City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

August 20, 2002

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.

Commissioners Present:
Denise Roth, Andrea Cochran, and Janice Mirikitani

Staff Present:
Richard Newirth, Nancy Gonchar, Judy Nemzoff, Jewelle Gomez, Robynn Takayama


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



  1. Discussion and possible motion to approve the Community Arts and Education budget for 2002-2003.

    Nancy Gonchar explained that the reduction in the budget was a result of the Hotel Tax Fund and that the agency would not have the final figures until the fall. Staff would use the amount $2,517,836 until the budget office provided final figures.

    She further explained that CAE has many more funding sources so its budget is more complex than most programs. $3.5 million in revenue is projected for FY 2002-03.

    Commissioner Roth asked what last year's total revenue had been. Last year (FY 00-01) the budget was $4.5 million. Nancy Gonchar explained that the previous director of CAE showed at least $500,000 in carry forward funds, a portion of which was attributed to the African American Arts and Culture Complex (approximately an additional year of funding for the center), as well as some carry forward for the other cultural centers. Including a carry forward at this point can be inaccurate because balance is unknown until the city closes the books in August. Accurate carry fowards are not available until early September.

    Commissioner Mirikitani asked about the Grants for the Arts funding in relationship to the Commission budget. Richard Newirth explained that GFTA will not fund any special projects in FY 02-03 due to the drop in hotel tax receipts.

     Commissioner Roth asked what are other potential funding losses.

    Judy Nemzoff responded that she's still waiting to hear from several funders and that this budget only lists revenue streams that are fairly certain. Some do reflect a reduction based on projects. For example, WriterCorps has fewer costs projected in book production this year.

    Judy Nemzoff also pointed out that SFAC administration budget includes grant writing support that both Janet Heller and Rachelle Axel need in the current climate. This would be for SFAC programs to assist staff in meeting their programs grant wrting and fundraising needs. Commissioner Mirikitani suggested that its difficult to get a single grant writer to understand the appropriate approach for all projects. Because SFAC is a city agency in-house projects such as WritersCorps and Arts Education have to work harder for non-governmental support.

    Judy Nemzoff pointed out that some marketing money was included in the budget. She would like to do more for WritersCorps and CAE public relations as well as working more with the Cultural Centers so they're recognized City-wide as well as in their neighborhoods.

    Commissioner Mirikitani asked about the affect of the city's budget crisis on arts funding in general.

    Richard Newirth stated that the Symphony and the Opera both took a total of $1,000,000 less to help balance the City budget.

    Richard Newirth acknowledged that Nancy Gonchar, Robynn Takayama, and Judy Nemzoff did an excellent job in drafting and providing a new format for the CAE budget so it articulates the program more clearly.

    Motion to approve the Community Arts and Education budget for 2002-2003.

    Moved: Commissioner Mirikitani
    Second: Commissioner Cochran
    Motion: Unanimous

  2. Motion to approve the following panelists for the Cultural Equity Grants Program.

    ? Dawn-Elin Fraser, actor and teacher
    ? Lisa Steindler, Artistic Director, Encore Theatre Co.
    ? Conor Howard, director of the Irish Arts Foundation
    ? Nancy Kates, teacher, activist, filmmaker
    ? Dr. Dee Mosbacher, teacher and filmmaker
    ? Jennifer Dowdell, author

    Moved: Commissioner Cochran
    Second: Commissioner Mirikitani
    Motion: Unanimous
  3. Motion to modify the approval of recommendations for 34 grants totaling $435,100 in the 2002 cycle of Organizational Project Grants (Resolution No. 0603-02-153 from May Executive Committee Meeting) to be 34 grants totaling $505,500.

    Commissioner Roth asked if the change reflected a decrease in the number of applicants being funded.

    Jewelle Gomez responded that the correction did not reflect a decrease in the number of applicants being funded. Each organization and grant amount was correct, only the total in the motion had been incorrect. Separate panels reviewed applications in the Organization Project Grant category in two segments for the first time---small organizations and mid-size organizations. The current CEG data base program was inadequate for providing the correct information. The inaccuracy of the final figure didn?t become apparent until after the vote. The panel?s recommendations were, in fact, being upheld with the vote to make the correction.

    Moved: Commissioner Mirikitani
    Second: Commissioner Cochran
    Motion: Unanimous
  4. Motion to review and approve 20 grants totaling $332,900 in the 2002 cycle of Cultural Equity Initiatives-Level One.

    Commissioner Roth inquired about the number of repeat grantees in this category and Rich Newirth responded that there seemed to be a significant number of new applicants being funded this year. Jewelle Gomez added that she expected that about twenty-five percent of the grantees were new to the category this year.

    Commissioner Mirikitani inquired about the overlap between CEI grantees and those of Grants for the Arts. Jewelle Gomez reported that in a recent meeting with GFTA staff it was determined that there was much less overlap than was usually assumed. The staff of CEG is preparing a brochure which GFTA staff can use to send potential applicants on to CEG when they seem inappropriate for GFTA. Jenny Louie is doing a statistical analysis to determine a more exact figure on how many of the CEG and GFTA applicants overlap and at what level of funding.

    Moved: Commissioner Mirikitani
    Second: Commissioner Cochran
    Motion: Unanimous
  5. Motion to review and approve 3 grants totaling $360,000 in the 2002 cycle of Cultural Equity Initiatives-Level Two.

    Commission Mirikitani expressed concern that some of the CEI grantees might be receiving double funding from the City. Jewelle Gomez indicated that the application eligibility form indicates what type of funding each applicant is receiving and our primary stipulation is that CEG can not support the same project that's been funded by another City funding source. The only exceptions may have been organizations that received Emergency Rent Subsidy Funds from ArtHouse.

    Commissioner Roth asked about the groups being funded in Level Two this year. Jewelle Gomez reported that the three organizations receiving this multi-year grant were each well known for their deep roots in and long term commitment to local communities. Rich Newirth concurred that the three recommendations by the panel represented a significant investment in community arts organizations.

    Moved: Commissioner Mirikitani
    Second: Commissioner Cochran
    Motion: Unanimous
  6. Motion to review and approve 10 grants totaling $169,180 in the 2002 cycle of Creative Space Grants.

    Commissioner Cochran asked what range of projects was represented in this category. Rich Newirth responded that they were always an eclectic group of proposals. This year, Jewelle Gomez reported, they ranged from support for the build out of a projection booth to the installation of a theatre marquee.

    Commissioner Mirikitani asked about the support of the Exit Theatre for its sound dampening project. She was concerned that the number of venues Exit manages is so extensive that adequate work might not be directed to the appropriate spaces. Jewelle Gomez reported that the panel was aware of the number of spaces Exit had under its wings and felt that the project request seemed appropriate.

    Moved: Commissioner Mirikitani
    Second: Commissioner Cochran
    Motion: Unanimous
  7. Program Director's Report

    Jewelle Gomez reported on the two public meetings held at the Commission attended by about 100 constituents. The Program Director made presentations on a variety of potential changes in procedures in two categories Individual Artists Commissions and Organizational Project Grants. Preliminary discussion indicated strong support from the constituents for the possibility of multi year support in the OPG category; smaller IAC panels, the introduction of a single annual guidelines booklet; additional promotional material to make the program more known among emerging artists, as well as a number of other possibilities which were raised. The major dissatisfaction reported was a sense that the same organizations were funded repeatedly leaving little room for new groups. This is an issue the staff has discussed in house as well as with members of the GFTA staff and will be formulating ways to make an assessment of the numbers of new groups introduced into the pool in the coming year.

    Staff will make a fuller report after subsequent public meetings are held in the fall to discuss the other CEG categories.

The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

          Submitted by Jewelle Gomez, Cultural Equity Grants, Program Director.
          Approved by Nancy Gonchar, Deputy Director of Cultural Affairs

August 26, 2002


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