City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission


January 14, 2003 4:30 P.M.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 60
San Francisco

Commissioner Mirikitani called the meeting to order at 4:45 P.M.

Commissioners Present
Blanche Brown
Ethel Walker
Janice Mirikitani

Commissioners Absent
Eddie Marshall
Denise Roth

  1. WritersCorps Update
    Strategic reviews in national library trade magazines are driving sales of Believe Me I Know. Small Press Distribution placed their third order.

    The 2003 Youth Poetry Slam League starts at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts on January 31, with youth from Everett Middle School, Mission Girls Program, and some add ons. Susan Leal will be present and will read a poem.

    Staff is looking for Commission support at the February 21 slam at AAACC as judges or by offering community contacts to help with the outreach. Latifah Simon from Center for Young Women's Development (and former Western Addition resident) will be the host.

    Evangelina Thomas-Guevara, a 13 year old from Everett Middle School, won the Martin Luther King, Jr. poetry contest and will read at the Glide-sponsored event on MLK Day in the San Francisco Civic Center. WritersCorps teacher Gloria Yamato read Evangelina's poem.

    The youth intern program began in January with six interns aged 14-19s. WritersCorps partnered with Youth Works who will pay the youth $6.75/hour. They will work in the field, at events, and in the office.

  2. Chinatown Community Arts Update
    Harmony in Motion exhibition closed. On February 8, there will be a seal carving lecture in Chinese in cooperation with the Chinese Arts Association. February 15-16 CCAP and the Chinese Cultural Center are coordinating the Chinese Spring Festival. CCC, where CCAP is housed, is looking for a new executive director.

  3. Arts Education Update
    AEFC had their annual two-day professional development workshops in early December with the best turnout ever. This success demonstrates the school district's recognition and respect for AEFC's work. AEFC's commitment to the district continues through 2005. After 2005, the hope is that the district will provide arts education support by sharing the costs of professional development for educators.

    Staff has been distributing Inside/Out to every public school in the district, the libraries, city departments and supervisors.

    To address early childhood educators, there is a series of artist-led professional development workshops for teachers at the end of January.

    Outreach for the California Arts Scholars Summer Program in Southern California is beginning. 500 students from around the state are competitively selected to attend an intensive arts program at Cal Arts run by California State Summer School for the Arts. In the past, approximately 10% of the students have been from San Francisco.

    Finally, the year started with a $5,000 award from the Compton Foundation.

    Commissioner Walker made the motion.
    Motion to approve a $10,000 award to the Arts Education Funders Collaborative for the 2002-2003 FY from Youth Arts Fund.
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Program Director Update
    Under the leadership of Nancy Gonchar and the image committee of the Arts Commission, SFAC is printing posters that will appear in forty Decaux kiosks. Produced by Americans for the Arts and the Ad Council, the posters, with an arts education message, will be installed in February. A press release will coordinate this campaign with the release of Inside/Out and the Arts Commission's arts education work.

    Ms. Nemzoff introduced Julia Hamilton, our summer intern who returned to assist CAE during her winter break from Oberlin College.

    Ms. Daniels has been out for personal reasons and staff covered her responsibilities in her absence. Staff applied for a CIAC capital improvement request, requesting funds to complete work at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. We also requested $25,000 from San Francisco Environment for a toxic reduction grant at AAACC.

    We've begun the cycle for 2003-2004 PIC grants, which funds art programs at non-arts organizations. We received 21 applications; 3 were ineligible and were pulled. Our goal was to do better outreach in the community, which we did through press releases and online postings. We now need to recruit panelists. Ms. Nemzoff passed around the list of potential panelists and requested suggestions for additions.

    African American Art and Culture Complex
    AAACC is building a mailing list of over 500 people and asked Commissioners to sign up.

    The visual art committee opens "My Race, My Grace" with live jazz and food. Upcoming exhibits include a February opening called the Art of Living Black and a Malcolm X exhibition in May.

    AAACC hired Peggy Jones as program coordinator and Elise Westburg William as office manager. AAACC will hire a gallery coordinator and passed out the job description.

    Ms. Breed summarized past and upcoming programming including San Francisco Ballet training for youth, holiday events (funded by a grant), Cultural Odyssey's spring season, Recovery Theater (a PIC recipient), and Liquid Fire.

    AAACC received a $60,000 facilities grant to repair the interior west wall. Work begins next week.

    Judy began a discussion of the Hotel Tax Fund and the relationship with the cultural centers and virtual centers. In April 2003, when we find out how much money we will receive in 03-04, we need to determine how we proceed with the allocation process. In the past, the seven center consortium members made a recommendation to the Arts Commission on how the funds should be allocated. Two center directors do not want to proceed this way. Ms. Nemzoff will meet with center directors one-on-one for feedback and would like to meet with Commissioners one-on-one with Mr. Newirth. With feedback staff will present options to the committee as to how to proceed.

    Ms. Nemzoff suggested possible scenarios of how to allocate money to the four buildings for facilities maintenance to provide critical needs for the building. Remaining money could be allocated based on programming and administrative needs. How that would be done needs further study and guidelines. Ms. Nemzoff also suggested having more stringent guidelines on the use of HTF money.

    Mr. Newirth stated that the city owned cultural centers must be maintained. There are only four centers, so the question becomes how can they best serve the entire city, recognizing the changing demographics.

    Commissioner Mirikitani said that there historically has not been clarity around the relationship of the Commission to the virtual cultural centers. She stated that it isn't fair to cut them off without a process and clarity. Clarity of guidelines for funding is essential.

    Ms. Breed questioned how programming funds for the virtual centers fall legally in-line with the legislation.

    Commissioner Mirikitani said that the Arts Commission has a responsibility to the commitments that it made in the past. The onus is on the Arts Commission to proceed in a manner where clarity is made as to the commitment to community groups. It would be irresponsible to make a change to the process without communicating with the virtual centers.

    Mr. Newirth said that when the legislation granted HTF to the Arts Commission, the Arts Commission did not officially recognize the three centers, but did indirectly acknowledge them as long as the four cultural centers agreed to submit budgets and MPPs that included collaborative programming for these centers. There had been consensus among the four center directors to continue this arrangement until now.

    Commissioner Mirikitani and Commissioner Walker asked for historical records about the HTF legislation and the virtual centers. Ms. Nemzoff said she would try to pull this together from past minutes and correspondence.

    Commissioner Walker asked if the virtual centers receive any other SFAC funds. Ms. Nemzoff explained that they are eligible for other SFAC funds at this time because they state that they receive funds from Somarts, their fiscal sponsor, not SFAC. They can apply for money from Cultural Equity and Grants for the Arts. Part of the guidelines Ms. Nemzoff is considering developing would recognize that we have a financial relationship with the virtual centers, so they could no longer receive money from the city's other arts funding and continue to receive money through the line item cultural center funding. Commissioner Mirikitani said that clarity and consistency is fair.

    Ms. Nemzoff suggested ideas for possible guidelines for the next fiscal year.

    Mr. Newirth added that this opens up a new discussion between the four cultural centers about how to divide up their allocation of the funds.

    Mr. Newirth suggested SFAC invite the virtual centers to talk with the Commissioners at a meeting. This will provide the Commissioners more information about what they offer. Commissioner Mirikitani said the Commissioners need to have a face-to-face meeting with them and recognize the organizations rather than pretending they don't exist.

    Ms. Breed said that as long as the City Attorney agrees with allocating programmatic funds for these three organizations, she would offer AAACC as a facility for the virtual centers to program in. She stated that she has concerns with one of the Arts Commissioners serving as director for one of the virtual centers.

    Commissioner Walker asked for a list of previous programming at the centers so she has a better idea of the activities that take place at the centers as well as clarification on the distinction between virtual and cultural centers.

    Mr. Newirth said the four physical buildings are owned by the city. The nonprofits that inhabit them are not created by the city. We have a grant agreement with the four (three at this point) nonprofits to maintain, operate and program the facilities. This is a direct legally binding relationship with the four centers. This is not the case for the virtual centers. He added that another potential conflict is that Somarts receives a percentage of the funds for administering the fiscal sponsorship of the virtual centers.

    Ms. Nemzoff informed the Commissioners that staff has met with the City Attorney in November and we are still waiting for comment on the legality of all the options presented.

    Ms. Breed wanted to acknowledge that while she is not in agreement with other center directors about recognizing the virtual centers, the four cultural center directors do have a great working relationship while disagreeing about this particular issue.

    Commissioner Mirikitani added that there is what is just and fair and there is the law. Mr. Newirth said he appreciates her perspective and would like to ensure Commission input and support as options are developed.

    Ms. Nemzoff suggested we table the facilities report until the next CAE meeting. Ms. Daniels did announce Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts' Gallery Opening for their 25 Year Retrospective of Posters & Prints.

    There was no new or old business. Commissioner Roth adjourned the meeting at 6:45 P.M.

    Next Meeting
    February 11, 2003, 4:30 P.M. at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70; San Francisco


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