The Plowshares Coffee House Concert Series was operated at Fort Mason in San Francisco by the San Francisco Folk Music Center between 1977 and 1998. The San Francisco Folk Music Center was one of the first thirty-six organizations to occupy the newly converted (from military use) Fort Mason Center in Golden Gate National Recreational Area, the nation’s first urban national park.
Plowshares was a place where people came together to hear many different kinds of acoustic and folk music. The roots of the music played at Plowshares run deep into California’s past and far beyond, reflecting the origins, cultures, and passions of the state’s migrants and immigrants. The incredibly diverse populace in the Bay Area ensured both diverse local talent and interest in a variety of musics. During a brief lull in popularity elsewhere in the nation, Plowshares contributed to the vitality of the local music scene and supported a variety of folk traditions in San Francisco, exposing local audiences to the masters and providing a training ground for those who would carry these traditions into the future.
Plowshares is now a legacy that we can tap for inspiration and strength. Its story reflects the collective experiences of the many performers, volunteers, audience members, and other community members who dedicated themselves to nurturing this music community for a time. Please join in exploring the history, music, and stories of the people who were involved in the Plowshares Coffee House Music Series.