MEETING OF THE FULL ARTS COMMISSION
Monday, July 6, 2009
City Hall Room 416
President Johnston called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m.
- Roll Call
P.J. Johnston, President
Maya Draisin, Vice President
Ron Miguel, ex officio
Cass Calder Smith
- Approval of Minutes
The following Resolution was moved, seconded, and unanimously adopted:
RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-162: Motion to approve May 4, 2009 Minutes.
NOTE: ALL ADOPTIONS ARE UNANIMOUS UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
- President’s Report
President Johnston reported that the Arts Commission’s budget survived its final review relatively unscathed.
He congratulated Commissioner Wilsey on the opening of the spectacular Tutankhamun show at the de Young. He recalled his childhood experience of seeing King Tut for the first time, and he noted that the current exhibition is benefiting the Fine Arts Museums in attendance and membership.
President Johnston announced the upcoming Summer and the Symphony series, noting that it was receiving good publicity, including radio announcements and bus shelter ads. He reported that the Executive Committee had discussed possible changes in the coming year, with a likely shift from a short, five-week summer pops series to a year-round collaboration, with benefits for both the Symphony and the Arts Commission.
President Johnston reported that the Fisher family has withdrawn its proposal for the Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio at the parade grounds. He thought all could agree that it was worth trying to help convince the Fishers to keep their incredible collection in San Francisco, whether at the Presidio or elsewhere in the city. He thought it shameful for San Francisco to turn its back and lose the collection. He added that, while the Arts Commission has no direct jurisdiction as to the Presidio, it certainly has an important voice among the community’s stakeholders, and that he, the Director and others would continue to follow this issue closely.
President Johnston reported on the successful fruition of a long collaboration with the Recreation and Parks Department and the Department of Public Works, the opening of the Harvey Milk Recreation Center on a beautiful day. He thanked Public Art Project Manager Tonia Macneil for bringing beautiful artwork to the gorgeous facility. He called this center, specifically dedicated to the arts, a great addition to the neighborhoods.
Finally, he called for the Commission to join in wishing a happy birthday to Director of Cultural Affairs Luis Cancel, and noted that his own fortieth birthday was the following day.
- Director’s Report
Mr. Cancel likewise wished a happy birthday to President Johnston, and began his report by noting that the budget appeared on track for approval mid-July, with significantly fewer cuts than originally proposed. The Budget and Finance Committee raised other issues, but agreed with the Mayor’s office that the budget should not be reduced further. He reminded them of the significance of what had been lost, including the Deputy Director and the reduction in Cultural Equity Grants funds, with the hope that some of that could be built back in future budgets. He thanked the Mayor and members of the Budget and Finance Committee for recognizing that funding the cultural sector is the surest way to encourage the tourism so important to the city’s economy, and he thanked President Johnston for his support in making that point to the Mayor.
Mr. Cancel reported that with help from the Department of Human Resources (“DHR”), the Cultural Center Facilities Manager’s position had been transferred to the Department of Public Works. This relieves the Arts Commission of paying a 106% overhead cost, while the Facilities Manager works full-time for the Arts Commission.
Mr. Cancel reported that San Francisco Symphony Director Brent Assink had written to propose an important new collaboration with the Arts Commission, shifting away from the summer pops series to a series of a dozen or so events throughout the year in venues throughout the city. The Symphony would continue to produce the free summer concert in Dolores Park as one of these events. Mr. Cancel received the support of the Executive Committee when he presented the proposal to them. President Johnston added that the proposal has advantages for both the Symphony and the Arts Commission, with opportunities for broader community outreach and diversity in programming. In response to a question, Mr. Cancel explained that the Cultural Centers might become cosponsors of some of the events.
Mr. Cancel expressed his deep concern that the Fisher family was withdrawing its proposal for the Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio. He lamented that this will call for greater efforts to encourage them to keep the collection within the city, and he noted that the Commission had expressed a general consensus that the collection should remain in the city and open to the public. He pointed out its potential to increase tourism with benefits to nearby institutions. Finally, he said that it was a priority to reach out to the Fishers and work with them to keep the collection here.
Mr. Cancel reported that he has been working closely with the Redevelopment Agency on the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with regard to the Mexican Museum, to develop a grant agreement with specific milestones for the Museum to achieve before the Arts Commission will disburse corresponding funds. The parties regard the agreement as prudent, with a close relationship between accomplishments and disbursements. Mr. Cancel was pleased to see this important collection coming out of dormancy, with a circulating exhibit drawn from the collection on display in Palo Alto, and scheduled for San Francisco in the spring of 2010. Further, work is underway on a land development agreement at Yerba Buena, and the Museum is catching up on its financial reports. Mr. Cancel reported that the San Francisco Foundation is working closely with the Museum to reform its board. On June 1, two new co-chairs took office: Mario Diaz of the Wells Fargo Foundation, and Nora Wagner, a curator from the Blackhawk Museum. Finally, he reported that Denise Bradley has been contracted to represent the Arts Commission in administering the MOU; she is being paid with Redevelopment funds.
Mr. Cancel reported that Teri Jourgensen of the Department of Human Resources will do a full-day training for strategic planning with twenty-one staff members, and plans to work with the Commissioners in August. He reported that he had extended an invitation to the Library to participate in the planning, since they are funding about two-thirds of the cost of running WritersCorps this year.
Mr. Cancel reported that WritersCorps was awarded a grant of $50,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts. Unfortunately, the Arts Commission was not successful in its application for $250,000 in stimulus funds which would have been regranted to local artists and arts organizations. He reported that only two of these grants were awarded in California, both in the south. He reported that the Arts Commission’s Collections program was awarded a Connecting to Collections Bookshelf grant to pay for a large group of reference titles and online resources on conservation and preservation.
Mr. Cancel reported that the Gallery’s next show, 10 x 10 x 10, would open in City Hall on Wednesday, July 8 at 5:30 p.m. He explained that the show features Bay area photographers. July 23 is the opening date for Conversation 5—Jamie Vasta and Nicholas Pye & Sheila Pye, at 401 Van Ness. Mr. Cancel reported that this will be a major exhibition, remarking on the stunning glitter paintings by Ms. Vasta. He encouraged everyone to attend the opening and see the show.
Finally, Mr. Cancel added his appreciation for President Johnston’s participation in the dedication of the Harvey Milk Recreation Center, and noted that Susan Schwartzenberg, one of the two artists on the project, is based in San Francisco.
- Consent Calendar
President Johnston severed item 1 from the Consent Calendar, because the March 23 Executive Committee minutes had not been distributed.
President Johnston called for public comment on the Consent Calendar.
Chrissy Anderson-Zavala of the Arts Providers Alliance spoke, acknowledging the long history of contributions of Interim Arts Education Program Manager Anne Smith. Ms. Anderson-Zavala emphasized the importance of a permanent hire for that position, and respectfully urged the Commission to hire someone before the beginning of the school year, preferably by mid-August.
Lua Hadar, an independent teaching artist and member of the Arts Providers Alliance, said that she had testified in February and March that the Arts Education Program Manager was not only a policy position but also needed community roots. She was encouraged by Mr. Cancel’s attendance at the April meeting where her organization presented its survey, and wanted to have community input into the permanent hire.
Jessical Mele of the Arts Providers Alliance was pleased to hear Mr. Cancel’s remarks about strategic planning, and will remain interested in that process, and about the WritersCorps collaboration with the Library. She said that there is a consensus that the Arts Commission needs a strategic vision for the next round of budget cuts. She appreciated how receptive the Commission has been to her organization, and she said that they are still paying attention and focused on the coming school year.
There was no further public comment on this item.
The Commission approved the remaining Consent Calendar as follows.
RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-163:
Approval: RESOLVED, that this Commission does hereby adopt the following items on the Consent Calendar and their related Resolutions:
Approval of Committee Minutes
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-164: Motion to approve the Community Arts, Education, and Grants Committee Meeting Minutes of June 9, 2009.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-165: Motion to approve the Visual Arts Committee Meeting Minutes of June 17, 2009.
Executive Committee Recommendations (May 26, 2009)
- RESOLUTION NO. 0601-09-155: Motion to approve the selection of the Department of Human Resources Workforce Development Team as a strategic planning consultant for the Arts Commission (including corresponding workorder of funds).
Community Arts, Education, and Grants Committee Recommendations (June 9, 2009)
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-166: Motion to approve the Programs in the Community (“PIC”) grant to the following organizations, recommended by the PIC review panel, pending confirmation of funding in the 2009-2010 City budget:
Youth Guidance Center, $16,500
Central City Hospitality House, $16,500
Urban Services YMCA, $16,500
Edgewood Center for Children and Families, $16,000
UCSF Foundation, $16,000
Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, $16,000
Larkin Street Youth Services, $16,000
A Home Within, $16,000
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-167: Motion to approve Neighborhood Festival grants to the following organizations pending confirmation of funding in the 2009-2010 City budget:
Richmond District Neighborhood Center to support Multicultural Children’s Arts Fair, $3,000
Chinatown Community Development Center to support Arts in the Alley, $3,000
Sunset Youth Services for the Sunset District Neighborhood Coalition to support Sunset Community Festival, $3,000
Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California to support 18th Annual Children’s Day Festival, $3,000
North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District to support North of Market/Tenderloin Safe Streets Holiday Street Festival, $3,000
Community Initiatives for the Portola Neighborhood Steering Committee to support the Seventh Annual Portola Festival, $3,000
Counterpulse for Marigold Project to support Festival of Altars, $3,000
Neighborhood Parks Council for Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema to support Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema Festival, $3,000
Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center for Precita Valley Neighbors to support Neighborhood Arts Festival, $3,000
Visitacion Valley Community Development Corp to support 4th Annual Leland Avenue Street Fair, $3,000
Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, Inc. to support Potrero Hill Festival, $3,000
Community Initiatives for Excelsior Action Group to support Annual Excelsior Festival, $3,000
OMI Cultural Participation Project to support Ninth Annual OMI International Family Festival, $3,000
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-168: Motion to approve a grant to Bayview Opera House, Inc. for 2009-2010, not to exceed $90,000, with remaining grant allocation approved upon review of Management and Programming Plan and Budget.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-169: Motion to approve a grant to Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts for 2009-2010, not to exceed $185,000, with remaining grant allocation approved upon review of Management and Programming Plan and Budget.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-170: Motion to approve a grant to African American Art and Culture Complex for 2009-2010, not to exceed $155,000, with remaining grant allocation approved upon review of Management and Programming Plan and Budget.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-171: Motion to approve a grant to SOMArts Cultural Center and sub-grantees for 2009-2010, not to exceed $259,000 (including $213,000 to SOMArts, $23,000 to sub-grantee Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and $23,000 to sub-grantee Queer Cultural Center).
Civic Design Review Committee Recommendations (June 15, 2009)
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-172: Motion to approve Phase 3 of the SFMTA Cable Car Kiosk.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-173: Motion to approve Phase 2 of the Chinese Recreation Center with the contingency of presenting a revised landscape plan and creative options for the surface of the monolith.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-174: Motion to approve Phase 2 of the Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-175: Motion to approve Phase 2 of the San Antonio Back-Up Pipeline—Chemical Facility and Electrical Control Building.
Visual Arts Committee Recommendations (June 17, 2009)
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-176: Motion to approve the artist selection panel’s recommendation of the following artists as finalists for the Church and Duboce Muni Track and Streetscape Improvement public art project: Masayuki Nagase, Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe, and Matthew Passmore/REBAR as finalists and Donald Fortescue as the alternate.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-177: Motion to approve preliminary design illustrations by Lena Wolff with feedback by the Commission for an artwork for the second floor corridor of the General Hospital Acute Care Unit.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-178: Motion to approve the kiosk poster proposal by artist Pamela Wilson Ryckman for the Art on Market Street 2009-2010 Program and to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a contract for an amount not to exceed $16,000 to design and print six posters and coordinate an auxiliary public program.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-179: Motion to approve the kiosk poster proposal by artist Jonathan Burstein for the Art on Market Street 2009-2010 Program and to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a contract for an amount not to exceed $16,000 to design and print six posters and coordinate an auxiliary public program.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-180: Motion to approve the artist selection panel’s recommendation of the following artists as finalists for the Valencia Streetscape public art project: Michael Arcega, Ana Teresa Fernandez, Brian Goggin, and Misako Inaoka.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-181: Motion to approve the following arts professionals as possible members of the General Hospital Acute Care Unit Art Steering Committee: Rene Yáñez, curator, artist, and writer; Carolina Ponce de León, Executive Director, Galeria de la Raza; Debra Cullinan, Executive Director, Intersection for the Arts; Jennie E. Rodríguez, Executive Director, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts; and René de Guzman, Senior Curator, Oakland Museum.
Executive Committee Recommendations (June 24, 2009)
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-182: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to provide an honorarium to Denise Bradley for her general services with the Arts Commission pertaining to facility pre-development management in an amount not to exceed $3,000.
- Committee Reports and Committee Matters
- Executive Committee—P.J. Johnston, Chair
- President Johnston reported that the Executive Committee discussed several items, including the DHR proposal for strategic planning, which should take place over the next six months. Mr. Cancel added that he hopes to bring the completed plan to the full Commission in December for approval. President Johnston was happy to see staff involvement in the process. He explained that the Committee thought working with City staff would be the fastest and least costly way to do the planning, and that this was not the time to choose an expensive outside contractor.
Mr. Cancel added that the plan is for DHR staff to train and work with staff, to expand the internal conversations to include the Commissioners, then to engage the public, and complete the plan in November.
- Civic Design Review Committee—Cass Calder Smith, Chair
- In the absence of Commissioner Smith, Commissioner Bihan reported that the Committee reviewed several projects, noting that the economic downturn has not yet affected the backlog of great projects online for the City. He mentioned the Cable Car kiosk, the Chinese Recreation Center at Mason Street, a culturally significant project for the community, and water projects at Sunol Valley and other sites. He noted the contributions of the newly appointed Commissioner Chow, and said that the Committee is looking for ways to better work with the Public Utilities Commission and with smaller agencies.
- Community Arts, Education and Grants Committee—Maya Draisin, Chair
- Vice President Draisin noted that Director of Grants San San Wong had mentioned the application for federal recovery funds; Mr. Cancel explained that this funding was intended to preserve jobs for people currently employed, but that the Arts Commission had not been funded.
As Vice President Draisin had been unable to attend the Committee’s last meeting, she requested that Commissioner Calloway make the report. He reported that the budget cut for the Cultural Centers, 4.7%, was not as disastrous as they had feared. He said that the Committee had presentations from Programs in the Community (“PIC”) grantees, including A Home Within, a project working with foster children. The Committee thought the grantees were very strong programs, bringing the arts to non-arts settings. He reported that although the Neighborhood Festival Grants lost its funding from Grants for the Arts, the program was funded this year by the General Fund. He explained that this program provides opportunities for performing artists and youth.
Vice President Draisin congratulated Commissioner Calloway on the recent completion of his doctoral degree.
Commissioner Melania acknowledged the service of Ebony McKinney as Cultural Equity Grants Program Associate, and said that she will be missed.
Vice President Draisin presented the following motions.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-183: Motion to approve the following individuals as grants application review panelists for Cultural Equity Grants:
Nínive Calegari, Co-founder and Executive Director, 826 Valencia
Kenneth Foster, Executive Director, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
John Killacky, Program Officer, Arts and Culture, San Francisco Foundation
Kathy Littles, Cultural Funding Program Coordinator, City of Oakland
Jan Masaoka, Director and Editor-in-Chief, Blue Avocado
Herman J. Milligan, Jr., VP/Competitive Intelligence, Enterprise Marketing/Marketing Insights and Measurement, Wells Fargo & Company
Cora Mirikitani, President and CEO, Center for Cultural Innovation
Ted Russell, Senior Program Officer for the Arts, the James Irvine Foundation
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-184: Motion to enter into a 2009-2010 grant agreement with Community Initiatives in an amount not to exceed $10,000 to support the arts education program intern.
- Street Artists Committee—Alexander Lloyd, Chair
- In the absence of Commissioner Lloyd, President Johnston reported that the Examiner had featured the Street Artists Program on its front page. He said that the bad news in the economy at large is good news for the program, in that more people are motivated to start a small business selling their artwork as an alternative source of income.
President Johnston presented the following motion.
- RESOLUTION NO. 0706-09-185: Motion to approve requests by former certificate-holders for priority issuance of certificate with waiver of re-screening of wares: Min Xiong Li, Marvin Kirkland, Yi Xie, Sarah Huntoon, Rachelle Essandoh-Wing, Miguel Paez, Ye Naugle.
- Visual Arts Committee—Jeannene Przyblyski, Chair
- In the absence of Commissioner Przyblyski, President Johnston reported that some projects have recently come to both the Civic Design Review Committee and the Visual Arts Committee, including the Chinatown Recreation Center. The Visual Arts Committee felt that the project was significantly improved by the Civic Design Review, not only overall, but specifically in the creation of an opportunity for public art.
The Committee reviewed elements of the General Hospital and San Francisco Airport Terminal Two projects, as well as several small streetscape improvements.
Commissioner Bihan asked about the decision to postpone approval of the North Beach Branch Library project. President Johnston explained that the Committee felt that the panel did not adequately reflect the community, and requested that staff find a way to expand the pool to reflect the community’s cultural diversity, and to ensure that all parts of the neighborhood were represented early in the process.
- New Business
Mr. Cancel requested a briefing from Director of Programs Jill Manton on the StreetSmARTs program. Ms. Manton reported that this new initiative is a collaboration with the Department of Public Works (“DPW”). Community Arts and Education Program Director Judy Nemzoff and Arts Education Manager Dia Penning had been working with DPW on a curriculum for grades four through six on art in public spaces, drawing a distinction between making art and defacing property, and exploring the negative effect of graffiti on the whole community. They really hope to reach the next generation of potential graffiti artists and intervene before they decide to go out on the streets and damage property. Several schools have been identified for the pilot program.
Next, Ms. Manton reported, DPW Director Edward Reiskin is reaching out to property owners who have been victims of tagging and would like to have an artist make a mural on their wall to preempt further vandalism. The goal is to identify ten such properties in the next year, and match them with artists.
Ms. Manton explained that the third element of the program is the most innovative: the designation of “free walls” for the creation of street art without the formal process of review. The idea, for a trial period, is that graffiti artists would self-police the walls, and if they became targets for tagging, the entire artwork would be painted out. The hope is to reach younger artists who may not be able to handle the structure of City approvals and contracts, but they would still have to abide by some rules. Ms. Manton reported that this approach has been tried in other cities, sometimes successfully, and sometimes not.
Ms. Manton reported that one challenge is that some property owners are interested in participating, but don’t want to pay anything for the creation of the artwork. She explained that it is important to teach young artists that they can be paid for their artwork.
- Reports and Announcements
There were no reports or announcements.
- Public Comment
There was no further public comment.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:17 p.m.