March 25, 2003

4:00 p.m.

25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70

Explanatory documents are available for public inspection and copying at the Arts Commission office, 25 Van Ness Ave, ste 240, during regular business hours.

Denise Roth, Andrea Cochran, Janice Mirikitani, Ralph Guggenheim

Absent: Stanlee Gatti

Staff Present:
Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs, Nancy Gonchar, Deputy Director, Jewelle Gomez, Judy Nemzoff, Sarah Lenoue, Jenny Louie


Note: All votes are unanimous unless recorded otherwise.

Commissioner Roth called the Meeting to order at 4:05. p.m.

  1. Discussion and motion to approve a Public Art Fund allocation for up to $10,000 to hire a consultant to review and create standards for evaluation, review and distribution of grant funds for the CAE program.

    Ms. Nemzoff, explained that this item was discussed and approved at a recent CAE committee meeting to look for a consultant who could help the Commission evaluate the granting process to the four cultural centers. The goal is to take back the fiduciary responsibility and to have better oversight of the organizations in the centers. When Commissioner Guggenheim asked what the Commission hoped to get from this consultant, Ms. Nemzoff replied that it was her intention to develop a process that would both track and evaluate how the money was distributed to the four centers as well as develop a reporting process. She stressed that the purpose of this was not to tell the Center Directors or organizations how to run their programs but to better assess how the commission is doing as granters. Mr. Newirth added that possible changes would not be implemented until July 1st 2004 and that the cultural centers will not have a role in the selection process. When asked what qualifications this person would have, Ms. Nemzoff replied that the Request for Qualifications listed someone familiar with the arts, grant making and evaluation. The deadline, March 28th, 2003, will be extended if necessary. In response to a question by Commissioner Guggenheim, Ms. Nemzoff explained that the work would start in June or July and that there would most likely be two phases with the second phase being the development of any necessary databases or other support systems. Commissioner Guggenheim expressed some concern that $10,000 was too low a figure while Commissioner Mirikitani stressed the importance of getting enough staff support during times of transition. Mr. Newirth confirmed that the request took into account what was available and Ms. Nemzoff and Ms. Gonchar assured Commissioners that they were confident that a qualified person could be found for the amount requested, but they were open to reevaluating this later.

    Moved: Guggenheim
    Second: Cochran

  2. Discuss and motion to approve the allocation of $3,000 to repair and refinish the custom made conference tables.
    Ms. Gonchar explained that there were two elements to the table repair, the cracked surfaces and the edges were coming unglued. It was decided that only the cracked surfaces would be addressed at this time and Commissioner Roth asked to change amount from $3000 to $1500. The revised motion reads as follows:

    Motion revised to read: Motion to approve the allocation of $1,500 to repair and refinish the custom made conference tables.

    Moved: Guggenheim
    Second: Cochran

  3. Discussion regarding the FY 2003-04 budget.

    Ms. Gonchar explained that the Mayors budget office sent a memo to department's asking them to implement stage three 10% additional cuts. Mr. Newirth explained that he is pursuing with the Mayor's office and DPW, a credit of $17,000 against the SFAC budget deficit for the use of the Decaux kiosk panels designated to the Arts Commission.

  4. IV. Discussion and motion to approve 3 grants totaling $360,000 in the 2002-2003 cycle of the Cultural Equity Initiatives - Level Two for SEW Productions/Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Theatre Rhinoceros, and Kearny Street Workshop.

    In response to a question by Commissioner Mirikitani, Ms. Gomez explained that each $120,000 grant was to be distributed over a three-year period for organizational infrastructure. Commissioner Roth wondered about the feasibility of granting the full amount and if we approved all three years today. She also wondered if the money allocated today would roll over each year. Ms. Gonchar explained that the funds, once encumbered can't be taken away, that they used to come from an annual fund but it was changed to a continuing fund, with the money being carried forward at the end of fiscal year. She warned, however that she wouldn't be surprised if the legislation was changed. Mr. Newirth added that once a grant agreement is fully executed, the money is no longer in danger of being cut. Commissioner Roth wondered if the Commission shouldn't be considering reduction in grant awards. Mr. Newirth said that all programs have projected conservative budgets and the time to address reducing amounts will be when the Mayors Office begins to change the legislation.

    Moved: Guggenheim
    Second: Mirikitani

  5. Motion to review and approve the following to the Cultural Equity Grants panel pool:
    Sandra E Cox
    Rachael Grossman
    Kristina U. Kohler
    Miriam Kronberg
    Abeer Rafidi
    Elizabeth Soberanes
    Karen Sundheim
    Leah D. Williams
    Stan Yogi

    Moved: Mirikitani
    Second: Guggenheim

  6. Cultural Equity Grants Program Director Report
    No report given.

    The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.


    Submitted by Sarah Lenoue, Cultural Equity Grants Program Associate.
    Approved by Richard Newirth, Director of Cultural Affairs

    March 25, 2003


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