City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

May 11, 2011

Street Artists Committee - May 11, 2011


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

3:00 p.m.

25 Van Ness Avenue,Suite 70



Members present: Greg Chew, Chair, John Calloway, Amy Chuang
Members absent:
Sherene Melania, Jessica Silverman
Staff present: Director of CulturalAffairs Luis R. Cancel, Street Artists Program Director Howard Lazar, StreetArtists Program Assistant Alyssa Licouris

Commissioner Chew, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m

1.   Action. Hearing and possible motion to approve re-issuance of former certificatenumber (#899) to street artist Kathleen Hallinan (currently #8396).

Street Artists ProgramDirector Lazar introduced Ms. Kathleen Hallinan who, he said, has been in theprogram since 1974. She has renewed consistently her certificate #899 untilrecently exceeding the 10 day grace period for renewing. Like Mr. DavidBrancato a few months ago, Ms. Hallinan is asking that her former certificatenumber be re-issued to her.

Ms. Hallinan presented theCommissioners with a photograph of herself from 1974. She stated that she hasbeen taking care of her husband’s aunt full-time as well as dealing with a sickdog and managing property. On the last day of the 10-day grace period, she puther renewal payment in the mail but it didn’t get pick up until the next day.Ms. Hallinan reminded the Commissioners of the copy of a letter that shepreviously sent to the Street Artists Program office. She stated that she is sothankful for the Street Artists Program.

In answering a question ofCommissioner Calloway, Mr. Lazar reiterated that Ms. Hallinan has always beenin good standing and that there is precedence for reinssuance of a previouscertificate for Mr. Brancato.

Commissioner Chew statedthat he was pleased that Ms. Hallinan wanted to stay in the program.

Ms. Hallinan described thesentimental value that her previous license number has to her since #898 washer mother’s number and #899 was her own number.

Commissioner Calloway motioned to approve re-issuanceof former certificate number (#899) to street artist Kathleen Hallinan(currently #8396); Commissioner Chuang seconded the motion.

Therewas no public comment.

The motion was unanimously approved.

CommissionerChuang commented that in the Chinese culture, #899 will bring Ms. Hallinan goodfortune.


2.   Discussion. Street Artists Program Director’sReport.

Online Payment: The online payment site is still inprogress. The City Attorney’s office is checking over the contract between the vendorand the Arts Commission to make sure the contract is tailored to the ArtsCommission.

Public records requests and SunshineTask Force items: SinceJuly 1, 2011 to the present, 208.5 staff hours have been devoted to fulfilling publicdocument requests and Sunshine Task Force items. This figure includes 22.5hours since the last time reported to the Street Artists Committee a month ago.For the previous fiscal year (2009-2010), 153 hours were devoted to thesetasks. 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 Allen Frost who recentlypassed away. He was one of the very first streetartists even before there was a Street Artists Program.

Advisory Committee Update: Member Mathew Porkola resigned fromthe Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners and this leaves twovacancies since it is a five-member committee. Ms. Licouris and Mr. Lazar willstart the process of informing the public and accepting resumes for thesepositions. The main requirement for applicants is that they must be arts andcrafts people. Mr. Lazar will confer with the City Attorney on whether the interviewingprocess has changed. In answering a question of Commissioner Chew, Mr. Lazar willpost information on the Arts Commission’s website with details regardingcompensation so it is not confused as a full-time position.

CommissionerChew asked about a 40th anniversary update. Mr. Lazar stated that hehadn’t heard of any news.

CommissionerChew asked for public comment.

StreetArtist Tad Sky reported on the 40th anniversary. There are 6 peoplefrom Justin Herman Plaza,he stated, who would like to help on the committee. Mr. Sky asked for a meetingto get started and to pick a date soon. There are other street artistsinterested from JustinHerman Plazawho have shown interest in helping but don’t want to be on the committee.

CommissionerChew commented that it would be appropriate to have the 40th anniversaryevent in conjunction with the 80th anniversary of the ArtsCommission.

StreetArtist Michael Addario stated that Mr. Lazar shouldn’t be taking time topromote the 40th anniversary since it is not in his job descriptionor in the ordinance. While Mr. Addario stated he believes that a celebration isa good idea, he stated there are other issues that need immediate attentionsuch as contacting the Port to obtain spaces at the Wharf to replace the spacesto be lost during street re-construction. He also reminded the Commissionersthat there needs to be a vote about the celebration. He suggested that Mr.Lazar could help with the 40th anniversary on his own time and that fundsshouldn’t come from the Street Artists account.

CommissionerCalloway stated adamantly that Mr. Lazar should be involved in the 40thanniversary.

StreetArtist Maria Hillius disagreed with the statements of Mr. Addario. She stated thatMr. Lazar is the best person to help the street artists. If Mr. Addario doesn’tagree with having Mr. Lazar help, she said, Mr. Addario should find and offer areplacement instead of just disagreeing.

CommissionerCalloway reminded all that if it’s a 40th anniversary sponsored officiallyby the Arts Commission, a staff member from the Arts Commission needs to beinvolved at some level.

3.   Discussion. Report by Street Artists Liaison Committee.

LiaisonCommittee Chairman Michael Addario reported about the Fisherman’s Wharf issuesregarding the F-lineconstruction and the Jefferson Streetproject. The F-Line construction project will affect both Jefferson and Beachstreets which reports say could occur before or after the America’s Cup. Thiswill seriously disrupt 50-100 spaces. JeffersonStreet will be repaved and more of a pedestriansidewalk will be added with less vehicular traffic. Also, stands will be placedat Aquatic park for the America’sCup. The Liaison Committee voted in August to move forward with this issue totry to make contact with the Port to see if street artists can acquire morespaces at Pier 33 but there has been no movement since the vote. Mr. Addario statedit is under Mr. Lazar’s job description to talk to the Port and get additionalspaces since Mr. Addario can’t go to the Port himself. Mr. Addario hoped thatthe issue can be placed on the next agenda if it is required. He noted that hewould help Mr. Lazar once Mr. Lazar makes the first contact with the Port.

Mr.Addario stated that the reason why Sunshine requests are coming from two othermembers is because there are a lot of issues that haven’t been told to them asstreet artists. For example, an $18,000 charge for Mr. Cancel and Ms.Manton’sservices with a 5% service fee was charged to the Street Artists Program. Thesefees were decided, he said, in a meeting that should have been public. Also,Mr. Addario said he had a problem with the presence of the policeman who wasasked to attend the Street Artists Program Committee meeting. He stated that it’sa form of intimidation and that it’s a dangerous situation to have a policemanwith a gun if there is no threat. He reminded Commissioners that he hassuggested that the meetings occur at City Hall in a secure place but hisrequests were denied.

LiaisonCommittee member Tad Sky reported on the Justin Herman fact sheet he createdwith a few members a year ago to give to new street artists. Mr. Sky gave Ms.Licouris a copy of the fact sheet packet.

Mr. Skyreminded Commissioners that the term for the Liaison committee ends in June andthat they should call for an election soon.

Mr. Skyaddressed the usage of the Artist Checklist by the Advisory Committee onmonitoring assignments. Mr. Sky stated that Advisory Committee member SusanTibbon said last month she was initially happy with the checklist template. Atthe last screening meeting, however, he had a conversation with the Advisory Committeemembers and they felt the checklist was too short and didn’t have adequatespace for notes and comments. Mr. Sky explained that he believed the checklistwas helpful to streamline the process so artists knew what their violationswere that they were receiving. Mr. Sky is concerned that artists who aregetting these violations are not getting suspended but only rescreened. He statedthey should be sent to the Street Artists Program Committee meetings forsuspensions for serious violations and not to get rescreened. Mr. Sky reportedthat, according to Ms. Tibbon, the other Advisory Committee members were upset thatMr. Porkola left and that the others might leave soon as well. Mr. Sky statedthat this is an opportunity to get new people who want to be involved in theArts Commission since many of the current Advisory Committee members haveserved well over their two year term. Mr. Sky added that it is easy to addanother set of notes to the violations. He stated it is important for the 40thanniversary to have a good, clean program with handmade goods.

Mr. Sky askedwhy people are let into the program from different states. By letting thesepeople enter the program, they will never be asked for a studio visit since theAdvisory Committee won’t travel to other states. He asked if it was possible tolimit the program to the nine Bay Area counties.

Mr.Lazar answered that there is no limitation on where an artist can live since itis not stated in the Street Artists Ordinance. They only way to change it wouldbe to go back to the ballot.

Mr. Skycommented on the 40th anniversary. Everyone he’s talked to wants abig celebration with music and a stage. Once there is a committee meeting, theycan figure out funding and proposals. Mr. Sky stated he isn’t comfortable with workingwith anyone but Mr. Lazar on this project since they worked successfully togetheron the Program’s 25th anniversary event. He added that the upcomingcelebration shouldn’t take too much time to plan.

Mr.Cancel said he wouldn’t miss the celebration.

Mr.Lazar commented that the issue that made the 25th anniversary difficultwas getting permits for closing off BeachStreet. In the case of the 40thanniversary, if the event were to occur at Justin HermanPlaza, no street closing wouldoccur and the committee would only work with Park and Recreation.

4.   Discussion. New Business/Public Comment.

Mr.Cancel commented on the Liaison Committee election. He is requesting that theArts Commission use the summer to evaluate the past year of the LiaisonCommittee experiment. At that point, the Arts Commission will makerecommendations to the Street Artists Program Committee to continue or modify theLiaison Committee or try another route.

Mr.Addario stated that ad hoc is a better idea for the committee. Mr. Lazar, hesaid, as a secretary to the committee is a conflict of interest. In thebeginning, Mr. Addario said, the Liaison Committee was supposed to beindependent but number of meetings was changed by Mr. Cancel to one every threemonths; Mr. Addario called this situation a dictatorship.

Mr.Calloway commented that, when Mr. Addario engages in hyperbole, it is hard totake him seriously.

MariaHillius stated that she hopes that the Liaison Committee will continue to workwith the Arts Commission, Mr. Lazar and Mr. Cancel. She stated that when Mr.Addario became Chair of the Committee, he had his own agenda and it was hardfor anyone else to bring ideas to the table. She doesn’t want to see the LiaisonCommittee discontinued because of him. She stated that Mr. Addario didn’trepresent the group but only his personal agenda in terms of when meetings wereheld and what was on the agenda, which she said, in her view made him adictator.

Tad Skyalso commented that there were high hopes for the Liaison Committee and wantsit to continue. Mr. Addario, he stated, refused to have meetings. The LiaisonCommittee has been ineffectual because of the chairperson and Mr. Sky said he hopesMr. Addario will not run again if he thinks the Committee is worthless. Mr. Skystated it is more important than ever for the Liaison Committee to continue so theycan help work on the 40th anniversary plan.

Commissioner Chew adjournedthe meeting in honor of street artist Allen Frost at 3:43 p.m

Respectfully submitted:                                                                                     

Alyssa Licouris, StreetArtists Program Assistant

Minutes approved:

Howard Lazar, Street ArtistsProgram Director