City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission


July 9, 4:30 P.M.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
San Francisco

Commissioner Roth called the informational meeting to order at 4:43 P.M.

Commissioners Present
Denise Roth
Blanche Brown
Eddie Marshall
Janice Mirikitani

Commissioners Absent
Ethel Walker

  1. WritersCorps Update
    Ms. Heller summarized WritersCorps? year in review. A remarkable gift to the field, the WritersCorps' teacher's guide was released in August 2001. Lessons in the Field includes comprehensive lesson plans developed by WritersCorps teachers from 1994 to the present. Sales have been steady as educators across the country have found it extremely useful. It is one of WritersCorps' best selling publications.

    Last fall, WritersCorps also published an annual report including eight essays with multiple perspectives on WritersCorps (youth, teacher, sites and outside evaluation). This report was the first comprehensive annual report conducted by the project. The design was contributed pro-bono by Old Navy.

    In June WritersCorps' promotional campaign kicked off with a poster series featuring an Ed Kashi photograph installed in 35 Decaux kiosks throughout the City. The poster promotes the 2002 publication, Believe Me, I Know.

    HarperCollins is publishing the 2003 WritersCorps national anthology, which will include writing by the three WritersCorps programs (San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C.). Ms. Heller shared the cover design. The title, Paint Me Like I Am, is from one of the San Francisco WritersCorps poems.

    Book Magazine did an article entitled "A Day in the Reading Life of America" that featured WritersCorps' 2002 Youth Poetry Slam League finals in San Francisco along with Oprah's Book Club and Terry Gross to demonstrate the many ways reading touches people's lives. The Chronicle will review Believe Me, I Know in July. David Kippen plugged the book on KGO's Ron Owens show.

    This year was the final year of Borders' sponsorship of the Youth Poetry Slam League. However there is a greater priority to produce the events in neighborhoods and communities where WritersCorps youth live and go to school. The 2003 Youth Poetry Slam League will be hosted by the cultural centers with the kickoff at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in January 2003. Jose Carrasco from Loco Bloco will return as WritersCorps events coordinator next year.

    Staff is looking forward to the new year as the entire WritersCorps faculty is returning for the first time and there are two great candidates for the Log Cabin Ranch site.

    Commissioner Brown made the following motion:
    Motion to renew contracts with WritersCorps teachers Cathy Arellano for up to $29,000, Michelle Matz for $27,000, Chad Sweeney, Dani Montgomery, Gloria Yamato each for up to $26,000, Uchechi Kalu, Jime Salcedo Malo, and Ishle Park each for up to $22,000 (not to exceed a total of $200,000.00) from 09/01/02 to 06/30/03, from DCYF and Youth Arts Funds.
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Commissioner Mirikitani made the following motion:
    Motion to renew contract with Kim Nelson, WritersCorps Poet-In-Residence at Log Cabin Ranch from 09/01/02 to 6/30/03 for up to $30,000, plus a travel allowance of up to $5000 (for a total of up to $35,000) from Juvenile Probation Funds.
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Commissioner Brown made the following motion:
    Motion to renew contract with WritersCorps Training Coordinator Judith Tannenbaum from 09/01/02 to 08/30/03 for up to $35,000.00 from DCYF and Juvenile Probation Funds.
    The motion passed unanimously.

  2. Chinatown Community Arts Update
    The Oriental Arts Association exhibition closed on Saturday. On July 5, there was an art review of the show, bringing 69 more people to see the exhibit before it closed.

    On Friday, July 12, a show from the Academy of Chinese Art opens. This is the first of two shows that features art by children. It closes August 24.

  3. Arts Education Update
    Ms. Axel shared the Chronicle?s cover story from July 9 which featured a photograph of Abada Capoiera, an Arts Education Organizational Grant recipient.

    On June 1, staff held the California Arts Scholars Award for 30 youth at the Performing Arts Library Museum (PALM). Commissioner Walker presented the awards and people enjoyed themselves. The students leave on Friday for a four-week program at CalArts in Valencia, CA.

    Ms. Axel is currently grant writing to raise funds for the Arts Education Funders Collaborative (AEFC). Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. joined as new funders.

    Inside/Out is in production with publication in August. The introduction will focus on the new state visual and performing arts standards. The website is kept up-to-date and will have a major refresh after the book is published. The website is a great referral resource and is promoted at all AEFC events, but the traffic is not extremely heavy.

    Ms. Axel explained the following motion. The Arts Commission participates in AEFC?s public/private partnership with a $10,000 grant each year. The Arts Education program had a slight surplus because the assistant position was not filled for the entire year. This award will help close the gap in AEFC funds that needed to be raised.

    Commissioner Brown made the following motion:
    Motion to approve a $5,000 award to the Arts Education Funders Collaborative for the 2001/2002 FY from Youth Arts Fund.
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Program Director Update
    Ms. Nemzoff opened her first CAE meeting by expressing her delight to work with this staff and extended community. Staff is revising and preparing the CAE budget. The program is also starting to develop a long-range plan, visualizing what the staff needs and what the community needs.

    African American Art and Culture Complex
    Mr. Bob Davis, the facilities director of AAACC, introduced himself and thanked the Commissioners for attending the May community meeting at AAACC. The community felt the meeting went well and the Arts Commission expressed genuine interest in making the center successful.

    The facility still needs improvement, but looks better every day.

    The community is returning to the center. The Black Leadership Forum held their luncheon at the center and will be holding monthly meetings there. A battered women?s group and women from San Francisco State are holding meetings at the center, as is a Korean group.

    KPFA installed an ISDN line for free for radio simulcasts. The station will broadcast the first Monday of each month from 8-10 p.m. from the Burial Clay Theater. Audiences are regularly increasing by 10-15 people because of the broadcast.

    Jose Carrasco is coordinating a WritersCorps poetry slam at the center. Liquid Fire, a queer performance, sold out each performance.

    Mr. Davis welcomed the Commissioners back to the center as hearing the Commissioners? voices has a calming effect on the community.

    Mr. Newirth added that with Ms. Nemzoff and Mr. Davis on board, he feels much more optimistic about the future of the center.

    Commissioner Roth asked what happened to the gospel choir. They seemed to think they would get pushed out. Mr. Davis said no one is going to get pushed out. The center?s capacity was under-utilized and there is room for everyone. In fact, the group broadcast their music over the KPFA simulcast.

    Commissioner Marshall made the following motion:
    Motion to approve the transfer of $100,000 from the Hotel Tax Fund to Intersection for the Arts for AAACC.
    Mr. Newirth noted that this motion is prior to their approval of the full year?s budget. The motion passed unanimously.

    Cultural Center Facility Report
    Ms. Daniels said that with Mr. Davis on board, she will deal less with AAACC improvements and give her attention to the other centers. Rommel Taylor, an architect with Civic Design, is working one day a week on two projects at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.

    Commissioner Roth opened the floor to public comment. Thomas Simpson with Afro Solo said that Mr. Davis has brought in good energy to the center and is bringing together the people involved with the center.

    There was no new or old business. Commissioner Roth adjourned the meeting at 5:12 P.M.

    Next Meeting
    August 13, 2002, 4:30 P.M. at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70; San Francisco


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