City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

April 13, 2011

Street Artists Committee - April 13, 2011


Wednesday, April 13,2011

3:00 p.m.

25 Van Ness Avenue,Suite 70



Members present: Greg Chew, Chair, John Calloway Amy Chuang, Jessica Silverman
Members absent: Sherene Melania,
Staff present: Street ArtistsProgram Director Howard Lazar, Street Artists Program Assistant Alyssa Licouris

Commissioner Chew, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:06 p.m.

1.    Action. Hearing and possible motion to approve authorization of Program Directorto request

Board of Supervisors for temporarydesignation of six (6) months of two (2) selling spaces on northwest corner ofPost Street, at Stockton Street, to replace spaces on Geary Street, at StocktonStreet, impacted by Central Subway construction.

StreetArtists Program Director Lazar described that, due to Central Subwayconstruction, MTA moved a flower vendor which had been located on Stockton Streetonto three street artist spaces on GearyStreet. From working with the Business ImprovementDistrict, Mr. Lazar found two spaces that the street artists could usetemporarily on Post Streetat Stockton Streetuntil they are able to move back to their permanent spaces. On approval of theproposal, Mr. Lazar would ask the Board of Supervisors to designate twotemporary six-month spaces at the set location. The two spaces would be locatedin front of Levi’s. Mr. Lazar has spoken to Levi management and they haveaccepted the proposal. Both spaces meet all of the safety regulations of theStreet Artists Ordinance.

CommissionerChew commented that he is enthusiastic that about the location. He asked Mr.Lazar to clarify if there were street artists’ spaces near the new temporaryspaces. Mr. Lazar confirmed that there were 8 spaces around the corner on Stockton Street.

Commissioner Calloway motioned to approveauthorization of the Program Director to request the Board of Supervisors fortemporary designation of six (6) months of two (2) selling spaces on thenorthwest corner of Post Street at Stockton Street to replace spaces on GearyStreet at Stockton Street, impacted by Central Subway construction;Commissioner Silverman seconded the motion.

CommissionerChew asked for public comment.

Mr. Joe Murdoc stated that he is a 30-yearCity resident and is a friend of the flower vendor who got relocated onto thethree street artist spaces. Since MTA had negatively impacted the flower stand,Mr. Murdoc wanted to thank Mr. Lazar for being proactive and helping to makethe situation more livable for the flower vendor. He commended the Street ArtistsProgram as being a vital component of SanFrancisco and emphasized that the street artists addcharacter to the city. Mr. Murdoc said he came to show his support for the StreetArtists Program.

The motion was unanimously approved.


2.  Action.  Hearing and possible motion to approve forthe Cliff House Lottery a recommendation to adopt a two-tiered lottery systemcomprised of two random drawings for assignment of selling spaces: (1) a Mainrandom drawing for the selection of spaces; and (2) a Secondary random drawingfor spaces left over from the selection of spaces by Main drawing.

NOTE: The aboverecommendation would be the same as the procedure (Millard proposal) which wasrecommended by the Street Artists Committee on January 12, 2011 and approved bythe full Arts Commission on February 7, 2011 for implementation by both theDowntown and Fisherman’s Wharf lotteries.

Mr.Lazar explained that the full Arts Commission passed the motion to use theMillard proposal in the lottery system for the Downtown and Wharf areas at theFebruary 7, 2011 meeting. The same procedure (Millard proposal) would beapplied to the Cliff House lottery rules if the motion in item #2 is passed.

Mr.Lazar announced that the City Attorney clarified that implementation of theMillard proposal would not require an ordinance amendment. Mr. Lazar read aletter from the City Attorney which clarified that the ordinance does not limitthe number of random drawings that can take place during the lottery processand that implementation of the Millard proposal was within the ArtsCommission’s discretion. Mr. Lazar will notify Downtown and Fisherman Wharf LotteryCommittee that implementation of the new procedure should begin on Friday andhe will supply the Committee with new lottery slips.

CommissionerChew believed that the same lottery rules should be city wide. Mr. Lazarmentioned that Director of Cultural Affairs, Luis R. Cancel, would like to seethe same lottery rules city wide as well.

Commissioner Silverman motioned toapprove for the Cliff House Lottery a recommendation to adopt a two-tieredlottery system comprised of two random drawings for assignment of sellingspaces: (1) a Main random drawing for the selection of spaces; and (2) aSecondary random drawing for spaces left over from the selection of spaces by theMain drawing; the motion was seconded by Commission Chuang.

StreetArtist Toney Burkhart, who sells at the Cliff House area, said he has beeninvolved in the program for 39 years. He wanted to see the lottery rules as thesame throughout all street artist locations.

StreetArtist Amanda Nordquist, who sells at the Cliff House area, said that she willagree with whatever rules are passed. She was unsure why the Cliff House wasn’toriginally included in the previous proposal by James Millard. Originally shewas against the Millard proposal. Since there are only 3 spaces, she said itseems ridiculous to have two lotteries, but they will make it work.

StreetArtist Marc Melancon, who sells at the Cliff House area, asked for the amountthe City Attorney charged the Arts Commission to give the answer to thequestion of whether the ordinance needed to be changed and he asked the name ofthe person who wrote the letter from the City Attorney’s office. Mr. Lazar gaveMr. Melancon a copy of the City Attorney’s letter.

StreetArtist Sarah Huntoon, who sells at the Cliff House area, referred to themeetings and discussions that happened last year between the Program staff andthe Cliff House artists. She was glad to see that there will be some uniformity.She was disappointed that her original view for the Clarkproposal wasn’t included in the original debate before the Street ArtistsCommittee because Mr. Lazar wanted to keep the Cliff House debate separate. Ms.Huntoon asked a technical lottery question as to whether the main lotterynumber trumps the secondary lottery number on the first day.

StreetArtist James Millard stated he was one of the original proposers of the Millardproposal. He said one of the desirable qualities of this proposal was that itremoved the possibility for other street artists to get bumped out of a space.He reminded the Cliff House artists that there are more spaces in variouslocations around the City to sell. He also reminded the Cliff House artiststhat the threat of violence will take away Cliff House spaces. The mostimportant lottery qualities are that it is fair, orderly and binding. Of allareas, the Cliff House streetartists have to avoid procedures that could promote violence and conflict.

Mr.Lazar asked James Millard to clarify the question of Sarah Huntoon. JamesMillard said that Sarah cannot be bumped by a main drawing space if she holds asecondary drawing slip.

CommissionerChew commented that the proposal had already been approved for the Downtown andWharf areas and there was a lot of street artist support for its application atthe Cliff House area.

CommissionerCalloway comments that he appreciates James Millard’s sincerity in trying toget this lottery procedure running.

The motion was unanimously approved.


3.  Discussion. Street Artists Program Director’sReport.

40th AnniversaryCelebration: Mr. Lazaris planning to meet with the JustinHerman Plazamarket managers to discuss what they envision for the 40th anniversarycelebration. Many street artists have proposed ideas for the celebration to Howardbut he would like more concrete ideas. Next year will also be the 80thanniversary of the Arts Commission.

Street Artist highlighted in Guideposts Magazine:
Ten photographs of inspirational andspiritual statuary by Street Artist Michael Johnson were selected by Guideposts magazine.

80th Anniversary ArtsCommission book:
ProgramAssistant, Alyssa Licouris, has been digitally archiving old photographs andnewspaper articles relating to the street artists as well as resorting oldpress articles. Some of these documents may be included in the 80thAnniversary Arts Commission book which is in the process of being written.

Artist Checklist:
With the suggestion from LiaisonCommittee member Tad Sky and the proposal from the Liaison Committee, theStreet Artists Program office was able to introduce a checklist format fornoting street artist violations. This checklist will help the AdvisoryCommittee members during their monitoring duties. The artist immediately knows thetype of violation they are committing. The Artist Checklist tablet consists ofduplicate ncr paper so once the Advisory Committee member is finished withnotes on the artist, the artist can have a copy and the other copy goes to the StreetArtists Program office for follow up with possible disciplinary action. Two ofthe members used these forms last week and they received good feedback from theartists.

Public records requests and SunshineTask Force items:
SinceJuly 1, 2011 to the present, 186 staff hours have been devoted to fulfilling publicdocument requests and Sunshine Task Force items. This number does not includeaccounting staff member time or City Attorney conference time. For the previousfiscal year (2009-2010), 153 hours were devoted to these tasks. In 2008-2009,76 hours were devoted to these tasks.

Adjournment request:
Mr. Lazar asked Chairman Chew if hewould adjourn the meeting in honor of street artist Lyn Magnuson who was a finejeweler and owned a jewelry store in NorthBeach. He has been missedamong the street artists and staff.

CommissionerChew stated that the Artist Checklist is a great idea. Commission Calloway commentedon the amount of City hours being tracked for fulfilling public documentrequests and Sunshine Ordinance matters. Commissioner Chew agreed and added thathours have been increasing and he believed such hours could be better spent onother matters of the Street Artists Program.

CommissionerChew asked for public comment on the Director’s report.

AdvisoryCommittee Member Susan Tibbon commented on the Artist Checklist. She and AdvisoryCommittee Member Jacqueline Thompson used the Artist Checklist last week forthe first time. They introduced the form to the artists who found it helpful.She was glad to see it was not interpreted as a type of ‘citation’ and thankedMr. Sky for suggesting the idea of the Artist Checklist.

Street Artist Maria Hillius confirmed with Mr. Lazar that the186 hours devoted to public record requests and Sunshine Ordinance matters weresince July 1. Ms. Hillius noted that it takes valuable staff time from other programissues. Ms. Hillius stated the office has been consumed by these requests forthe last 5 years.

CommissionerChew commented that Mr. Lazar’s time could be used to plan the 40thanniversary celebration.

StreetArtist Amanda Nordquist said she has attended the past few Sunshine Task Forcemeetings and that members of the Sunshine Task Force have sent Mr. Lazar aletter reminding him of the guidelines for what it entails to create a document.An audio recording from the Sunshine Task Force meeting is on their website andshe encouraged everyone to listen to it.

Mr.Lazar commented that he has discussed with the City Attorney the printing cost ofdocuments. If a requestor wants documents, the Arts Commission charges $.10 perpage. There are no other costs levied on the requestor.

StreetArtist Marc Melancon asked how much the representative of the Arts Commission(who speaks at Sunshine Task Force meetings) is costing the Street Artist Programand why it is necessary for Mr. Lazar to confer with the City Attorney on streetartist Bluebook guidelines.


4.   Discussion. Report by Street Artists Liaison Committee.

Liaison Committee Member Tad Sky gave the Liaison Committee report since theChairman was not present.

Mr. Skysaid that Chairman Michael Addario has not called a meeting in some time. Mr.Sky believes more meetings should be called because the Liaison Committee canmake a difference

40th Anniversary:
Mr. Sky agreed that there needs to be a committee to take careof the celebration plans as had been done for the 25th anniversary. Fundingfrom the Arts Commission for banners could be requested. He believes it shouldbe at Justin Herman Plazabecause that was the first streetartist location.

One of the Market Managers hadwanted to rent a JC Decaux kiosk. Mr.Sky believed rent and liability will stop that project.

F Line:
Street Artists will need replacementspaces for Beach and Jefferson streets during the F-Line construction so streetartist opportunities won’t be lost.

Pier 33/35:
There has been no movement ongaining spaces at the Port, but spaces by Pier 33 and 35 could possibly replacethe loss of spaces on Beach Streetor Jefferson Streetdue to the F-Line construction.

Spaces at BART:
Street Artists have been informallyusing the area at the end of the “Café (Market Street near Drumm Street) spaces”. They would like toformalize these spaces. Mr. Sky wants to propose to add these spacespermanently and will send a formal proposal.

Artist Checklist:
Mr. Sky is pleased to see that the Artist Checklist was printed. This method shouldstream line the monitoring duty to help make it easier. One of the AdvisoryCommittee members had some defiance against the checklist. Because there is notenough money for a full-time or part-time art inspector, the street artistswant to see the Advisory Committee members do this job using the checklist. Mr.Sky showed a few items to the Commissioners that he had purchased from the Gift Centerwhich are being sold illegally by some street artists. Without inspection, hesays, the street artists are starting to look like a flea market. Hopefully thechecklist will help to more thoroughly inspect the artists’ wares. Mr. Sky wantedto know how much money in the budget can go towards inspection especially withthe 40th anniversary coming up.

CommissionerChew asked for public comment regarding the Liaison Committee report.

StreetArtist James Millard agreed with Tad Sky’s argument for needing more inspection.He said he believed it is reasonable for the Advisory Committee to hand outchecklists and that we need at least one senior member on the AdvisoryCommittee. Monitoring should be delegated to new members if the older membersdon’t want to do it.

LiaisonCommittee Member Debra King stated the Checklist will help with the ethics ofthe street artists. Not only will it help with the appearance to the public, shesaid, but it will also help with the morale of the street artists. It isimportant for street artists that everyone is acting ethically as a participantof the program.


5.   Discussion. New Business/Public Comment.

StreetArtist Maria Hillius suggested thatthe BART spaces that Mr. Sky referred to would be very useful to the streetartists. She also suggested that the Street Artists Program office createspecial Justin Herman Plazaslips for their lottery.

StreetArtist James Millard suggested that the Street Artists office provideCommissioners who join the Street Artists Committee with manuals on thefunctions of the Street Artist Program, what the Committee members can and can’tdo and what is expected of them. This will help introduce them to the program. Healso suggested that the Liaison Committee meet outside of 25 Van Ness where itwould not be able to vote on issues but act more as a brainstorming session fornew ideas.

StreetArtist Amanda Nordquist said she wanted all street artists to be aware that theStreet Artists Program is fully funded by the street artist license fees whichin turn pay for Mr. Lazar’s salary. She further stated that Mr. Lazar has beencalled to Sunshine Task Force hearings for requests regarding Mr. Lazar’ssalary and benefit information, fees charged to Street Artist Program, detailsabout fees to City Attorney fees for legal advice which are all categorized aspublic information. Ms. Nordquist quoted some Sunshine Task Force members from aFebruary 22, 2011 meeting which Mr. Lazar did not attend but sent arepresentative to this and other meetings.

StreetArtist Marc Melancon submitted and read a public document request to Mr. Lazar tosee all evidence which was referenced to in a letter which was sent to Mr.Melancon on December 20, 2011 regarding an incident of violence that occurredat the Cliff House between Mr. Melancon and Mr. Burkhart. Mr. Melancon alsorequested to see any evidence of City Attorney counsel in this case and any CityAttorney fees that were charged to the Street Artists Program regarding thiscase. Mr. Melancon asked why Mr. Lazar isn’t showing at the Sunshine Task Forcemeetings, how much a representative to the meetings is costing the StreetArtists Program, and what page of the Program’s Bluebook describes the ethicsof the Street Artist Program.

Commissioner Chew adjournedthe meeting in honor of Lyn Magnuson at 4:24 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:     

Alyssa Licouris, StreetArtists Program Assistant

Minutes approved:

Howard Lazar, Street ArtistsProgram Director