City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission


April 8, 2003 4:30 P.M.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 60
San Francisco

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

Commissioners Present
Blanche Brown
Janice Mirikitani
Denise Roth
Ethel Walker

Commissioners Absent
Eddie Marshall

  1. WritersCorps Update
    Ms. Heller passed out a copy of the national WritersCorps book published by HarperCollins, Paint Me Like I Am. HaperCollins says the book has already sold 5,000 copies. A local book tour will launch on April 11 at a Clean Well Lighted Place for Books. A flyer was distributed with the following dates (April 13: Book Passage, April 14: Kepler's, April 22: Barnes and Noble at Jack London Square, Oakland). The book has received good reviews in YM, San Francisco Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus and is featured on the Academy of American Poets website along with many others featuring teen poetry. Despite the media's attention on the war, WritersCorps radio interviews will air during the month of April.

    The Slam season finished on April 4. Plans for the Washington D.C. slam trip are pending until funds are raised.

    The Isabelle Allende Foundation is interested in contributing to WritersCorps' publications. There will also be an event to cultivate new funders at a house party on April 14 before the Menlo Park book tour. Commissioner attendance would be greatly appreciated.

    Mr. Newirth added that the slam was wonderful event even with the smaller attendance.

  2. Chinatown Community Arts Update
    Ms. Hom was not present, so Ms. Nemzoff made the report.

    A new exhibition called Female as Vessel as Female, featuring six women artists, opens Saturday afternoon. Last weekend, there was a musical collaboration with the Chinatown library on Saturday and with the San Francisco Symphony on Sunday. Staff is working towards programming in the space on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The World Music Festival has begun a monthly program at CCAP featuring a late afternoon program/lecture demonstration.

  3. Arts Education Update
    AEFC received a $12,000 Potrero Nuevo grant, an increase from last year's amount. DCYF granted $5,000 to AEFC (through SFAC) for the Inside/Out book. A motion to distribute these funds will go to the Full Commission.

    On May 31, staff will produce the annual California State Summer School for the Arts reception at the Performing Arts Library, 401 Van Ness. This celebrates the San Francisco students who will be attending summer school at Cal Arts in Valencia. In the past, approximately 10-12% of the CA attendees have been from San Francisco.

    AEFC is undergoing strategic planning to determine how to serve the schools most effectively as the school district experiences funding cuts. There was a brief discussion about how the cuts have affected teacher layoffs and school programs.

    Ms. Axel passed out Inside/Out bookmarks. The website is still being updated and hits have tripled.

  4. Program Director Update
    We have just received the projected allocation from the Hotel Tax Fund for the Cultural Centers for FY 03-04. Hotel Tax funds for each year are projected and fluid. For the current fiscal year, SFAC was allocated $2.3M but distributed grant allocations based on anticipated lower returns. Throughout the current year, there were two cuts, which the agency was able to sustain because staff had budgeted accordingly. Within the last two weeks, there was an additional reduction that lowers the allocation below the granted amount. We are now $75,872 below the granted funds. To meet the reduced allocation without asking the cultural centers to sustain the loss in the last quarter of their current operating budget SFAC will temporarily cover the loss and reimburse the amount from next years 03-04 funds.

    The Hotel Tax allocation for 03-04 is currently projected $75,000 less than the allocation we are currently working with. When you add the $75,872 we'll need to retain, plus a contingency of (10%), SFAC will have $300k less to distribute than the current fiscal year. The Controllers Office recommended that staff maintain a contingency should we have to sustain additional losses during the 03-04 year. Should the Hotel Tax receipts improve, staff will distribute the funds accordingly.

    Ms. Nemzoff will meet with the centers to talk about what these implications are and inform them of their grant allocations for next year. These are difficult times for the City and the Centers can't rely on Hotel Tax exclusively for their funding.

    Commissioner Roth asked what are the priorities for building improvements. Ms. Daniels answered in her report below.

    Mr. Newirth clarified that the reduction is not a "loss" but a more accurate estimate of hotel receipts.

    Ms. Nemzoff stated that it is better to be fiscally conservative in this environment and that staff could not ask the centers to sustain financial loss during their last quarter of the fiscal year. It would be better to allow them a few months of planning to anticipate funding reductions.

    Ms. Nemzoff described the recommendations for Programs in the Community funding. Though the budget is approximately $7,000 less than last year, the panelists recommended funding the same number of organizations, but at lesser amounts.

    Commissioner Walker asked for the geographic location of the programs and asked if applicants who aren't recommended for funding are advised how to improve their application. Ms. Nemzoff said that panel feedback is available and the panel is a public process so applicants can directly hear panel comments.

    Commissioner Mirikitani made the motion:
    Motion to approve the Programs in the Community (PIC) grant to the following PIC grantee organizations, recommended by the PIC review panel, from the 2003-04 Grants for the Arts Fund, pending written confirmation from Grants for the Arts:

    Central City Hospitality House


    Chinatown Beacon Center




    Larkin Street Youth Center


    Richmond District Neighborhood Center


    Rose Resnick Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired


    San Francisco Women Against Rape

    $ 8,661

    St. John?s Educational Thresholds Center


    Western Neighborhoods Project


    Youth Outlook! (Pacific News Service)




    The motion passed unanimously.

    Commissioner Brown made the following motion:
    Motion to approve payment from Grants for the Arts funds for honoraria and transportation reimbursement for Programs in the Community panelists:
    Cultural Initiatives Silicon Valley (Dana Powell) $167.06
    Amy Taub $125
    Sherri Young $125
    Charles Wilmoth $134
    Miko Lee $143.08
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Cultural Center Facilities Report
    To answer Commissioner Roth's question, Ms. Daniels reported that she is working with Rommel Taylor to compile data on project costs at each site to analyze how staff has spent money at each facility. Life safety issues are the top priority: monthly elevator maintenance, fire safety and sprinkler certification, and security. With a limited facilities budget, the focus is less on building improvements and more on maintaining levels of safety.

    To protect the Bayview Opera House from future burglaries, DTIS estimates a security system upgrade will cost approximately $5,000.

    Ms. Daniels is also in conversation with DTIS regarding wiring the cultural centers with live cable broadcast capabilities. The San Francisco Cable Franchise requires the cable operator (Comcast) to wire 17 sites in the city. Currently five sites are in use: City Hall, the Main Library, the Emergency Command Center, Community Television Corporation, and City College - Phelan campus. The additional sites must be ADA compliant and large enough to accommodate a Board of Supervisors meeting. It is anticipated that it will take DTIS a year to identify the additional sites.

    African American Art and Culture Complex
    Ms. Breed reported that through a partnership with the San Francisco Clean City Coalition and DPW, large trees around AAACC have been pruned and the front of the building will be painted. The African American Historical Society's archive room is repaired and will open in two months after new donations are catalogued. With funds left over from the west wall repair, new tile and carpet will be placed in the Juneteenth office.

    Ms. Breed highlighted past and upcoming programming. The Cultural Odyssey Gala was a huge success. Tours to VIPs have directly led to rental bookings. Cultural Odyssey received a review in the Chronicle on the front page of the Datebook. Classes in hip-hop dance, writing, make-up, and praise dance will begin soon. The Black Film Festival will have a youth film festival at the Center during the Juneteenth Festival. Afro Solo is programming their season, which will include the Marcus Shelby Orchestra and Ledisi. On April 21, the Hall of Culture presents three writers/artists discussing race, technology, and culture. This coincides with a gallery exhibition.

    Commissioner Roth opened the floor to public comment.

    Pam Wu from Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center asked that public comment be reflected in last month's minutes. She recognized that there was no discussion about candidates for the cultural center consultant RFQ and asked for an update. She also announced upcoming APICC programming: the United States of Asian America, which features 18 events. May 3 launches the season with a joint reception sponsored by APICC, Kearny Street Workshop, Asian American Women Artists, Asian American Dance Performances, and Somarts).

    Jeff Jones from Queer Cultural Center announced National Queer Arts Festival opening June 6 at the LGBT Center.

    Mr. Jones stated that he wrote the legislation for the HTF Cultural Centers and CEG program. He stated that the City doesn't award percentages any longer, but now the allocation is based on a dollar figure. What is not allocated reverts to the General Fund. The General Fund does not have a formula. The City can reduce Hotel Tax grants by 10%, but no more than that unless it goes to the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Jones advises asking the City Attorney for a ruling to protect the funds and would like assurance that next year's allocation will not be lower than the legislated 10%.

    Mr. Newirth clarified that the allocation is based on the previous year's actuals. Therefore, until we know the actual Hotel Tax distribution for 02-03, we will not be able to determine if the funds have dropped by more then 10%.

    There was no new or old business. Commissioner Roth adjourned the meeting at 5:37 P.M.

    Next Meeting
    April 8, 2003, 4:30 P.M. at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70; San Francisco


contact us  |  accessibility policy  |  disclaimer  |  privacy policy