique understanding of sexuality. Though there will be no charge to attend the event, donations are always gratefully accepted.

Note: No one under 18 will be admitted. Relatively easy parking can be found in the neighborhood; several MUNI lines stop in the vicinity, and CSC is three blocks from Civic Center BART.

CSC is a 501(c)(3) educational organization. For more detail, to sign up for twice-monthly mailings, donate, or peruse the events calendar, click here.