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STREET ARTISTS COMMITTEE
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
- Roll Call
Members present: Commissioners Dugald Stermer, Maya Draisin, P. J. Johnston,
Members absent: Commissioners Anne Brauer, Rod Freebairn-Smith
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, Robert Clark, William Clark, Linda Hagen, Maria Hillius, Josh Martens, Edward Steneck, David Thomas, Sean Yore
Commissioner Stermer, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m. and took the agenda items in the following order:
- Program Director's report
Program Director Howard Lazar reported on having painted the numbers and brackets for the spaces to be relocated on both sides of Hyde Street, as per the approval of the Arts Commission, the National Park Service, the Argonaut Hotel, and the Board of Supervisors. The spaces to be relocated on Jefferson Street were awaiting review and approval by the Port of San Francisco.
- New business
Street Artist William Clark stated that, at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors Finance Committee last September, he had informed the Supervisors that $40,000 in interest was due the street artist fund, and that Supervisor Peskin had asked the Controller to investigate the matter. Mr. Clark asked whether the Program Director had heard of any results of the investigation. He further asked the Arts Commission to write a letter of inquiry. The Commissioners and the staff, referring to an earlier opinion on the matter by the City Attorney, declined to pursue Mr. Clark's request.
- Hearing and possible motion to approve proposal to amend lottery procedure for assigning selling spaces by providing for a daily secondary lottery for the same area (Wharf or Downtown) of selling spaces; providing for secondary lottery to commence immediately upon completion of assignment of spaces from the main lottery; providing for red lottery slips for secondary Wharf lottery and green lottery slips for secondary Downtown lottery; and immediate termination of the practice of conducting unofficial "mini-mini lotteries"
At the request of the Chair, Program Director Lazar described, in general terms, the street artists' lottery, problems arising from the unofficial "mini-mini lottery", and the purposes of the proposal to remedy the problems. He referred the Commissioners to the petition he received of 28 artists proposing the following: "(1) The mini-mini lottery be eliminated and replaced with an official secondary lottery to be held after the primary lottery; (2) Additional color slips be provided for the secondary lottery (red for the wharf secondary lottery and green for the downtown secondary lottery); (3) Once the primary lottery is held and the spaces assigned, a primary lottery number would not be able to bump or trump a secondary lottery number for that day; (4) The secondary lottery slips are only useable on the date issued; (5) It would be illegal for one licenseholder, in the same day, to sign in for a space at both the Wharf and Downtown areas ..."
Mr. Lazar also referred the Commissioners to a letter he received from Street Artists William and Robert Clark opposing the proposal.
Speaking in support of the proposal were Street Artists Edward Steneck and Michael Addario. Speaking in opposition were Street Artists William Clark and Robert Clark. Contributing to the discussion were Street Artists Linda Hagen, Maria Hillius, and Sean Yore.
During the course of the discussion, Mr. Steneck offered to withdraw item #3 of the proposal. Mr. Addario, however, asked that item #3 be retained on a "wait-and-see basis" for future consideration after the proposal is implemented. Commissioner Stermer stated that item #3 would be eliminated from present consideration.
The Commissioners ascertained that the primary purpose of the proposal was to prevent artists from signing in for two spaces on the same day. On the other hand, the Commissioners ascertained that it was considered acceptable for an artist to move from space to space, region to region, in pursuit of business throughout the course of a day. The Commissioners expressed concern over the possibility of attempting to remedy a problem that was not a widespread problem, and whether the elimination of an artist's opportunity to "double dip" for spaces on a given day would create a further problem.
The Commissioners urged both sides to negotiate and refine the proposal and re-submit it. Commissioner Stermer requested that the matter be calendared for the Committee's next meeting.
- Hearing and possible motion to approve proposal to amend lottery procedure for assigning selling spaces by requiring lottery workers to indicate on the sign-up sheet the following abbreviations for arts/crafts: "PT" for portraits, "PR" for prints, "PH" for photography
Commissioner Stermer stated that the item would be continued to the next Committee meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
Street Artists Program Director
May 20, 2004