March 11, 2003 4:30 P.M.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 60
San Francisco

Commissioner Walker called the meeting to order at 4:45 P.M.

Commissioners Present
Blanche Brown
Eddie Marshall
Janice Mirikitani
Ethel Walker

Commissioners Absent
Denise Roth

  1. WritersCorps Update
    WritersCorps' slam season is halfway complete with an event at ISA this Thursday.

    The HarperCollins publication, Paint Me Like I Am, is in stores now. Commissioners will be receiving a copy as staff receives more. To accompany the book release, staff has organized a reading tour around Bay Area bookstores. A house party prior to the Menlo Park reading at Kepler's will allow potential donors a chance to learn more about the program. The publication already received two positive reviews from the SF Weekly and YM.

    Ms. Heller introduced and amended a motion for Courtney Utt to manage the design and coordination of the WritersCorps anthologies.

    Commissioner Brown made the motion.
    Motion for the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into contract with Courtney Utt not to exceed $9,200 for the design of the WritersCorps 2003 anthology project from Youth Arts Fund.
    The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Chinatown Community Arts Update
    Ms. Hom reported that the Chinese Spring Festival took place on Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16, and attracted an estimated 7,000 people over two days.

    Upcoming events include a KSW reading on March 16 featuring queer writers and "Female as Vessel as Female," a gallery exhibit opening March 29. There will also be two free music events that weekend. One will take place on March 29 at the Chinatown Branch Library featuring the San Francisco Gu-Zheng Music Society. On Sunday, March 30, a Chamber Music quartet will perform at the Chinese Culture Center, co-presented with the San Francisco Symphony.

  3. Arts Education Update
    Staff continues to fundraise submitting two applications to the CAC. The San Francisco Foundation recently awarded AEFC $25,000.

    There was an initial threat of losing 50% of the elementary arts fund, which supports artists working in elementary schools. After communication and intervention from people like Mr. Newirth, the fund remained intact.

    Distribution for Inside/Out continues with support from press releases, mention in Parent magazine and the DCYF newsletter, as well as the Market Street arts education campaign.

  4. Program Director Update
    Ms. Nemzoff reported the PIC panel would be held on March 21 to review 18 applications requesting funds for arts programs at non-arts organizations. The process for funding festival grants will begin in April.

    Commissioner Marshall made the motion.
    Motion to approve CAE to begin a two-year process of review for the cultural center program funding.

    Commissioner Walker opened the floor for public comment.

    Pamela Wu, Director of the API Cultural Center, asked three questions. Why is it a two-year process? Where does the funding for the review process come from? And may the consortium of cultural centers be a part of the consultant selection process?

    Mr. Newirth said the two years includes the end of this fiscal year and next year so that the recommendations can be implemented in 2004-05.

    Jenny Rodriguez, Director of the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts said she is happy the issue is now on the agenda and she wants the support to continue for the virtual centers so they may continue to serve their constituencies.

    Ms. Nemzoff summarized the motivation for the motion. After taking the program director position, she realized there was a need for clarity regarding cultural centers and the process in which the organizations were funded. This motion will lead to the establishment of guidelines and provide an opportunity to assess all aspects of the distribution of funds. The intention during this process of review is to continue to serve the community, keep the buildings safe while sustaining the programs we currently support, and bring the virtual centers into alignment with city guidelines. The CAE Program is seeking a consultant to assist in the process.

    Mr. Newirth added that when the four buildings were purchased there was intent to buy a building in each supervisorial district. Now, the Arts Commission must try to serve the entire city through only these four facilities.

    Commissioner Mirikitani asked if the public would be involved with the selection process of a consultant. Mr. Newirth responded that this is handled at the staff level, but the motion will come before the Commission for approval and public comment. He added that staff would be sensitive to the gender, race, and sexuality of the consultant.

    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cultural Center Facilities Report
    Ms. Daniels reported that MCCLA, AAACC, and Somarts are participating in a two-year study of the municipal water system serving buildings in San Francisco. This project is a partnership with the PUC and the California Emerging Infections Program.

    A dialogue with the Department of Environment and the PUC has begun to determine the feasibility of installing solar panels at MCCLA and AAACC to reduce energy costs.

    BVOH experienced several break-ins so new doors and locks have been installed and DTIS is preparing a proposal to upgrade the security system. Exterior and interior hazardous material remediation is scheduled for completion this fiscal year.

    MCCLA's ADA upgrade project is in the permit stage and construction is estimated to begin in May with an anticipated completion date in June.

    African American Art and Culture Complex
    Ms. Breed reported the interior west wall work is complete and the African American Historical Society will have a grand opening of the library and archive room in two weeks. AAACC received a $75,000 grant from DCYF to fix the exterior north wall that is falling onto the playground below.

    Ms. Breed listed upcoming programming including a women in comedy series, Thursday open mic, and movement workshops by the San Francisco Ballet for senior citizens. Past programming has been recognized in the press in a positive light.

    She is in the process of hiring a part time gallery coordinator position.

    Reverend Gregg Richardson commended the Commission on hiring Ms. Breed and asked for continued support for AAACC. He said that crime has gone down in the neighborhood.

    Commissioner Walker thanked Ms. Breed and Ms. Daniels for a great job.

    There was no new or old business. Commissioner Roth adjourned the meeting at 5:30 P.M.

    Next Meeting
    April 8, 2003, 4:30 P.M. at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70; San Francisco


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