Everything You Need to Know

Click to download this page as a pdf. Everything You Need to Know A to Z

Address for Shipping

Shipped packages can arrive between July 13 and July 22 and should be clearly labeled:
The Passionate Pen Conference Office
Attn: Your Name
Sonoma State University
Conference & Event Services
Student Center: 2nd Floor
Russian River Valley Room
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Address Labels

We will have some nice gift baskets and product donated by Sakura and others for a drawing. You’ll need to write your name and phone number on the tickets, so print some address labels to adhere to them: makes life a little easier.

Air Conditioning

The classrooms and the Student Center are air conditioned. The dorms are not. It is rarely necessary in Sonoma County. If you keep the window coverings closed during the day, the rooms stay comfortable and it generally cools down in the evening.


Campus policy restricts drinking to dorm suites and at the socials in the Student Center. There will be a cash bar at the evening socials.


Be sure to check the bulletin board outside the conference office. Daily notices, schedule changes and other info will be posted. You can also leave messages for other participants there.

Arriving by Air

If you are arriving at SFO look for Passionate Pen greeters in the baggage claim areas. They will be wearing bright goldenrod conference Tshirts and carrying gold and magenta balloons. They’ll point you towards to the shuttle bus area. The Sonoma County Airport Express buses will have signs with the conference logo in the window.

If you are flying into Oakland airport, Transportation Chair Debra Ferreboeuf will contact you via email with directions to finding the Sonoma County Airport Express shuttle bus for the ride to Rohnert Park.

Arriving by Car

This is the link for driving directions to Sonoma State University:

ATC (Artist Trading Cards)

Make a piece of calligraphic art with your newly learned skills and inspiration acquired throughout the week at the Passionate Pen. Participants are encouraged to create/decorate up to 12 ATC’s to trade during the Thursday evening social. But WAIT! There’s more! Make one ATC for a chance to win a FULL WEEK TUITION at next year’s conference, A Show of Hands, in Asheville, North Carolina. Drop your decorated ATC entry anytime between Monday and Thursday in the ATC box in the Conference Office. Official Trading Time will be Thursday evening during the book signing and social. The Passionate Pen ATC blanks will be available at the Texas Lettering Arts Table during Vendor Day and at the conference office.

Submitted ATCs must contain hand lettering on the front and the backside must be completely filled out to qualify. Incomplete ATCs will be eliminated from the drawing. The lucky Give Away Winner will be announced on Thursday evening during the pre-program announcements. Winner receives full-week, double-occupancy tuition only. This give away does not include airfare or special requests. If winner cannot go, he/she may transfer the opportunity to another worthy scribe. All submitted ATCs become the property of Texas Lettering Arts Council and will be used to promote calligraphy and the lettering arts with credit to the Artist. Only one ATC entry per person. Must be over 18 years.

ATM Banking

Bank of America ATM is located in Zinfandel Marketplace and Exchange Bank ATM is located in Charlie Brown’s Cafe. There is also one across the street from campus in the 7-11.

Book Signing

A Social and Book Signing sponsored by John Neal Bookseller will be held Thursday evening. If you have a book by one of our teachers, bring it along for signing. Or you can buy it on campus.


There will be coffee/tea service with light snacks each day at 10am and 3pm. Class monitors will direct you to the location for your classroom area.

Bulletin Board

Check the Bulletin Board for updates and post personal messages to other fellow scribes attending The Passionate Pen. The Bulletin Board is located next to the Conference Office in the Russian River Valley room on the second floor of the Student Center.

Business Card Exchange

Drop off 25 –50 calligraphic business cards (plus one) in an envelope clearly marked with your name at The Passionate Pen office by Tuesday, July 28. Pick up your new collection on Friday, July 31.

Cameras and Recording Devices

Please be courteous and respectful of the teachers by asking their permission to take photographs or videos in their classrooms. Feel free to take pictures anywhere else, except at the evening programs.

Campus Bookstore

The SSU Student Store is located on the second floor of the Student Center. They carry toothpaste, aspirin, sun screen and a wide variety of sundries, as well as SSU clothing. Hours: M-F 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Campus Map

You will receive a campus map in your registration packet. If you want to get a preview, go to: www.sonoma.edu/visit/pdf/icon.pdf

Check-in and Registration

SATURDAY: Check-in will be in front of the Cooperage in Sauvignon Village residence complex. There will be signs on campus directing you there if you are coming by car. Shuttle buses will drop you off in Parking Lot H, just around the corner. You can pick up your registration packet, which will have your dorm key/meal card in your neck wallet, as well as a campus map and daily schedule. There will be volunteers to help you with your luggage to your dorm room.

SUNDAY: If you are commuting or only taking a one-day class on Sunday, July 26, please try to arrive on campus as early as possible. Classes START AT 8:30 am; check-in will open at 7:00 am and may take a while because over 80 people will be checking in. There will be signs directing you to Parking Lot D. Check-in will take place in front of the Student Center, which is adjacent to Parking Lot D. After you receive your registration packet, you can head to your classroom. Your class name will be printed on the front of the envelope and there will be a sign with class locations. The registration volunteers will direct you to the classrooms and there will be plenty of directional signage around the campus.


All class locations will be on the campus map in your registration packet. Classes will be held in the following buildings: Student Center, The Cooperage, Darwin, Stevenson, Salazar, Rachel Carson, Chalk Hill, and the Art Department. Hours: 8:30 to 11:30 am and 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Tuesday and Friday classes will only be held in the morning.

Class Monitors

If you’ve agreed to be a class monitor, please meet Sherrie Lovler on Saturday, July 25 at 4:00 pm in the Student Center, 2nd floor, Bennett Valley Room. The meeting should last 30 – 45 minutes.

Conference Office

The Passionate Pen office will be located in the Russian River Valley room on the second floor of the Student Center. Hours will be 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. The office phone number is 707-664-3583

Copy Machine

A copy shop is located on the second floor of the Student Center. Hours are Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Dancing Letters Scholarship Fund Auction

Many faculty and participants have donated original art that will be on display starting Monday afternoon. Auction will take place at the Wednesday evening social.

The Dancing Letters Scholarship Fund was established in 2010 to provide financial assistance to those wishing to further their knowledge of calligraphy and its related arts through attending workshops, lectures, classes, or international, regional and local conferences.

We welcome and appreciate contributions to the Dancing Letters Scholarship Fund. Your contribution will help educate recipients who otherwise might be unable to access learning opportunities. The Dancing Letters Scholarship Fund is a non profit, tax exempt, publicly supported organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Tax Code, and is incorporated and registered in Massachusetts. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Dietary Restrictions

There is a wide variety of foods available in The Kitchens, including a large salad bar and some gluten-free alternatives. If you have severe allergies or special dietary needs beyond what is offered, please let The Kitchens staff know.

Dining on Campus (Alternatives)

Charlie Brown’s cafe (located in the Schultz Information Center; yes, that Charles Schultz) offers pastry, quiche, bagels, hot cereal in the morning, salads, soups, sandwiches, espresso service and a wide variety of cold beverage. Open M-F, 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. Sip (located to the left of the lobby, ground floor Student Center) has Starbucks coffee, teas and pastries. Open M-F, 7:00 am to 4:30 pm. Lobo (next door to Sip) features pizza and pub grub. Open M-F 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. If you are commuting and not using the meal plan, these are nice alternatives to the dining hall.


The campus police station non-emergency number is 707-664-4444. If it is an emergency, dial 911.

Excursion Day: Tuesday, July 28

Buses will be leaving at 12:15pm from Parking Lot D. Please be sure to get there as soon as possible after class ends on Tuesday. Your box lunches will be available for pick up near the buses.

If you are not going on an excursion, lunch will be in The Kitchens (campus dining hall). There are many options for your afternoon enjoyment (a list of ideas will be in your registration packet). Most important: there will be no food service in The Kitchens for dinner. A list of local restaurants will be your registration packet. Several of them are right across the street from campus.


There will five exhibitions on campus: the Faculty Show, a Georgia Deaver retrospective, the Participant’s Exhibit, the California Poppy display and Love Letters (decorated envelopes).

Goody Bags

Goody Bags are included in the full conference package. If you are only enrolled in a one-day class, you may purchase the bags for $15 at check-in or during the lunch break.

Guild Banners

Please be sure your guild banners are shipped to arrive at SSU between July 13 and July 22. The shipping address is at the top of page one. Banners must be picked up for return shipping by a guild representative by noon on Friday, July 31. A mailing service will be available in the Student Center from noon to 5pm.


Towels can be exchanged midweek. On Wednesday, July 29 bring your towels to the Cellars Office (located next to the Cooperage) any time and you can exchange them for a clean set.

Internet Access

All dorm rooms and classroom have free wifi. Your password is on your printed name card (behind the calligraphic one) in the front pocket of your neck wallet. If you do not have a device you can use the Library computers. (Username: Passionate; Password: Pen2015). Library hours: Sat. 10:00am to 5:00pm; M-Th 7:30am to 7:00pm; Fri. 7:30am to 5:00pm


Your suite/room key is also your meal card. If it is lost there is a $20 charge plus the cost of any unused meals on the card.

Late Arrivals

If you arrive on Saturday after 5pm, please go to the Conference Office to pick up your registration packet and dorm key.


Washers and driers are located in several buildings throughout Sauvignon Village. Bring quarters.

Lost & Found

There will be a Lost & Found box in the Conference Office.

Mailing Service

A mailing service will be on campus in the Student Center on Friday, July 31 from noon to 5pm.


Massages will be available by appointment every day from 4:30pm to 7:00pm in the Bennett Valley Room (Student Center, 2nd Floor, by Keith Johnson, CMT. Sign up on the bulletin board outside the Conference Office.


Meals will be served in The Kitchens on the ground floor of the Student Center. Breakfast: 7:00 to 8:15am. Lunch: 11:45am to
12:45pm. Dinner: 5:00pm to 6:30pm. YOUR DORM KEY IS ALSO YOUR MEAL CARD.

IMPORTANT: If you have signed up for one of the excursions, you can pick up your box lunch before you board the buses. If you are not going on an excursion, you can eat lunch in The Kitchens. THERE WILL BE NO DINNER SERVICE ON CAMPUS TUESDAY NIGHT. A list of local restaurants will be in your registration packet. Several of them are right across the street from campus.

Newbies Meeting

If this is your first conference get some great advice for navigating the week from some experienced old hands. They’ll answer any questions you have. Meet up in the Lobby of the Student Center on Saturday, July 25 at 4:30pm. Then head to dinner with your new friends.

Participants’ Exhibit

Remember to bring an unframed piece to hang (matted is okay). Maximum size is 9″ x 12″, any medium. Work must be hangable (no books or 3D objects). Be sure your name is on the back. Supplies for hanging will be available. Stop by the Student Center 3rd floor Ballroom to hang it yourself on Saturday or Sunday. Please remove on Thursday after class.

Parking on Campus

If you requested a parking pass on your Travel page it will be in your registration packet when you arrive on campus. There will be signs directing you to The Cooperage in Sauvignon Village. Parking Lot H is the closest. Park your car, get your packet and go back and put your pass on your windshield. FOR SUNDAY ONLY PARTICIPANTS: Parking Lot D is the closest to registration in front of the Student Center. Follow the same procedure.


Pick up your pre-orders from John Neal in Ballroom B, the Scribe Store in Ballroom C, and Paper & Ink Arts in Ballroom D on the third floor of the Student Center. Please pick orders up by 7:00pm on Saturday, July 25 or by noon on Sunday, July 26.

Rec Center/Gym

Located just across from the Student Center, participants can use the gym for free. Hours: Mon–Fri, 6:45am to 9:45 m; Sat & Sun: 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Residential Complex Phone Numbers

On-campus housing will be Sauvignon Village. The 24 hour service desk (the Cellars) is located right next to The Cooperage. The phone number is 707-664-3207. The mobile number is 707-874-8778 (in case no one answers the land line).

Scribe Store

Consignment store for artwork created by participants, faculty, and other artists. Great gifts and treats for yourself. Located in Ballroom C, third floor of the Student Center.

Show ‘n Share

Show ‘n Share features work that was done throughout the week. It will take place on Friday, July 31 from 2:00 to 4:00pm in Ballroom A on the third floor of the Student Center. If you are only on campus for the Sunday class, you are most welcome to come back on Friday for this special event (bring a few of your class pieces to share)

Swimming Pool

There is a swimming pool located in the Zinfandel Village residential complex. Hours: every day 8:00am to 11:00pm. There is also a lap pool in the main gymnasium building on the other side of campus.


Sonoma County has fairly mild temperatures in the summer (60 to 90 degrees). It is often a little cooler in the evening. If you are going to San Francisco temps can be even cooler. Pack for layered clothing.


Paper and Ink Arts (art supplies) and John Neal, Bookseller (books) will be the week-long vendors, located on the third floor of the Student Center. There will also be a one-day trade show with a variety of calligraphic goodies for sale on Sunday, July 26.


It’s still not too late to sign up to volunteer at The Passionate Pen. Contact Leslie Barnes at lesliecee@sbcglobal.net

What to Pack

Here’s a checklist of items you may want to bring with you:

  • Supply list items for your workshop(s)
  • Samples of your work (for tutorial students)
  • Calligraphic business cards (for the Business Card Exchange)
  • Artwork for the Participant’s Exhibit and the Poppy Exhibit
  • Personal desk lamp
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunscreen, Sun glasses, shade hat
  • Small cushion to make your seat higher/more comfortable
  • Comfortable clothes: layers advised
  • Good walking shoes
  • Apron to protect your clothes
  • Bathrobe
  • Toiletries
  • Medications
  • Cash for drinks at the evening socials
  • Alarm clock
  • Personal fan
  • Ziplock bags (for open inks and purchases)