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Meeting Information


2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
3:00 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70



Members present: Commissioners Alexander Lloyd, José Cuellar

Members absent: Sherene Melania

Staff present: Interim Director of Cultural Affairs Nancy Gonchar, Street Artists Program Director Howard Lazar

Commissioner Lloyd, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m. and requested that the Street Artists Program Director’s report be heard.

  1. Street Artists Program Director’s Report

    Street Artists Program Director Howard Lazar reported on the following:

    Street Artists Program’s contributions to San Francisco. The Program Director had come across the following data he had compiled for the Mayor’s budget office in 2004 and stated that he felt the data was just as pertinent, if not more so, now:

    1. The Street Artists Program provides services to two major groups of constituents: the street artists it licenses and the public who buys from the street artists.

    2. In granting licenses to some 400 artists to earn a living for themselves and their families, it allows the artists to sell on some of the highest retail sidewalks in the world – seven days a week all year round.

    3. Approximately 350 street artist locations, designated by the Board of Supervisors, fall within four supervisory districts: Districts 1, 2, 3, and 6.

    4. Since its inception in 1972, the Program has been indirectly responsible for the livelihood of over 7,000 artists and their families, which has resulted in an inestimable savings in governmental assistance.

    5. In 2004, the street artists served nearly10 million visitors to San Francisco (statistics compiled by SF Convention & Visitors Bureau) in the four supervisory districts: 6.61 million in District 6 (Union Square, Market Street cable car turnaround, Embarcadero); 3.20 million in Districts 2 and 3 (Fisherman’s Wharf); and 189,000 in District 1 (Cliff House/Pt. Lobos).

    6. Without incurring any cost for the taxpayers, the street artists of the self-supporting Street Artists Program contribute an estimated $4,000,000 annually to San Francisco’s economy (the Program Director’s estimate based on 200 artists who sell daily and earn a conservative average annual income of $20,000).

    7. The Program reduces San Francisco’s unemployment rate by licensing street artists to support themselves through selling their work. Using statistics provided by the San Francisco Chronicle, Mr. Lazar showed that, in 2004, the Program reduced San Francisco’s unemployment by 1%.

    8. The presence of street artists in public places reduces the number of individuals panhandling, loitering, and living on the streets, as well as reducing the number of thefts on the sidewalks, during business hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Using statistics provided by the Union Square Business Improvement District, Mr. Lazar showed that the presence of street artists on a sample heavily-trafficked retail street as Market Street, between 4 th and 5 th Streets, reduced the number of individuals panhandling, loitering, and living on the streets, and reduced the number of thefts, for the year by 67%.

    List of current certificate-holders. Following the directive of the Program Committee, the Program’s Associate Evelyn Russell produced a list of current certificate-holders for the second consecutive month. The list is alphabetized and shows the future expiration date of each certificate. The list has been useful at the lotteries for spaces; to further assist the lotteries, one of the artists, Michael Addario, sorted the list by date.

    Barbara Keith-Smith. Street Artist Barbara Keith-Smith, who had been in the Program since 1997, recently passed away. She is best remembered for her licensed three-dimensional (dioramic-style) paintings of interiors. Calling her “a wonderful presence out on the street,” Mr. Lazar stated that he received several e-mails from street artists expressing their condolences and sharing happy stories about Barbara.

    Spaces by The Cannery. The Program Director was contacted by Patson Development Company, the new owner of The Cannery, with regard to the locations of the street artist spaces adjacent to the three sides of the shopping complex. Mr. Lazar met with Ms. Alicia Jermaine, the Cannery’s Property Manager, and showed her the sites. Ms. Jermaine expressed to him that her management was having a problem with artists in space “J-5” (Jefferson Street) extending their displays too far into the entrance of The Cannery’s courtyard. Mr. Lazar observed that someone had incorrectly painted the location of the brackets of “J-5” and said he would repaint them in their proper location – away from the entrance. He also informed the artists at the lottery to observe the distance-from-entrance regulation or face possible disciplinary action.

    Advisory Committee monitoring of arts and crafts. At the request of the Program Director, members of the Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Craftsmen Examiners have been visiting the street artist sites on the weekends during summer and have been sending their reports with photos of possible violations to Mr. Lazar to take action on the alleged violators. Mr. Lazar informed the Commissioners that, while he was handling the most egregious violations, he had not been able to keep up with the volume of reports.

    Winter holiday spaces. For the September meeting of the Street Artists Committee, Mr. Lazar stated that he would be submitting his request for additional street artist spaces for the upcoming winter holiday season. If approved, this will be the 26 th consecutive year that the Arts Commission will be submitting such legislation to the Board of Supervisors on behalf of the street artists.

    Budget for fiscal year 2008-09. For the agendas of October or November, Mr. Lazar stated that he would be submitting his budget for fiscal year 2008-09. He anticipated a proposal for increases in the certificate fee for each of the next three years, as the Program’s surplus fees, which have offset recent deficits, are expected to be depleted by the end of the current fiscal year. He pointed out that, due to the Program’s utilization of the present surplus, it was possible to have maintained the fee at the same level for the current year and the previous two years.

    No smoking at Justin Herman Plaza. Upon receiving a complaint against an artist’s alleged smoking of marijuana and then receiving the artist’s response that it was being smoked for medical reasons, Mr. Lazar sought advice from the City Attorney’s office as to whether smoking of marijuana for medical reasons at Justin Herman Plaza was to be allowed. The City Attorney responded that, because the Plaza was to be used for recreational purposes and was under the jurisdiction of the Recreation and Park Commission, no smoking of anything, not even marijuana for medical purposes, was allowed.

    Commissioner Cuellar asked that the Program Director correct any possible typographical or other errors that may be in the list of current certificate-holders. The Commissioner invited artists to check out the list and submit any questions concerning possible errors to Mr. Lazar.

    Commissioner Cuellar also requested an assessment at the next meeting from the Program Director as to the number of grievances/alleged violations awaiting investigation and how they may be prioritized.

    Commissioner Lloyd called for public comment on the Program Director’s report.

    Street Artist Michael Addario stated that, with regard to the list of current certificate-holders, it would be possible for the Program Assistant to update each file as the certificate-holder is renewed, so that all 400 files would not have to be reviewed each month. Secondly, Mr. Addario wanted to see the Program investigate obtaining an electronic licensing system.

    In response to a question by Commissioner Cuellar as to obtaining an estimate of the cost of converting to an electronic system, Mr. Lazar stated that one of the Program Assistant’s goals for the year is to research the types and costs of such a system. Commissioner Cuellar encouraged the Program to pursue the research.

  2. Hearing and possible motion to approve proposal for Board of Supervisors designation of four (4) street artist spaces on the 400 block of Hayes Street, north side, at Octavia Street, or other location(s) in the Hayes/Octavia vicinity (continued from September 13, 2006 meeting)

    Program Director Lazar referred the Commissioners to a map he had drawn, based on the proposal from street artists William and Robert Clark, which would place four street artist locations some sixty feet away from the nearest business, Flipper’s Hamburgers. The Program Director further stated that he had met with Mr. Chris Mejia, an arts events coordinator of Hayes Valley who had proposed an alternative location for the street artists: the west side of Octavia Street, near Hayes Street, facing Patricia’s Green. Mr. Mejia had also expressed that, if this were successful, other street artist spaces could be requested for designation along Octavia Street, commencing near Market Street, in order to attract customers up the street and eventually to commercial Hayes Street.

    Mr. Lazar went on to relate that he had met with Mr. Lorn Dittfeld, a co-director of the Hayes Street Merchants Association, who had liked the idea of having street artists in the vicinity. Since then, however, Mr. Dittfeld is no longer a co-director; and Mr. Lazar received a letter from Mr. Russell Pritchard, a co-director, which stated his Association’s opposition to having street artists in Hayes Valley.

    Mr. Lazar stated that, from his own experience in working with the Street Artists Program for thirty-five years, he has found that whenever street artists are on a sidewalk, as mentioned previously (see Program Director’s report), their presence reduces crime on the sidewalk, they become “ambassadors” for the city offering visitors directions to shops and restaurants, and they enhance the economic and cultural vibrancy of a neighborhood.

    Should the Commissioners adopt any plan for street artists in Hayes Valley, Mr. Lazar recommended that the spaces be designated for six months only. If the spaces were to engender problems in the community, the Arts Commission would not have to be obliged to request their continuation.

    At the request of Commissioner Lloyd, the Program Director outlined the process of legislatively obtaining street artist spaces.

    Commissioner Cuellar noted that Mr. Mejia was not present.

    Street Artist William Clark presented the Commissioners with copies of Proposition “L” (Street Artist Ordinance), the ballot measure adopted by the voters in 1975, and stated that, in the past, people had the misconception that street artist spaces are limited to three feet wide by four feet long; whereas the ordinance allows a street artist space to be less than three feet wide if the sidewalk is not wide enough to provide for a three-foot space. He read from the section describing the Board of Supervisors designating, after public hearing, “areas in or on any public street or public place where any street artist certified pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance may sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, or solicit offers to purchase any art or craft item of his or her own creation … In designating such areas, the Board of Supervisors may impose such conditions and limitations at its discretion are necessary to prevent any undue interference with normal pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or any damage to surrounding property including interference with view or enjoyment of public parks …” The safety regulations, Mr. Clark said, were passed by the Supervisors after the ordinance was approved by the voters to help determine safe places for street artists.

    Mr. Clark went on to say that, although the Commissioners were presented with an alternative proposal to the Clarks’ proposal, he was happy to take as many suggestions as possible to the Board of Supervisors. He was offering his own proposal on the basis that it fit all the legal requirements and that they are not near any merchants or businesses but are adjacent to a parking lot. He encouraged the Commissioners to pass the proposal, with or without recommendation, to the Supervisors for an opportunity to discuss the issue on that level.

    Mr. Russell Pritchard, Co-Director of Hayes Valley Merchants Association, stated that his Association was formed in January, 1991, and, since its inception, one of its primary goals is establishing the Hayes Valley neighborhood as very unique whereby people coming to San Francisco to shop will not find within the neighborhood what they would see elsewhere, such as in chain stores. After fighting off the establishment of a Starbucks in the neighborhood, the Hayes Valley merchants and residents succeeded in getting legislation passed which bans all chain stores from Octavia and Hayes Streets and Octavia and Market Streets. In the last seventeen years, he said, the Hayes Valley focus on all of its neighborhood events has been on its individual shops and the uniqueness of the neighborhood. It has received press coverage locally and nationally. He went on to say that about 75% of his neighborhood’s merchants show works of local artists; his own store exhibits photography by street artist Rich Trager. His organization, evolving as an arts coalition, is working with Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and Arts Commission Public Arts Program Director Jill Manton on the next installation for Patricia’s Green. He went on to describe other upcoming art events and sidewalk sales for his neighborhood.

    Street Artist Robert Clark stated that, for thirty-five years, he has been working to find locations for street artists, and that “it was amazing,” after working “so hard for thirty-five years to help the art community,” to hear “that the reason why they don’t want us in their neighborhood is because they have a neighborhood where they’re trying to create an artistic atmosphere. To me, that is exactly the reason why we should be in their neighborhood. And I would like this Commission to recognize that thirty-five years ago, when we first started fighting for street artist spaces, and being arrested, and going to the Board of Supervisors, it was exactly for this reason that the merchant associations … blanketly opposed any street artists in their areas.” Prior to going to the Board of Supervisors and the ballot, he said, there were standing complaints by the merchant associations lodged with the Police Department to deny permits for the artists. “As a result of that, that is what caused us to go to the people; we went to the ballot, and the people – over a hundred thousand of them – voted and said, ‘Yes, Supervisors, you may designate locations in any street or public place in this city for street artists and craftsmen.’ Now that ‘may’ is a permissive ‘may’: that’s giving us permission to come before this board and ask for locations in any street and public place in this city.”

    Mr. Clark went on to say that his brother and he walked through Hayes Street and found a sidewalk adjacent to a parking lot which could contain four street artist spaces. The Clarks decided to not propose locations across from Patricia’s Green “because the merchants object to us being by parks because we obstruct the view of parks.” The best thing to do, they decided, was to propose the four locations by the parking lot, as this would have the least interference with the merchant community. “I don’t know what more we can do. … For thirty-five years, we went to the Port, we went to Rec-Park, we went to 24 th Street, we went to Clement Street, Haight Street, and every single time the merchants in those areas came with the same excuse: ‘We don’t want these people in our neighborhood.’ Now we have a merchant organization that has the audacity to come up here and tell us we don’t deserve to be in their neighborhood because they only cater to artists and craftsmen.” However, Mr. Clark stated, this was not the real issue. The real issue was that the street artists represented competition for the Hayes Street businesses, and that, Mr. Clark emphasized, was not a legitimate reason to deny the artists the right to be in the neighborhood.

    Mr. Clark ended by saying that all his brother and he were asking was that the Arts Commission pass the item to the Board of Supervisors. “Let’s put this out in the public; let’s let these merchants stand up in front of the television cameras and tell the public who voted in favor of the Street Artists Program” that “‘We don’t want these people in our neighborhood.’” The voters, he said, had wanted to see the street artists and craftspeople move into the neighborhoods. “It’s ‘we the people,’” he said, “not ‘we the merchants of Hayes Street.’”

    Street Artist Michael Addario stated that not only is the previously mentioned Rich Trager a licensed street artist but Dan Das Man, who created the large Passage statue on the Embarcadero, was a former street artist, too. “The San Francisco Street Artists Program is an incubator for talent,” he said.

    At the close of public comment, Commissioner Lloyd stated that he was inclined to recommend to the Board of Supervisors approval of the proposal for a six-month designation to assess what effects the spaces might have on the neighborhood.

    Commissioner Cuellar moved that the proposal of William and Robert Clark for the designation of four (4) street artist spaces on Hayes Street be accepted for submittal to the Board of Supervisors, with a recommendation that the Board also consider the option of other locations in the vicinity, and that it be further recommended that the spaces be designated for six-months with option of renewal in order to assess their impact on the neighborhood; the motion was seconded by Commissioner Lloyd and unanimously approved.

  3. Hearing and possible motion to approve issuance, denial, suspension, or revocation of certificate

    Manuel Loli – Certificate # 6040.
    Alleged violation: Selling items (glass pipes and wooden pipes) not certified by Arts Commission (second offense).

    Program Director Howard Lazar stated that the Commissioners last June had voted to renew Mr. Loli’s certificate. Thereafter the Program Director received reports and accompanying photos, taken by members of the Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Craftsmen Examiners on July 7 and 14, 2007, of Mr. Loli and his display at Justin Herman Plaza. (Mr. Lazar submitted the reports and photos as evidence.) The Committee, in their report of July 7, noted that Mr. Loli was selling flame-worked glass pipes which Mr. Loli had never submitted for examination by the Advisory Committee and approval of the Arts Commission. In their report of July 14, the Committee noted that, in addition to his selling glass pipes again, Mr. Loli was selling wooden pipes that were not the same wooden pipes as the Committee had approved him to sell.

    Mr. Lazar also received photos of Mr. Loli’s display on July 7, taken by a person whose identity was confidential, showing glass pipes which Mr. Loli had not submitted for examination nor received approval to sell.

    Mr. Lazar summarized the Program’s position, as follows: It was not a question of whether or not Mr. Loli made the pipes; the point was that Mr. Loli was in violation of the law by selling items which had not been screened and certified. Such violation has been traditionally held by the Arts Commission as a serious violation. The Commissioners themselves, in re-issuing his permit, warned him against committing such violation, and informed him that anything new he wished to sell must first be submitted to the Advisory Committee for examination; this is in keeping with the Street Artists Ordinance which requires the Arts Commission to screen the wares of a street artist in order to verify that the items are of the artist’s own creation. Mr. Lazar further stated that, upon being warned, Mr. Loli told the Commissioners that he did not see why he should have to screen anything new since he was an artist constantly creating his art (see June 13, 2007 minutes of the Street Artists Committee in which Mr. Loli asked the Commissioners to “adjust” the law to allow him to have pre-approval for all items he would be creating).

    The Program Director stated that he reviewed Mr. Loli’s file and noted that on November 10, 2005, Mr. Loli was screened for wood pipes, but these were not the same in shape as those he was currently observed selling. (The Commissioners compared the photo taken on November 10, 2005, with that taken on July 14, 2007.) Secondly, at the comprehensive visit performed by the Advisory Committee at Mr. Loli’s studio on November 2, 2006 (as requested by the Commissioners), the Advisory Committee approved him to sell tuaga nut-and-wood pipes which did not resemble the wood pipes he was currently found selling. (The Commissioners compared the photo of the tuaga nut-and-wood pipes taken at the studio visit with the July 14, 2007 photo of the wood pipes.) Furthermore, at the same studio visit, the Advisory Committee stated disapproval of laminated wood pipes offered by Mr. Loli because he had failed to demonstrate fabrication of the pipes and failed to provide ample raw materials, receipts, finished pieces, “or any ameliorating circumstance to explain the foregoing.”

    Mr. Lazar contended that Mr. Loli, having gone through nearly a year’s worth of hearings with the Commissioners, having received a four-month denial of renewal of his certificate until the Commissioners authorized its renewal last June, and having received a clear warning from the Commissioners that henceforth he would have to submit any new item for screening prior to offering it for sale, failed to submit the glass pipes and the wood pipes for a screening and therefore committed a major violation of the Street Artist Ordinance. Accordingly, the Program Director was requesting revocation of Mr. Loli’s certificate.

    Commissioner Cuellar requested Mr. Francisco Hulse, the interpreter provided by the Street Artists Program for Mr. Loli, to make it clear to Mr. Loli that the Commissioners wanted him to address the specific violations of displaying for sale items not certified.

    Through the interpreter, Mr. Loli stated that it was his intention to clarify things. With respect to the denunciations of the glass pipes that he was selling, he wanted to clarify – because it had not been clear – that he had put his heart into the making of the pipes. He had told the Advisory Committee members at his studio visit that he could use metal, bone, wood, glass in his items, and that these were shown in the photos taken by the Committee in his studio. (He submitted copies of photos to the Commissioners.) He said the photos showed other materials made of glass, such as bottles and other containers. He went on to say that at no time was it his intention to violate anything. The last time his license was renewed, he said, he thanked the Commissioners for that, despite having endured nearly a four-month suspension. This was for having declared himself “in rebellion” and having gone “ahead and sold without license.” He asked for forgiveness. With regard to the present situation, he “had no intention now of violating anything.” As for the wood pipes, he had been approved to sell pipes – simple pipes that he makes. In the photos of the studio visit, it could be readily observed that there were “pipes in the process of being made, and they were laminated pipes.” He thought that he “could sell all this” because he “had been approved; at no time was” he “told that” he “could not sell.” His license, he said, from July of 2006, said that he was approved to sell wood pipes. His most recent license, however, did not include various items for which he had been certified. He asked where the document was that said that he could not sell the wooden pipes he was currently selling. He concluded that it was up to the Commissioners to decide the matter, and that he had “no intention of bothering” them “anymore or taking up any more time.”

    Mr. Loli added that he personally was very satisfied with his art and did not believe that he had violated anything. “The only thing that really rubbed” him “the wrong way is that” among the “350 artists … less than a handful of artists want to make trouble for” him for anything. In particular, he said, there was one lady who, not respecting his clients, was harassing him, taking pictures of him, and has made trouble for him for a year. According to her, she had the support of a member of the Street Artists Program. (Mr. Loli submitted a letter to the Commissioners.)

    Commissioner Lloyd asked the Program Director why there was a difference in Mr. Loli’s previous certificate card and his current one. Mr. Lazar responded that there have been instances in which street artists have asked the certifiying staff to not list on their cards items for which they had previously received certification but to list only items they were currently selling. He did not know what Mr. Loli had told the Program Associate who had made out his current card. However, if anyone were to ever question whether a particular artist had the authority to sell a certain item, a complete record was in the artist’s file describing all the items the artist was allowed to sell.

    In response to further questions by Commissioner Lloyd, the Program Director stated that, in advance of the hearing, Mr. Loli had been informed in two letters and accompanying photos of the items that were in violation. Furthermore, Mr. Loli had come before the Commissioners last year on the same charge, relative to other items he had been selling, because he had not heeded the warning issued to him prior to that time. In fact, the Program Director had digressed from the Commission’s hearing procedure on street artist violations by giving him a warning for a type of serious violation — selling items uncertified — which ordinarily would have resulted in a hearing without previous warning. The Program Director stated that, by issuing him a warning, he had given him an opportunity to adhere to the rules; but Mr. Loli had ignored them.

    Commissioner Lloyd stated that, after Mr. Loli’s previous hearings with the Street Artists Committee, it was clear to the Commissioner that Mr. Loli had understood that it was not only that he had to make what he sold but that he had to get the items approved prior to selling them.

    Mr. Loli stated that he had shown the screening committee everything at his studio, and when he came to see the Program Director last week, Mr. Lazar did not even know he had been approved for wood pipes; he should be sincere and say why “wood pipes” did not appear on his license, as well as his knitted leather bags and decorated boxes. How was he to know what he could sell if those items were not on his license?

    Commissioner Lloyd clarified, again, to Mr. Loli that he was only allowed to sell items that had been approved through the Commission’s procedure.

    The Program Director stated that, while an omission on Mr. Loli’s certificate could have been the result of staff error, Mr. Loli knew exactly what he was allowed to sell because he had been physically present at every screening and studio visit relevant to his items and had been spoken to directly by the Advisory Committee, which included the assistance of an interpreter hired by the Program for the studio visit. All items that had been approved for him to sell had appeared on his previous licenses. Furthermore, if he had had a problem with the deletion of items from his current license, he had had ample opportunity to mention it and corrections would have been made.

    With regard to Mr. Loli’s allegation that the Program Director did not know he had been approved for wood pipes, Mr. Lazar had told him that he did acknowledge that he had been approved for wood pipes but that they were not the same pipes that he had recently been observed selling. Just because an artist has been approved to sell “wood pipes,” it does not mean that the approval extends to all types of wood pipes the artist may wish to sell. The approval was made only for the specific wood pipes that had been examined.

    Commissioner Lloyd stated that it was important that the public understood that this Program was not for street vendors but for street artists.

    Mr. Loli maintained that the wooden pipes had no major differences in comparison with the previous ones that had been approved; there was only “a minimal difference in angles.”

    Commissioner Cuellar asked Mr. Loli to distinguish the differences between the pipes appearing in the photos he had brought to the hearing, the pipes approved by the Street Artists Program (shown in photos in his file), and the pipes observed on his table by the Advisory Committee members. The Commissioner asked him if there was any photo in his file or in any he had brought that showed the glass pipes he was selling as approved by the Advisory Committee.

    Mr. Loli responded that he had the understanding that the things in his studio were approved, including pipes of glass.

    Commissioner Cuellar stated that he wanted to see a glass pipe of Mr. Loli’s that had been approved by the Street Artists Program.

    Mr. Loli responded that, according to his letter, he had “a process of evolution in” his “art.” There were pipes that had been approved at his first screening; and there were pipes that he had shown at his studio; “and there were “new designs … made of the same material.”

    Commissioner Cuellar asked him if, by the time he had received last year’s license, there had been approved glass pipes listed on his license.

    Mr. Loli countered that the Commissioner did not understand what he was trying to explain.

    Commissioner Cuellar stated that he was looking for the evidence of approval of glass pipes, not their artistic creation.

    Mr. Loli stated that everything in his studio had been approved.

    Commissioner Lloyd stated, to Mr. Loli, that if this were the first time he came before the Commissioners, the Commissioner would be persuaded to give him the benefit of the doubt; but the Commissioners had made it clear to him that he was required to seek approval for everything that he wished to sell. Commissioner Lloyd, in reviewing the photos of Mr. Loli’s file, the photos of his studio visit, and the photos of his recent street display, stated that he did not see any evidence that the glass pipes had ever been approved.

    Commissioner Cuellar stated that, given the fact that there was no evidence that glass pipes had been approved by the Program, given the fact that Mr. Loli himself, in his letter, identified three categories of pipes – pipes approved, pipes observed in his studio, and pipes that he makes and sells for the past three years – it was apparent that Mr. Loli understood that he was suspended because he had sold without certification and not because he did not make his own art.

    The Commissioner went on to say that his Committee, in the previous hearings with him, had attempted to make it clear to Mr. Loli that the Street Artists Program was not a street vendors program, that he could obtain a peddler’s license from the police, under Section 869 of Part II, Chapter 8 of the Municipal Code, and could sell unexamined items without a problem. But, as a street artist certified by the Arts Commission, he was entitled to sell only his own items as examined and approved by the Advisory Committee and the Arts Commission.

    Commissioner Cuellar further noted that there had been a number of violations committed by Mr. Loli that had been noted by both the Program Director and the Advisory Committee. Furthermore, the Commissioners had been dealing with Mr. Loli’s issues for the better part of a year and had spent nearly $10,000 (in staff time and interpreters’ fees) in helping him to comply with the law. After “investing a significant amount of money in this case,” the Commissioner concluded that “Mr. Loli fails to understand still … what we’re trying to say. With all the professional help in translating” it appeared that Mr. Loli did not want to understand that he could not sell items that have not been approved by the Commission. “Therefore,” Commissioner Cuellar concluded, “because he [Mr. Loli] understood that he could not do that, and he still did it, and that this is not the first offense but another in a series of offenses, I am going to move that we revoke his certificate.”

    Commissioner Cuellar moved that it be found that Manuel Loli violated the Street Artist Ordinance by selling items (glass pipes) not certified by the Arts Commission, that such violation constituted a second offense of the ordinance, and that Mr. Loli’s certificate be revoked; the motion was seconded by Commissioner Lloyd.

    Commissioner Lloyd called for public comment.

    Street Artist Z. B. Doroszkiewicz stated that, while most street artists try to upgrade the art of their Program, Mr. Loli violated the artists’ endeavor by admitting to the artists themselves that he was selling pipes without the Commission’s permission. The artists tried to talk to him, to give him a chance to comply, but he did not.

    Mr. Loli stated that he was very sorry that the Program had spent $10,000, but he had to spend $2,500 on attorneys; it also generated health and financial problems for him and his family. To Program Director Lazar, he stated, “May it weigh on your conscience that my wife today is going for psychiatric help … In two weeks, I’m going to Argentina to see her… I will accept what you have decided.”

    The motion was unanimously approved.

  4. New business

    Street Artist Michael Addario submitted a letter listing five issues and described each briefly.

    Street Artist Fernando Hechavarria. Mr. Addario asked that the Arts Commission give recognition to the heroic efforts of Street Artist Fernando Hechavarria who left his stand to help save a Cannery security guard, who was having a heart seizure, from an attacker. Mr. Addario asked that the Commission pay Mr. Hechavarria an honorarium to compensate him for loss of income as a street artist while having to attend court proceedings against the assailant.

    Commissioner Lloyd stated that the City Attorney would have to be consulted to see whether it was within the Arts Commission’s purview to grant an honorarium for such an incident. He asked the Program Director to schedule this for the next agenda.

    Port Commission’s Street Performers Program. Mr. Addario described how in 2003 Program Director Lazar approached the Port with a plan to designate 31 spaces for street artists; the plan was rebuffed by the merchants on Port property and the staff of the Port. Mr. Addario photographed illegal vendors on Port property in 2006. He then went on to describe the Port’s steps in establishing a licensing program for performers on Port property. He urged the Arts Commissioners, staff, and street artists to be watchful of the activities of the performers, as certain activities could possibly adversely affect the reputation of the Arts Commission’s Street Artists Program.

    Former Street Artist Paula Datesh (Grundman). Former certificate-holder Paula Datesh (Grundman) asked that her request for a new certificate be heard at next month’s Committee meeting.

    Commissioner Lloyd directed Program Director Lazar to calendar the item on next month’s agenda.

    There being no further business, Commissioner Lloyd adjourned the meeting at 4:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Howard Lazar
Street Artists Program Director

September 13, 2007