City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission

March 13, 2013

Street Artists Committee - March 13, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
2:30 p.m.

25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70
San Francisco, CA 94102




Commissioner Chew, Chair, called the meeting to order at 2:33 p.m.

1. Roll Call
Commissioners Present:
Greg Chew, Chair
John Calloway
Amy Chuang
Jessica Silverman

Commissioners Absent: none

Staff present: Arts Commission Deputy Director Rebekah Krell, Street Artists Program Director Howard Lazar, Street Artists Program Assistant Alyssa Licouris

2. Discussion. Street Artists Program Director’s Report.

Program Director Lazar reported on the following:

Board of Supervisors passed three resolutions: 6 street artist spaces on Market Street between Spear and Steuart streets were approved for permanent designation, two temporary spaces on Post Street at Stockton Street were redesignated for another 6 months, and one space on Leavenworth Street at Jefferson Street was redesignated for 6 months as a trial basis.

Upcoming Land Use meeting: 5 street artist spaces on Market Street at Spear Street for Saturday use only are awaiting a hearing.

Artist Resources and Opportunities Guide: Ms. Licouris explained that she created a 6 page guide of social media marketing tools which would potentially help artists’ businesses. A copy of the guide is available on the Street Artists Program’s website.

Public Comment:
Street Artist Tad Sky asked for a clarification on Program Director Lazar’s report which Mr. Lazar confirmed that the 6 Market Street spaces were additional spaces separate from the existing “Café” spaces.

Street Artist John Tunui wanted to get confirmation that the 5 proposed “BART” spaces should not be used until they have been approved by the Board of Supervisors which Mr. Lazar confirmed.

3. Action. Discussion and possible motion to authorize Street Artists Program Director, in consultation with the City Attorney's Office and representatives from the Port, to negotiate and draft a proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the Port and the Arts Commission regarding the establishment of street artist spaces on Port property and the corresponding criteria for use of such spaces.

Program Director Lazar explained that the motion stemmed from the temporary loss of 9 of the artists’ best spaces due to reconstruction of Jefferson Street. He announced that Port personnel have recently allowed artists to sell in 4 temporary spaces on the sidewalk near the locations of the performers and were marked by spray painted numbers.

He explained that he received a report over the weekend that one of the artists set up a large display. He asked that the Lottery Committee remind artists of the correct display size so the temporary spaces and possible permanent spaces are not jeopardized.

Mr. Lazar explained that he has continued conversations with Port personnel to return the 9 street artist spaces upon completion of the reconstruction. He said that the Port doesn’t want to see the same merchandise being sold on the street that’s being sold in the stores of the Port tenants. He said that Port personnel would like to see a more juried selection of arts and crafts in the spaces thus he submitted a proposal, now being examined by the City Attorney’s office, which includes the Art Commission’s Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners jurying artists who would like to sell on Jefferson Street. He said that a set of criteria would have to be drafted. He explained that today’s motion is a request for authorization to negotiate and draft a proposed MOU regarding spaces on Port Property. He said that he would like to see it in place by June.

Commissioner Chew agreed that it would be good to have it in place before America’s Cup. He asked for a clarification on the exact location of 4 temporary spaces.

Commissioner Chew welcomed Commissioner Silverman and Officer Gene Cornyn.

Program Director Lazar explained that the temporary spaces are located on the north side of Jefferson Street between Taylor and Powell streets.

Commissioner Chew thanked Program Director Lazar and Deputy Director Krell for their work. He commented that the 40 year history of the Street Artists Program is very unique and that the Arts Commission has positive relationships with many City departments and entities.

Public Comment:
Street Artist Sharon MacDougall stated that the proposal to jury street artists is a violation of the Street Artists Program. She said that the Advisory Committee can’t make subjective decisions but only determine if the work is the artists’ creation. She explained the history of issues revolving around bead stringing. She said that the street artists have the right to display and sell in the program; the program is not a class system.

Street Artist Kathy Hallinan thanked the Commissioners for putting in effort to create a MOU and for the 4 temporary spaces. She was pleased with the spaces and said that the artists are a good addition to the area since the artists provide safety and security. She said that they have waited for a long time but have been patient. She stated that the spaces were pushed through because of the Arts Commission.

Commissioner Chew commented that the area is a high pedestrian traffic area and that it is nice to have those spaces for now.

Street Artist Eddy Steneck explained that he has not sold in those temporary spaces but he has not seen any street artists there with oversized displays. He said another street artist present had been at that site for three days and said that he hadn’t seen any violations either. He stated that that report could be wrong because the Port could have confused the street artists with illegal vendors.

Street Artist Brian Hopper stated that he was in charge of the Saturday lottery during which he enumerated the rules of the spaces. He said he did not see any street artists oversized on Saturday, Sunday or Monday. He said that there’s a performing area next to the spaces that will draw a huge crowd. He said the report could have seen it as a combined display.

Ray Hartz, Director of San Francisco Open Government, stated that the time issue is important. He explained that at last month’s meeting, there was a 15-20 minute discussion about the wording for a particular motion. He had commented that if it’s discussed in accordance with open government laws, it needs to be included in the information packets and posted on the website so members of the public can make an informed discussion. He said that it is hard to discuss when it’s only presented at the meeting to the Commissioners and don’t have time to research rules or regulations. He explained that they wanted to get spaces in place for June but that the Committee should set a deadline to get information so it can be looked at again by the Committee and by the public for comment and changes. He said that it shouldn’t be passed just because of the time sensitivity since that is not acting as open government, good government, or due process. He said that people should be allowed to look at what is being proposed so they can determine exactly what’s going on; it’s part of open government law and required of the Brown Act and California Public Records Act. He explained that if there’s an agenda item and supporting documents are not provided, the item is not properly agendized and should not be handled. He spoke of his previous history with the Library Commission. He suggested that sometime in April or May, the item should come before the Committee and public so they can add thoughtful input.

Street Artist Michael Addario stated that he agreed with Mr. Hartz. He said that he thinks this motion requires further analysis so they know what is being voted on. He doesn’t agree with two sets of street artists. He said it’s an admission that the program is corrupt. He suggested everyone be rescreened using a Zap application and everyone get videotaped. He explained that members put their documents online so all members could see them and then they could check artists randomly. He said the program is undervalued and underperformed and that it’s gotten worse since Mr. Cancel’s time. He said that a two-tiered system will not help and suggested continuing to next meeting.

Street Artist Tad Sky asked if artists will be involved in the process of the MOU and Program Director Lazar answered that he wanted artists to be involved. Mr Lazar clarified that there is no MOU at this current time; he’s only asking to have authorization to negotiate with the Port to draft a MOU.

Street Artist Drew Flores explained that they have always had to deal with the acceptance of the Port. He explained a past incident where The Cannery didn’t want certain artists because of the same reason voiced by the Port’s Rip Malloy that certain artists’ items are too similar to items being sold on the Wharf. He said that he understands where the Port personnel are coming from.

Street Artist Maria Hillius stated that from her understanding the artists want to preserve spaces on Jefferson Street. She said understands the reasons of objection by the Port. She said that if the artists want to be on there, they need to prove they should be there and not say they deserve to be there.

Motion: Discussion and possible motion to authorize Street Artists Program Director, in consultation with the City Attorney's Office and representatives from the Port, to negotiate and draft a proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the Port and the Arts Commission regarding the establishment of street artist spaces on Port property and the corresponding criteria for use of such spaces.
Moved: Calloway, Silverman.

The motion was unanimously approved.

4. Action. Hearing and possible motion to approve issuance of certificate or renewal of certificate.

Paula Datesh – Certificate #8663

Ms. Datesh was not present. [The Notice of Hearing which had been sent to her stated that “Failure to appear may result in a Program Committee recommendation of the penalty for the violation of which you have been charged.”]

Program Director Lazar presented the case and described each of Ms. Datesh’s alleged violations. He said some witnesses were in attendance to testify.

Program Director Lazar explained that the first charge was regarding selling in an illegal space on January 5, 2013 and February 11, 2013. For January 5, 2013, Street Artist Market Manager John Tunui sent a JHP complaint form which stated that Ms. Datesh sold outside of space B12 and that Mr. Tunui had warned her many times to keep her display inside of the space.

Mr. Tunui was present and confirmed that he did see Ms. Datesh set up outside of her space and that the incident escalated causing Ralph Anderson to pack up and go home.

Program Director Lazar explained the February 11, 2013 incident for which he received a notice from John Tunui who also sent photographs. He also explained that Street Artist Eberardo Hernandez was a witness who sent a statement that Mr. Lazar read into the record since Mr. Hernandez was not available to attend the meeting: “On February 11, in the late morning, I observed Ms. Datesh set up in front of the Federal Reserve (Market and Spear streets) next to the cable car florist. Fifteen minutes later, I saw Ms. Datesh breaking down his display and walking away towards Main Street.”

Program Director Lazar presented the photos that Mr. Tunui had provided and showed that the space was not a legal selling space. Mr. Tunui confirmed that they were the photographs he took and that the police made her remove her display.

Program Director Lazar explained that the second charge was regarding Ms. Datesh’s alleged sale of items not examined by Advisory Committee and not certified by the Arts Commission. He explained that on December 7, 2012 he saw her selling commercially manufactured feather earrings, metal pendants on earwires, and holiday notecards. He continued that on December 11, according to his logbook, she was selling commercially manufactured earrings. He presented photographs from the February 11, 2013 incident where she was selling items which she is not licensed to sell.

Program Director Lazar described the third and fourth charges regarding Ms. Datesh’s allegedly exceeding display size regulations and selling within 10 feet of the outer edge of an entrance on February 11. He showed a photograph of her large table display said that he visited the site later and noticed that where she had been selling was in front of the entrance of the BART entrance.

Program Director Lazar explained the fifth charge of Ms. Datesh’s allegedly harassing another artist. The first incident occurred on January 5, 2013 which Mr. Tunui’s report documented said that Ralph Anderson left due to Ms. Datesh’s behavior.

Street Artist Ralph Anderson was asked to speak about the January 5 incident. He explained that Mr. Datesh and he were both set up and that she had a chair in front of her display. He said that he suggested to her that she move her chair because the artists needed to conform to regulations and it hindered the public from seeing her neighbor’s display. He said that Ms. Datesh “blew up” and Mr. Tunui came over to talk to her. Mr. Anderson said that she was trying to incite him and would say things to him when his back was turned. He explained that she stopped attempting to sell and that it was just about “vilifying” him. He said that she called the police and made herself the victim which he noted is the most egregious thing if you’re a man and have a woman attempt this. He said that later he told Mr. Tunui that he was going home and didn’t want to deal with Ms. Datesh. He quoted from his email letter to Mr. Lazar and describe her attack as “pathological”. He said that before coming to the meeting, two other street artists, Daniel and Susan, apologized to him for not attending the meeting because they were afraid for their own safety and security. Mr. Anderson concluded by stating that the artists don’t need a “lunatic” dictating terms of life on the Plaza and that half of the street artists are afraid of Ms. Datesh’s volatility.

Program Director Lazar asked Mr. Anderson if Ms. Datesh deterred his customers, and he replied yes. Mr. Anderson explained that if anyone stopped at her booth, she would talk about him with her customers. He said that when the police arrived, he explained everything that happened.

Mr. Anderson confirmed that Ms. Datesh inhibited his ability to sell.

Program Director Lazar called Street Artist Debra King to explain what she saw on January 17 regarding an incident between Ms. Datesh and Mr. Tunui.

Ms. King stated that she was Mr. Tunui’s neighbor that day and that Ms. Datesh was shouting loudly and negatively towards him. She said that Mr. Tunui refused to engage with her and asked her to leave his display and repeated that many times, but Ms. Datesh did not stop. She said that Ms. Datesh did leave but came back with a bicycle and circled around the Plaza and the artists’ displays. She said that there were other witnesses but they were afraid. Program Director Lazar noted that he had another witness but that person was afraid to testify.

Ms. King answered Program Director Lazar’s question by saying that the incident took place longer than one minute since Ms. Datesh is a “purposeful woman.” She said that Mr. Tunui tried to resolve the situation 3 times which did not work and that she continued to harass him with her bike and voice.

Program Director Lazar reported that the third incident was specified in a report from Mr. Tunui on February 2, 2013. He reported that Street Artist Daniel Hennessey had complained to Mr. Tunui about Ms. Datesh. Mr. Tunui talked to Ms. Datesh and she said she didn’t do anything to Mr. Hennessey. Mr. Tunui’s complaint form indicated that he had asked her to move out of Mr. Hennessey’s space and that she refused. He reported that she eventually moved but got agitated at Mr. Tunui and was “verbally combative.” Mr. Lazar explained that Mr. Hennessey packed up and left. He said that Mr. Tunui’s report also stated that he had warned Ms. Datesh that he would write her up if she continued and he called the police who suggested that he file a civil suit against Mr. Datesh for harassing him. Mr. Tunui agreed with Mr. Lazar’s explanation and did not have anything to add.

Program Director Lazar explained that the final charge was Ms. Datesh’s allegedly obstructing the duty of a staff person which was himself on February 13, 2013. He said explained that he arrived at Justin Herman Plaza and Ms. Datesh was 8 feet in front of him aiming her phone at him and following him whenever he walked. He said that he understands anyone has the right to photograph what’s in public but she was photographing him as he was trying to inspect the work of various street artists. He showed the photographs that the artists had taken of her photographing him and stated that some of the photos show how close she was to him. He said that he’s used to her photographing him as when she photographed him at her own display in December but that this time (February 13) was too invasive. He explained that the artists didn’t feel comfortable in Ms. Datesh’s presence informing him of possible violations going on and he in turn could not receive the artists’ detailed and confidential explanations in reference to how they create their work. He added that while he inspects, he asks artists about their processes but none of the artists felt comfortable talking that day.

He said that in 1983 he asked the City Attorney if the Arts Commission has grounds to suspend or revoke a certificate based on obstructing the duty of staff person; the City Attorney replied in the affirmative and the City Attorney’s response is published in Street Artists Program’s handbook. He noted that interpretation of the “staff person” extends to the members of the Advisory Committee.

Program Director Lazar asked the Commissioners to not renew her certificate and to not approve issuance of her certificate.

Commissioner Chew commented that there is an overwhelming set of documents attesting to the artist’s violations for a number of months. He asked Mr. Lazar if Ms. Datesh had been given fair warning.

Program Director Lazar responded that while he was investigating her in December and talking to her about her items, he had told her that she does not make the items and this was a warning against continuing to sell illegal items. He said that Ms. Datesh also has gone through a screening of her wares and she had done so years before so it was nothing new to her – she knew the rules.

Commissioner Calloway said that the most egregious of Ms. Datesh’s violation is the harassment of the staff and other street artists. He said that Ms. Datesh has a certain responsibility as part of the Street Artists Program to be reasonable and show a certain amount of decorum in interactions with all staff, Advisory Committee and other artists.

Public Comment:
Ray Hartz, Director of San Francisco Open Government, stated that a lot of documents can’t be considered because they are hearsay. He explained that many names are blanked out so you don’t know who they are which is a violation of Open Government laws unless anonymity has been asked for since it makes it impossible to figure out who’s filing the complaint. He asked who was present to actually testify and explain what happened. He said that numerous calls were made to the police but those have not been provided so he questioned if the police found any violation. He said writing in a logbook which someone doesn’t have opportunity to review and expect them just to know that this has happened without sending a warning is not right. He compared the situation to getting a notification for a traffic violation. He said that in the documents he reviewed, he couldn’t see that she got any notification telling her of a violation or telling her what penalties would be if she continued. He said the short time frame looks like what he saw in the military and explained his experience relating to the Civil Service Commission. He stated that Ms. Datesh wasn’t present to defend herself because she’s been informed that Mr. Lazar has a TRO against her and, if she comes, she’ll be arrested. He questioned how someone can get a fair hearing when they’re afraid to come because they’ll be arrested. He said he knows Ms. Datesh isn’t easy to get along with but there are more pictures of people taking pictures of her than she has of other people. He thought it was “bizarre” that Mr. Lazar said that Ms. Datesh being on the same cable car interfered with his work and that Mr. Lazar said she was stalking him.

Commissioner Silverman asked if Program Director Lazar knew where Ms. Datesh was. Mr. Lazar responded that he did not but reminded them that the letter that was sent to Ms. Datesh stated that if she did not show up, the Committee could still recommend a penalty for her violations.

Street Artist Tad Sky referenced the letter that Ms. Datesh had sent to the Committee which said that she never received a ticket from the police nor had her street artist license suspended – which, he said, was totally untrue. He said that when he was the manager at Justin Herman Plaza the issue he remembers was about Ms. Datesh receiving a suspension. She went to the Board of Appeals which gave her license back to her. He believed that she’s been suspended twice so, he stated, that she’s very aware of the violations. He questioned why she was allowed back into the Program after being suspended.

Street Artist Michael Addario stated that he’s not a fan of Ms. Datesh and that she harassed him for over 3 years after he testified against her. He said that she sent out fictitious emails in his name which he stated in public comment years ago. He also said that it caused trouble with his family and coworker when she signed up for a Facebook account and sent fictitious messages in his name. He explained that he had a detective trace back the emails to a psychiatric hospital in New York City. He warned Commissioners that if they believe that this would get rid of Ms. Datesh they were mistaken. He said that she’s extremely intelligent and has a Masters in Computer Science but that she also has issues. He warned the Commissioners to be prepared when they go to the Board of Appeals. He recalled that last time she went to the Board of Appeals. He warned witnesses before the meeting that if they weren’t going to show up, that they send written statements to Mr. Lazar. Since Mr. Lazar is an official of San Francisco, he can enter it. He said he told John Tunui to have people make a statement to Mr. Lazar and have him sign it so it’s an official document. He said that he has a feeling that some of it will get thrown out for various reasons since Ms. Datesh knows “every trick in the book”. He explained that she’s been written up in the NY Times for harassing a lawyer but nothing could be done about it in New York City. He warned the Commissioners to be cautious of what they do because it can get worse.

Street Artist John Ndoli said that he hasn’t had a problem personally with Ms. Datesh but he witnessed her being so close to Mr. Lazar while he was on inspection duty. He said that she would follow Mr. Lazar when he moved, and, after 5 minutes, he took out his iPad to record it. He said that the photographs are not hearsay. He said that he asked her why she was preventing Mr. Lazar from doing his job and he advised her to let him finish his work first.

Street Artist John Tunui stated that he finds it appalling that someone representing the good faith and open government of the city is defending a lunatic. He said that the vast majority of people don’t agree with Mr. Hartz.

A heated exchange of words arose between Mr. Tunui and Mr. Hartz. Commissioner Chew called for both being out of order and warned that the police officer would remove them.

John Tunui said that two meetings ago he corrected a lie made by Paula Datesh and he was told by Mr. Hartz to sit down. Mr. Tunui asked who Mr. Hartz was protecting – the membership or one individual.

Ray Hartz was not allowed to respond and he said that, because it was a personal attack, he was entitled to respond, and that he’d bring Commissioner Chew up on charges.

Street Artist Maria Hillius stated that she works at the Plaza and it’s not fair to have someone like Ms. Datesh there. She said Ms. Datesh should be accountable for what she does in their work place. She said that the work place should be a place of respect.

Commissioner Chew clarified that Mr. Lazar sent a letter to Ms. Datesh on February 13.

Motion: Motion to approve issuance of certificate or renewal of certificate.
Moved: Chuang, Calloway

The motion was unanimously defeated.

5. Action. Hearing and possible motion to request the Board of Supervisors to amend Article 24 (San Francisco Municipal Code), Section 2401(b), by changing the definition of "Handcrafted Item" from its present definition of "An item predominantly created or significantly altered in form by the street artist" to "An item made by hand or by a hand process as contrasted to machine made."

Program Director Howard Lazar asked William Clark to explain his proposal.

Street Artist William Clark stated that he was appointed in 1972 as a member of the board of artists and craftsmen examiners. He said that the criteria they used to screen an individual was only that the item had to be “handmade”.

Mr. Clark presented the Commissioners with a copy of the voter’s handbook of 1976. He explained that voters were told what the ordinance would do and the composition of the Advisory Committee. Proposition L was in favor of making sure items are handmade. He said he heard a discussion that happened at the full Arts Commission which questioned whether items were handmade and everyone agreed that, yes, they are.

He said the current definition is vague and ambiguous and that the “handcrafted item” means “predominately created or significantly altered” which, he said was created by the Arts Commission and the Board of Supervisors in 1981.

He presented a letter from Martin Snipper, the previous director of the Arts Commission, and a City Attorney opinion of 1984 affirming that the primary duty of the Arts Commission is to make sure the artwork is “handmade”.

He said that the terms “handmade” and “handcrafted” are basically interchangeable. He said that the present definition of handcrafted is a made up definition and allows machine mass produced items in the Program. He said that the street artist certificate says all work presented is a handmade item. He asked that the Commissioners that the definition be replaced with the dictionary definition.

He said that the Street Artists Program did allow a limited amount of prints according to a City Attorney’s opinion because the City Attorney said it could be upheld in court if it’s limited numbers. He said this was to protect artists in the Program who make original handmade items and to protect merchants and stores from what’s mass produced and being sold. He said that presently the Arts Commission did away with the limited numbers rule. He stated that this is why the Program is having problems now because the items are being reproduced, and that they have so much stuff to sell so there are more oversized displays.

He asked that the Commissioners take time to discuss whether the definition can be tightened up and the vague definition replaced.

He said that the intent of the ordinance was that all items were completed created. He said that today’s definition requires artists only to predominately create their items which negates the whole purpose. He stated that the Program is to sell handmade items created by the artists and using tools as a process but not to have machines complete reproduce items. He suggested that the1984 City Attorney’s opinion and the voter’s handbook be taken seriously and that the Commissioners uphold the legislative intent.

Commissioner Chew asked how “mass produced” related to photography.

Program Director Lazar explained how he interpreted Mr. Clark’s definition and asked Mr. Clark to address the issue of an artist using his own printer.

Mr. Clark responded that no reproductions should be included even if they are machine made. He said that only low number, limited editions should be included and nothing should be created by a third party.

Commissioner Calloway clarified that the issue is mostly about semantics. He said that the proposal is not clear because it’s so open to interpretation and asked about an artist using a sewing machine. He said he’s not sure if he has enough information to see what the proposal would include or exclude.

Program Director Lazar suggested not voting today but hearing the comments and having a discussion.

Commissioner Silverman stated that you cannot tell an artist that they can only have a limited edition of, say, 20. She said that most photographers today would use a third party in the contemporary art market since that’s how the work is predominately made. She said that even if an artist used a printer at home, it wouldn’t produce the same quality.

Public Comment:
Street Artist Eddy Steneck was asked to read a statement by Street Artist Sharon Macdougall. The statement said that she disagrees with the proposal and that it’s an attempt to eliminate art prints and photographers from the program. The issue has already been discussed and, without visual artists, the Program would be reduced to jewelry. Half of the street artists are selling visual art. She explained that she sells prints of her paintings and originals but that she can’t make a living selling only the originals and that she would have to go back to stringing beads which she wouldn’t like to do. She said that the public likes being able to afford art on the street and that the Program would lose respect and street artists. The Program would be destroyed. She explained that the decision reached was to have the artists label the back of their prints to let customers know what type of print it is. Furthermore, she said that if limited editions were required, there is no way for the Advisory Committee to keep track of the number of prints or images that were produced by each artist.

Street Artist Michael Addario stated that the problem would be enforcement and that prices would have to increase dramatically. He explained that one of the gallery artists on Jefferson Street sells his prints for thousands of dollars. He said the artist also sells giclee prints which are inexpensive and the lower market that the artists sell to. He said that the problem that the Clarks are hitting on is that artists are not making their own items. He suggested that there be an agenda item where everyone gets rescreened. He said that every photograph should be on a website and all Advisory Committee members have iPads so they can go to a table and match what’s being sold to what the artists got approved for. He suggested the Zap application which he said is inexpensive and what the fairs use. He said the street artists are covered under the First Amendment. He said that if this motion went into effect, he would leave the program to sell and challenge anyone who cited him using his First Amendment rights. He talked about the street artist situation in Venice beach.

Former certificate-holder Robert Clark answered the question about the use of sewing machines and how to delineate if something is a hands-on process. He said that with a sewing machine you’re working and moving as opposed to just clicking a photograph and printing copies which doesn’t qualify for the program. He said that the voters voted on handmade items. He stated that the craftspeople are getting left out of the program. He suggested that those selling prints should go to sell in stores, at art fairs or sell online so that the handmade art is protected. He said that Mr. Addario claims the First Amendment right so then these artists can go wherever they want. He said that it is fraudulent to the voters of San Francisco since voters think that the definition is the dictionary definition. He said he had asked Mr. Lazar why the definition was changed and that Mr. Lazar said he couldn’t remember why.

Commissioner Calloway commented that he wasn’t even thinking about photography being excluded.

Commissioner Chew suggested tabling the motion.

Street Artist Kathy Hallinan stated she’s not a printmaker or photographer but she believed that this was not a way to eliminate prints. She suggested different ways an artist can be creative and use different methods to create many limited editions so that the artists could still use their paintings.

Street Artist Sandy Geuss stated that Mr. Clark referenced 1984 and 1996 but it is now 2013. He said that there are now processes that didn’t even exist then. He explained that he does giclee on a $12,000 printer and that museums just accepted it as an original art form. He explained his artistic process. He said that photography has changed since 1984 in terms of how it’s produced and respected.

Ray Hartz, Director of San Francisco Open Government, stated that the main argument is not that photography isn’t an art but it’s about the degree of art. He gave examples of how you can perceive photography to be art as in printing using a copy machine or printing in a lab at home to change filters. He said that every production is a separate photography and not mass produced and it’s a piece of art. He said that the other argument is if it’s enforceable. He posed the question of how to prove if someone creates their photos in a lab at home. He said he understands what the Clark brothers are arguing and he has a lot of respect for them because of what they’ve fought for regarding the Program. He reiterated that photography is art and it’s based on the person’s ability to manipulate the medium. He said that there can’t be hard rules on which crafts are in or out because that wouldn’t be a good thing to do. He mentioned the fact of enforceability and that that the Program can’t have an arbitrary status where one day the art is fine but the next day the art is not since this would result in unequal treatment. He stated that there needs to be some defined quantities. He said that to him, “primarily” means 51% or more which means to him that someone has made something new. He suggested that there should be guidelines so street artists know what is expected and that the Advisory Committee know how to inspect.

Street Artist Bill Clark said it’s not about selling art; it’s about selling handmade items and that it’s not their responsibility to determine what is art. He said that, in terms of printing and photography, the item that would be put on sale is not completely reproduced by a machine. He said that there needs to be a hands-on process done so it qualifies as a handmade product. He said that there is no difference between the terms “handmade” and “handcrafted”. He referred to a previous speaker who said that the times have changed but, Mr. Clark stated, the ordinance hasn’t changed and that they can’t interpret the ordinance’s intention since that would be an illegal amendment to the ballot measure. He said that it would no longer be about handmade art or craft items as if he were to send his jewelry designs to China so they could be produced there. He said that he’s protecting the integrity of the program and that the program which was voted on should be limited to a specific type of art.

Street Artist Stephen Phillips stated that he’s a photographer and described his latest exhibit and projects. He explained the different types of paper he could print on and the quality they would produce. He said that it does get confusing and that he’s had “zero” days but the Clark proposal would be getting into a slippery slope. He used the example of machine lathed bowls that are all individual pieces of art. He said that if you start getting into the details of how to measure this idea, it will be very hard. He stated that the public has a way of determining what’s good and what’s not since some photographers have shown up and disappeared quickly afterward. He agreed that he gets sick of things that are clearly not handmade.

Street Artist Tad Sky stated that he’s glad they’re continuing the discussion on criteria. He reminded Commissioners that the license does say “handmade” on the back. He said that years ago photography was about working in the dark room and breathing fumes but that now it’s changed. He said that the criteria, however, hasn’t really changed so artists get confused when some are doing a lot of handwork and some are not. He suggested that the argument is about how much handwork an artist does. He explained that it would be hard for painters to sell their originals when it takes many hours for one piece. At the same time, he felt the criteria is outdated and needs to be tightened up since it’s unfair to artists who do a lot of handwork. He suggested that the photography criteria needed to be updated too.

Motion: Motion to continue item #5.
Moved: Calloway, Silverman.

This motion was unanimously approved.

6. Action. Hearing and possible motion to approve issuance of certificate or renewal of certificate.

James Toolate – Certificate #3078

Program Director Lazar explained that Mr. Toolate was found selling during a period of his certificate’s expiration on December 8. He said that Mr. Toolate had attended a hearing in November 2011 for the same violation and received only a warning. He said that John Tunui had checked to see if Mr. Toolate’s license had been expired while he was selling and the office confirmed that it had. Program Assistant Licouris explained that Mr. Toolate’s licenses expired and he sold but didn’t renew it until December 11.

Program Director Lazar was asked by Commissioner Silverman to clarify Mr. Toolate’s violations. He explained that the first violation was in 2011 and the second one was on December 8. He clarified that Mr. Toolate should not have been selling because he didn’t come in to pay for it.

Commissioner Chew said Mr. Toolate ultimately made an effort to come in and renew his license.

Street Artist James Toolate stated that he forgot and that he didn’t know his license expired even when he was in the lottery. He thought it expired later and renewed it once he got back to town. He said he’s been a street artist for 30 years. He said he sees doctors and that he can’t remember things anymore.

Commissioner Calloway asked whether Mr. Toolate had previous violations. Program Director Lazar said that he had a few violations from years ago that couldn’t be counted as relevant to the present case.

Public Comment:
Street Artist Michael Addario stated that Mr. Toolate is a disabled veteran so he shouldn’t have to pay for his license. He said Mr. Toolate has been paying for 30 years when he didn’t need to. He said that Mr. Toolate should be given the disabled veteran exemption. He said that Mr. Toolate hasn’t caused many other problems except for this one but if he’s qualified for the veteran’s waiver, he wouldn’t have to worry about paying because the other artists would be paying for him.

Program Director Lazar agreed that he would work with Mr. Toolate on verifying his qualifications for the disabled veteran’s exemption should Mr. Toolate apply for it.

Ray Hartz said he doesn’t just speak for people he prefers and that he is a veteran as well. He said that minor infractions should be overlooked if a veteran has an active occupation that keeps him moving along in life. He said that, at a previous hearing, an artist had been doing something more egregious like selling manufactured items, was warned not to do it, and was given a 3 or 6 week suspension. He stated that it sounded like Mr. Toolate had sold within a day or two of his license expiring and he made an effort to go in and renew once he realized it. He said that he shouldn’t be punished for a simple mistake.

Street Artist Maria Hillius stated that so many people work with expired licenses. She said that the rules should be enforced fairly and equally for everyone and not just for some people.

Street Artist Tad Sky said that some artists try to get “free” days but that he’s seen Mr. Toolate forget about renewing his license before. He suggested that Mr. Toolate pay for a whole year.

Street Artist Brian Hopper asked about the qualifications for veteran’s exemption.

Program Director Lazar answered that it applies only to disabled veterans.

Motion: Motion to approve issuance of certificate or renewal of certificate.
Moved: Chuang, Silverman.

The motion was unanimously approved.

7. Discussion. Request for street artists to voluntarily move their vehicles when parking adjacent to selling spaces in the Wharf area.

Street Artist Kathy Hallinan explained the agenda item she proposed. She said that one of issues bothering the merchants is parking. She stated that they would like the artists to move their cars since it means more income to parking meters, it increases flow of business, and more people can come and go. She said that the 1994 Port resolution says that the street artists have to move their cars, and if they don’t, they can be banned from selling on Port property. She said that the situation is tricky because there are a lot of artists with disability placards. She said she doesn’t know how to address it. She asked that people voluntarily move because three-quarters of the vehicles are all disability placards. She said that it is an issue in the relationship with merchants and street artists.

Commissioner Chew asked where the artists park.

Ms. Hallinan stated that she’s referring to Beach Street between Hyde and Larkin streets where there are up to 19 spaces. She feels it’s still an issue which creates animosity between merchants and the artists and she wants as much good will as possible.

Public Comment:
Street Artist Michael Addario stated that he doesn’t see enforcement being workable or within the Committee’s jurisdiction. He said that there are lots of street artists with placards and that the Committee is wasting time since they have no legal right to tell them to move. He explained that Mayor Newsom tried to cut down on placards and he couldn’t do it. He said he already talked to some people who said that they won’t move. He said the item wasn’t thought out and shouldn’t have been put on the agenda. He said only one person made a claim about it and they haven’t heard anything from the merchants. He reminded the Commissioners that the F-line will prevent parking spaces on Beach Street and currently Jefferson Street doesn’t have any spaces either. He said it’s a bad issue to get involved in. He suggested that if complaints are received, they need to be in writing and then presented, but, as far as he knows, there have been no merchant complaints. He said that the people at the CBD are “throwing anything at the wall to see if it sticks” since they’ve already said the artists don’t pay taxes or insurance. He said that just because they say something doesn’t mean it’s true. He cautioned the Commissioners against doing anything on the issue. He reiterated that if there are complaints, they need to be in writing so something can be done about them.

Ray Hartz, Director of San Francisco Open Government, talked about how businesses want the turnover in parking space as he’s been in the retail business for 40 years. He said that if someone holds up a space for the entire day, it cuts down on business possibilities for merchants and street artists. He stated that if people can park by where the artists are, it increases the chances of merchants and artists to make more money. He said that the agenda item is only a request. He said that people can be requested to park somewhere else and by explaining rationales for them like the relationship with merchants, it would improve their turnover and artists’ turnovers, and reasonable people in the program will agree to the request. He agreed with Mr. Addario that the Committee has no authority to do anything about the artists with placards but that there is nothing wrong with requesting that artists try to move.

8. Discussion. Public Comment.

Ray Hartz, Director of San Francisco Open Government, stated that he attends meetings for two reasons. He said that the first reason is so members of the public who attend the meetings are allowed to make public comment. He stated that the public will come to talk at a meeting and they are told that they can’t talk about certain things. He said that of the 6 Street Artist Committee meetings that he’s attended, this is the first time he’s seen a lot of public participation at the meeting. He thinks it’s very vital. He said that committees don’t just have an obligation to listen but an obligation to encourage members of the public to attend and participate so they can control the program because it’s their program that they pay for. He said that this results in more input. He explained that at the last full Arts Commission meeting there was discussion about the fee going up and that street artists ought to be given more attention and more opportunity since they are paying for the program including the salaries of staff.

Street Artist Maria Hillius suggested that the application fee be raised so the surplus could be used for follow up inspection on new artists.

Street Artist Tad Sky agreed with Ms. Hillius and suggested raising the application fee to $50. He said while the license fee has increased, the application fee has stayed the same for years. He said that there is not a lot of money for follow-up on both new and current street artists. He explained that the additional funding would go towards the Advisory Committee so that its members can inspect the crafts that they just juried. He said that he’s witnessed jurying that is very good but, he said, the follow-up is terrible and random. He stated that an artist may go out on the street and never be inspected. He said that the funding would give the Advisory Committee a list of newly approved artists so that they could check on the artists within the next few months after their approval. He explained that, for example, the Advisory Committee could catch someone who was screened for crochet hats but who is now selling the Angry Bird hats which they did not get approved. He noted that a $50 application fee is very reasonable.

9. Discussion. New Business and Announcements.

There was no new business or announcements.

10. Action. Adjournment.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:47 p.m.

ADL 3/27/13

Respectfully submitted by:
Alyssa Licouris, Street Artists Program Assistant

Minutes approved by:
Howard Lazar, Street Artists Program Director

An audio recording of this meeting is available online at the following address:

Additional Explanatory documents submitted at the meeting: Item #3: Map of temporary Jefferson Street spaces presented by Program Director Lazar; Item #5 1976 Voter's Handbook submitted by William Clark; Arts Commission letter by Martin Snipper submitted by William Clark; 1984 City Attorney Opinion submitted by William Clark; back of Street Artist certificate submitted by William Clark; 1998 City Attorney Opinion submitted by William Clark.

Additional documents submitted by the public at the meeting: Item #3: Letter from Sharon MacDougall; Item #4: Letter from Paula Datesh.

Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost. For assistance, please notify Howard Lazar, 415-252-2583,

如需協助,Howard Lazar, 415-252-2583,

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Howard Lazar, 415-252-2583,