Community Investments Committee - August 10, 2021 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
August 10, 2021 - 1:00pm
Location: 

MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS COMMITTEE

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

1 p.m.

Remote Meeting via video and teleconferencing

 

Draft Minutes

 

Chair Collins called the meeting to order at 1:29 p.m.

 

1. Roll Call

Commissioners Present

Charles Collins, Chair
Nabiel Musleh
Linda Parker-Pennington
Marcus Shelby
Janine Shiota
Debra Walker
 

Commissioners Absent

Roberto Ordeñana
 

Staff Present

Ralph Remington, Director of Cultural Affairs
Joanne Lee, Deputy Director of Programs
Jaren Bonillo, Senior Program Officer
 

Chair Charles Collins announced virtual meeting instructions.

Program Associate Lorena Moreno announced the public comment instructions.

 

2. General Public Comment

There was no public comment.

 

3. Cultural Centers Presentations

Deputy Director of Programs Joanne Lee introduced this agenda item. She noted that the American Indian Cultural Center, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and the Queer Cultural Center will present at the October 12, 2021 Community Investments Committee meeting to afford a better opportunity for the Commissioners to engage with the following Cultural Center directors about their programs.

The directors were asked to address how the Cultural Centers have responded to community needs over the past 18 months and how they will continue to respond.
 

Co-Executive Directors Melanie and Melorra Green presented on the African American Art and Culture Complex (AAACC).

The Commissioners discussed the presentation.

Commissioner Collins asked how the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) can best support the African American Art and Culture Complex. Co-Executive Directors Green would like to engage with the SFAC to find out what is important to their work right now so that the AAACC can make this a part of their programming.

Commissioner Collins asked Director of Cultural Affairs Ralph Remington to prioritize site visits to all Cultural Centers.

Commissioner Linda Parker-Pennington thanked and congratulated the AAACC for their work and for the role they play in the Western Addition and surrounding areas in creating a safe place for the community. Commissioner Marcus Shelby echoed Commissioner Collins and Commissioner Parker-Pennington’s sentiments. Commissioner Janine Shiota expressed her concern about how to keep African American artists in San Francisco and reiterated the desire to visit the Cultural Centers in person. Commissioner Debra Walker expressed a concern about the maintenance needs of the Cultural Centers and wondered how the AAACC is connecting to the other program activities that are currently being funded, i.e., Universal Basic Income (UBI), job training through the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, and the launching of the Arts Hub. Commissioner Collins noted that there are forthcoming updates on the Capital Programs that will help the Commission understand the Capital allocations designated to the AAACC.
 

Executive Director Barbara Ockel and Program Manager Ashley Smiley presented on the Bay View Opera House (BVOH).

The Commissioners discussed the presentation.

Commissioner Collins asked Executive Director Ockel if she has been able to fully articulate and prioritize the BVOH capital requirement needs. Executive Director Ockel noted that she is in regular contact with the SFAC and has prioritized the most urgent improvements, which are currently underway. Commissioner Shelby thanked and congratulated Executive Director Ockel, Smiley and all the staff at the BVOH for their work throughout this challenging time. Commissioner’s Shiota and Parker-Pennington echoed Commissioner Shelby’s sentiments.

Commissioner Collins asked to know how the BVOH is working with the Cultural District. Executive Director Ockel confirmed they collaborate closely with the Cultural District and gave examples of how their programming is doing so. Commissioner Shelby highlighted that the BVOH has been a leader with the implementation of their technical assistance program.
 

Creative and Executive Director Maria Jensen and Community Engagement and Impact Manager Dominic Cheng presented on SOMArts.

The Commissioners discussed the presentation.

Commissioner Collins asked about the capital and foundational needs of SOMArts. Creative and Executive Director Jensen noted that the SOMarts building is listed as a building that would collapse in the event of a seismic event. She also noted there are mobility issues that need to be prioritized and encouraged the Commission to tour the space.

Director of Cultural Affairs Remington confirmed these needs and noted that a team of staff from various departments are addressing the structural issues of SOMarts and confirmed a tour of the facility will take place.  

There was no public comment.

 

4. Cultural Center Leases and Operating Agreements

Deputy Director Lee introduced this agenda item. She noted that the Board of Supervisor’s recently passed legislation requiring competitive bidding for all grants and contracts. The Cultural Centers are included as an exception to this legislation as they are tenants in City owned buildings. Additionally, Deputy Director Lee noted that the SFAC is entering into five-year leases for the first time in the agency’s history. She noted that the recruitment for a Capital Analyst will begin soon and suggested taking a closer look at the SFAC’s capital resources and planning at a future meeting. 

The Commissioners discussed the presentation.

Commissioner Shiota asked if this motion will better position the Cultural Centers for multi-year grants from outside foundations. Deputy Director Lee confirmed this and added that the SFAC will also be entering into longer term operating agreements with the Cultural Centers after this fiscal year.

Motion carried by Commissioner Walker, seconded by Commissioner Shelby to approve the motion, as presented:

Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into sole source lease and operating agreements with the African American Art and Culture Complex, the Bayview Opera House Inc., Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts and SOMArts for fiscal years 2021-2022 to ensure the City-owned cultural centers remain open, accessible and vital contributors to the cultural life of the City. 

There was no public comment.

The motion carried unanimously by the following vote:
Ayes: Collins, Musleh, Parker-Pennington, Shelby, Shiota, and Walker 

 

5. Native American Arts and Cultural Traditions Special Grant

Senior Program Officer Jaren Bonillo presented this agenda item.

The Commissioners discussed the presentation.

Commissioner Collins asked Senior Program Officer Bonillo to speak to some of the strengths and areas of improvements. She reported that some strengths were 1) the participation in, connection to and an understanding of the community engagement process 2) a strong partnership between the American Indian Cultural Center (AICC) and the American Indian Cultural District (AICD) 3) a deep commitment to uplifting the voices of Indigenous artists and practices 4) identifying places in San Francisco to build awareness around the history of place. An area of improvement was a better understanding of capacity for both organizations to ensure a synergy of understanding roles and responsibilities. Senior Program Officer Bonillo confirmed there is adequate support to ensure the success of the project.

Commissioner Collins invited Executive Director of the AICC April McGill into the discussion. Executive Director McGill thanked the SFAC for supporting the work of the Indigenize Project and went on to describe the project and its goals in more detail.

Commissioner Collins asked Executive Director McGill to comment on the communications strategy for the Indigenize Project. She noted that the advisory committee guides this work for the organization. One example is to create mapped and guided walking tours through the AICD to highlight historical places.

Motion carried by Commissioner Parker-Pennington, seconded by Commissioner Walker to approve the motion, as presented:

Motion to approve the Native American Arts and Cultural Traditions Special Grant funding recommendation to award the American Indian Cultural Center (Fiscal Sponsor: Intersection for the Arts) for works of art placed throughout the American Indian Cultural District to honor American Indian culture, history, people, and contributions; and, to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a grant agreement not to exceed $100,000 at this time.

There was no public comment.

The motion carried unanimously by the following vote:
Ayes: Collins, Musleh, Parker-Pennington, Shelby, Shiota, and Walker

 

6. Deputy Director of Programs Report

Deputy Director Lee introduced and presented this agenda item along with Senior Program Officer Bonillo. Their presentation provided a closer look at the work of the Community Investments team and its grant-making cycle. They gave an overview of the grants complimented by the Arts Impact Endowment, the Cultural Center Endowment and the Board of Supervisors and Mayoral enhancements through the budget process.

The Commissioners discussed the presentation.

Commissioner Collins asked if the SFAC is able to ensure that the intended purposes, administrative guidelines and other regulations are in full compliance for all of the applicable grant categories. Deputy Director Lee confirmed this. Commissioner Collins asked for confirmation on the funding source of the UBI grants and whether or not there were any particular limitations on this funding. Deputy Director Lee confirmed the source of funds is the Arts Impact Endowment, which is funded by Proposition E, and that there are no additional restrictions on those funds.

Commissioner Walker asked if the SFAC is encouraging the organizations applying to the UBI grant category to connect with other programs. She also asked how the SFAC organizational grants are synching with the organizational grants awarded by Grants for the Arts (GFTA). Deputy Director Lee recognized the “Quarterly Coffee” events organized by Program Officer Tina Wiley, who manages the Sankofa grant category, for the exact purpose of the connecting the organizational grantees in order to help each other with outreach. Additionally, the Cultural Equity Initiatives (CEI) grant category pivoted from capacity building to general operating support to provide more flexibility, which is a best practice in philanthropy.

Director of Cultural Affairs Remington discussed how the SFAC will be evaluating its funding alignment with GFTA. Commissioner Walker offered her support to realize new strategies in this regard.

Executive Director Ockel of BVOH made a public comment. She noted that Dream Keeper Initiative funds are being awarded to larger organizations in order to distribute funds in smaller amounts.

 

7. New Business and Announcements

Deputy Director Lee recognized the recent passing of artist Hung Liu.

Commissioner Walker asked to agendize the status of the shipyard project for a future meeting. 

There was no public comment.

 

8. Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:04 p.m.

 

Posted 8/23/21, 4 p.m., CED