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Meeting Information


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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

3:00 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70


  1. Roll Call

    Members present: Commissioners Dugald Stermer, Anne Brauer, Rod Freebairn-Smith

    Member absent: Commissioner P. J. Johnston

          Staff present: Director of Cultural Affairs Richard Newirth, Street Artists Program

        Director Howard Lazar, Certification Clerk Evelyn Russell

        In attendance were Street Artists Michael Addario, Rona Barnes, Linda Hagen, 

        Barbro Haglund, Brian Hopper, Dolores Kalom, Dik Knoble, Sharon MacDougall,

        Enrique Perez, Jimmy Sha, Alithea Shuey, George Shuey, Edward Steneck,

        Matt Summers, Sean Yore; Ms. Lorna Feria representing Madison Marquette,

        building managers; Ms. Paula Datesh Grundman and Attorney Ananda J. Norris.
        Commissioner Stermer, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:20 p.m. and   
        took the agenda items in the following order:

     2.  Program Director's report

Program Director Howard Lazar reported on having received a petition of twenty-
        five street artist signatures urging the Arts Commission to adopt a policy requiring 
        that any proposal to change a street artist regulation, rule, or procedure be 

        submitted by twenty-five or forty street artist signatures supporting it in order for

        the Commission and/or the Street Artists Committee to hear the proposal.  The

        Program Director requested the City Attorney's office for a response as to whether

        the Commission has the authority to adopt such a policy.


          Street Artists Linda Hagen and Sean Yore expressed opposition to the proposed 

        At the request of the Chairman and the street artists present, the Program Director

        read aloud the wording of the petition.

    3.  Hearing and possible motion to approve proposal by Program Director to

           request Board of Supervisors for permanent designation of temporary winter

           holiday spaces "Z-45", "Z-46", and "Z-47" (formerly known as "FAO 

         Schwartz spaces") (Stockton Street, east side, at O'Farrell Street) to

           replace spaces "S-0", "S-00", and "S-000" (Stockton Street, west side, at

           O'Farrell Street) (continued from 2/11/04 meeting)


         Program Director Lazar reported that the proposed bus zone eliminating spaces

         "S-0", "S-00", and "S-000" was scheduled to be created two years ago but did

         not occur. Last January he was informed by the Department of Parking and

         Traffic that the bus zone was again about to be created and that the street

         artists had to vacate the three spaces.  Now, three months later, DPT informed

         him that the project was being re-evaluated and that, until further notice, the

         artists could resume using the spaces.

         Relative to this, the Program Director further reported that, two years ago, he

         had proposed permanent designation of two former winter holiday spaces

         adjacent to Macy's Men's Store contingent upon the elimination of the above

         three spaces by the bus zone.  Macy's had consented to this proposal, and

         the full Arts Commission had approved it.  Honoring the conditions of Macy's

         consent, the Program Director had refrained from submitting the proposal to

         the Board of Supervisors pending the bus zone's creation.

         Because many artists had recently requested that three former winter holiday

         spaces adjacent to the former FAO Schwartz building be permanently desig-

         nated in place of the three bus zone spaces, the Program Director requested

         that the Commissioners hear from the artists as to whether they preferred

         these over the two "Macy's spaces".


         Street Artist Enrique Perez expressed preference for the two "Macy's spaces".


         Commissioner Stermer asked if anyone present disagreed with Mr. Perez's

         preference.  No one disagreed.


         Ms. Lorna Feria, representing Madison Marquette, manager of the building

         which formerly housed FAO Schwartz, stated that her company had 38,000

         square feet to fill and would prefer that the artists not be in front of the

         building with the exception of during the winter holiday season.


         The Commissioners clarified that, in the event of the bus zone's creation, the

         proposal previously approved by the Commission for permanent designation

         of the two "Macy's spaces" would be the measure for submission to the

         Board of Supervisors.



      4.  Hearing and possible motion to approve street artist proposal to amend

            lottery procedure for assigning selling spaces by (1) eliminating Downtown

            and Wharf lotteries system and replacing it with a single lottery system

            held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with sign-up days on Monday,

          Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday; (2) eliminating the mini-lottery as well

            as the unofficial "mini-mini lottery" for unassigned spaces and replacing

            these lotteries with an allocation of unassigned spaces by ranking order

            of lottery numbers beginning with the lowest number; (3) allowing Lottery

            Committee members and helpers to enter the lottery and receive a number,

            allowing for the free selling space they receive for working to be considered

            as a first use of their number (continued from 2/11/04 meeting) and (additional

          provision submitted 3/9/04) (4) allowing helperships received through the

            lottery to be for the same lottery period of the following week


            The authors of the proposal, Street Artists William and Robert Clark, were not



          Program Director Lazar explained the recently received fourth provision of the

          proposal and reported that the artists with whom he had spoken on the street

          had expressed favor of the provision.

          Street Artist Edward Steneck clarified that, while the Clarks had added it to their

          proposal, the fourth provision had been authored by Street Artist Rich Trager.

          Commissioner Stermer expressed his appreciation to the artists for relinquishing

          a selling day to attend the meeting and express their feelings on the issues.

          The Commissioner asked for a show of hands of those persons in favor of all

          four provisions of the proposal.  No hand was held up.  He asked for a show of

          hands in favor of the first three provisions.  No hand was held up. He ascertained

          that several artists were in favor of the fourth provision.

          Street Artists Edward Steneck and Linda Hagen spoke in favor of the fourth

          provision as a means of increasing helpership opportunity for those street

          artists who work only on weekends.

          The following artists voiced opposition to the first three provisions: Rona

          Barnes, Dolores Kalom, Barbro Haglund, George Shuey, and Edward Steneck.

          The following comments were made: (1) The provision for a Friday sign-up day

          would preclude artists who have other weekday jobs from obtaining a good

          space on Saturday. (2) The proposal was flawed and incomplete.  (3) The

          present lottery system was running well, was not "broken", and there was no

          reason therefore to change it.  (4) The present dual lottery system, rather

          than the proposed single lottery system, provided more opportunity for the

          artists to obtain good spaces and less opportunity to scam the rules.  (5)

          Elimination of the present unofficial "mini-mini lottery" could be done without

          adoption of the proposal and would prevent artists from signing in to two

          spaces on a given day.

          Mr. Steneck read a rebuttal which he and Street Artist Sharon MacDougall

          wrote to the Clarks' proposal.  The rebuttal cited the present system's

          allowance for a single license-holder to enter both lotteries in order to work

          both days of a lottery period - for example, Saturday in the Downtown area

          and Sunday at the Wharf - and this made up for the ability of a two-member

          family unit, two numbers, which "usually" obtains "a decent space on both

          days of a lottery period."  The argument went on to criticize the proposal's

          "rotation system of" an artist's "main number for all mini sign-ins" as complicated

          and problematic for keeping track of numbers that have been used.

          Mr. Steneck presented a poster he prepared showing "a street artist's

          chances of getting a good space during a lottery period."  The poster showed

          that, under one combined lottery, there would be one chance; under two

          separate lotteries (one for Downtown, one for the Wharf), there would be two



          Commissioner Stermer asked that a hearing and possible motion be held at

          the next meeting on the issue of providing for a daily mini lottery and

          eliminating the unofficial "mini-mini lottery".


           Street Artist Michael Addario volunteered to write up a proposal on these

          issues for submittal to the Program Committee.


          Commissioner Stermer expressed his appreciation of William and Robert Clark

          as "clear ... smart ... innovative thinkers"; to find such opposition to a

          proposal of theirs, which had withstood the test of two months of discussion,

          was surprising to him.


          Commissioner Freebairn-Smith stated that the element of notice for the street

          artists was crucial for anything the Committee was expected to vote on.  He

          observed that the consensus int the room was that the fourth provision of the

          proposal was a good idea.  He questioned whether the Committee would be

          missing a minority voice which had not been informed.

          Commissioner Stermer responded that he did not feel the Committee's action

          would be a rush to judgment, and that he felt that everyone in the Street

          Artists Program who cared about the issue had known about the hearings.

          Commissioner Freebairn-Smith moved to disapprove the following three

          provisions of the proposal to amend the lottery procedure for assigning

          selling spaces: (1) eliminating the Downtown and Wharf lotteries system and

          replacing it with a single lottery system held on Tuesday, Thursday, and

          Saturday with sign-up days on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, (2)

          eliminating the mini-lottery as well as the unofficial "mini-mini lottery" for

          unassigned spaces and replacing these lotteries with an allocation of un-

          assigned spaces by ranking order of lottery numbers beginning with the

          lowest number, (3) allowing Lottery Committee members and helpers to

          enter the lottery and receive a number, allowing for the free selling space

          they receive for working to be considered as a first use of their number; the

          motion was seconded by Commissioner Brauer and unanimously approved.


          Commissioner Freebairn-Smith moved to approve the following fourth

          provision of the proposal to amend the lottery procedure for assigning

          selling spaces: (4) allowing helperships receivied through the lottery to be

          for the same lottery period of the following week; the motion was seconded

          by Commissioner Brauer and unanimously approved.



     5.   New Business


            Street Artist Linda Hagen inquired about the status of the painting of the Hyde

         Street spaces that were to be relocated to the east side of the street.


         Street Artist Michael Addario spoke against the artists' move to the east side of

         the street because of its difficult wind conditions and the continuous exhaust of

         curbside tour buses idling their engines.




         Street Artist Enrique Perez asked when former winter holiday spaces "Z-3" and

         "Z-4" were going to be made permanent.  The Program Director responded that

         the project was on his list for the drafting and submittal of legislation to the

         Board of Supervisors.




         Ms. Ananda Norris identified herself as an attorney on behalf of former

         certificate-holder Paula Datesh (Grundman) and requested a hearing for a

         reinstatement of her client's street artist certificate.  She explained that

         Ms. Datesh had been in custody at the time the Street Artists Committee

         heard the charges against her (and voted to not renew her certificate).


         Program Director Lazar informed the Commissioners that the City Attorney's

         office investigated this issue and clarified that the Arts Commission was not

         obligated to provide such a hearing, as the Commission had notified Ms.

         Norris's client at the address she had consistently given the Program.


         Ms. Norris stated that when the notice was mailed, her client was in custody.


         Commissioner Stermer stated that, whether or not the Commission was

         legally obligated, a hearing to consider reinstatement of Paula Datesh

         Grundman's certificate should be calendared; he asked the Program Director

         to do so.




         Street Artist Sean Yore submitted a written proposal to the Committee to

         calendar a hearing for a motion to eliminate the sale of all prints from the

         Street Artists Program within thirty days.


         The Program Director stated that he had previously received the proposal, and,

         because it raised a question about possible liability for the Arts Commission, he

         had submitted it to the City Attorney's office for clarification.


         Commissioner Stermer recalled his Committee's hearings on prints and stated

         that, while the subject was a complex "minefield", he was not inclined to

         favor eliminating the sale of prints from the Street Artists Program.


         Upon the Commissioner's verbalizing the text of Mr. Yore's proposal, Street

         Artist Dik Knoble and others expressed outrage and asked that the proposal

         not be calendared.


         Street Artist Edward Steneck countered Mr. Yore's written assertion that

         there was no enforcement of the prints-labels criteria by stating that each

         time the Program Director has come to Mr. Steneck's display, as well as to

         the displays of others, he has examined the backs of all of the prints to verify

         their labels.  As for the cases of violation submitted by Mr. Yore, Mr. Steneck

         said that the Program Director adjudicated the cases.


         Mr. Lazar clarified that, out of twenty-one complaints submitted by Mr. Yore

         on various types of alleged violations, he acted on fifteen of them by way of

         sending written warnings and notices of withholding of certificates and by

         sitting as a hearing officer in two cases disputing the charges that ultimately

         were withdrawn due to a lack of preponderance of evidence.


         Commissioner Freebairn-Smith stated that, after years of attending prints

         auctions of Pacific Book Auction, he was told by the auctioneer that the law

         could be quoted ad infinitem but that what was needed was an enforcement

         vehicle.  Furthermore, there were such bizarre cases of fraud in the world of

         printmaking that it was extremely difficult to enforce this area.  The Commis-

         sioner went on to say that it was up to the consumers to be extremely

         careful about what they were buying.  Given the limited resources of the

         Street Artists Program, he invited anyone to come forward with a proposed

         fair enforcement mechanism which would be reasonable and less draconian than

         the elimination of prints.


         At the request of Mr. Steneck, Commissioner Stermer questioned Mr. Yore as

         to the purpose of his proposal.  Responding to the Commissioner's questions,

         Mr. Yore stated that he himself sells prints, that the elimination of prints

         would not help him, but that he saw "other issues besides" his "immediate

         economic interest."


         Commissioner Stermer stated that he appreciated Mr. Yore's concern but that

         his proposed solution was far too drastic for the Commissioner to calendar.

         His Committee, however, would be willing to hear proposals for better methods

         of enforcing.


         Commissioner Brauer ascertained that Mr. Yore attended the hearings on two

         of his complaints and was aware of the enforcement process taking place.


         Street Artist Linda Hagen stated that the Program had only one person, the

         Program Director, to do the enforcing, and that it was not possible for him to

         be in the three major street artist locations at the same time.  Mr. Yore had

         attempted to furnish reports of violations.


         Street Artist George Shuey stated that he was a board member of the

         California Society of Printmakers and that for the Street Artists Program to

         venture into the issue of prints constituted a gray area which would make

         it increasingly difficult to define.


         Commissioner Stermer reiterated his position of not wishing to eliminate prints

         from the Street Artists Program and of his willingness to hear proposals for

         improved enforcement given the Program's limited resources.


     6.  Adjournment


          There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.


        Respectfully submitted:


        Howard Lazar

        Street Artists Program Director