Community Investments Committee - August 11, 2020 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
August 11, 2020 - 1:00pm

Tuesday, August 11, 2020
1 p.m.
Remote Meeting via video and teleconferencing


Chair Collins called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m.

  1. Roll Call

    ommissioners Present
    Charles Collins, Chair
    Suzanne Ferras
    Roberto Ordeñana
    Linda Parker Pennington
    Marcus Shelby
    Janine Shiota

    Commissioners Absent
    Nabiel Musleh

    Other Commissioners & Staff Present
    Debra Walker
    Joanne Lee
    Jaren Bonillo
    Tina Wiley

    Chair Collins announced virtual meeting instructions. Program Associate Lorena Moreno announced public comment instructions.
  2. General Public Comment

    There was no public comment.
  3. Staff Report

    Deputy Director of Programs Joanne Lee introduced Senior Program Officer Jaren Bonillo who would present the various strategies and programs that the Community Investments program has underway to support grantees during the pandemic. Deputy Director Lee then gave an update on the agencies capital budget. Due to the large budget deficit the City is facing, the Capital Planning Committee recommended an allocation of $148,750 for maintenance of our cultural centers for the year. 

    Senior Program Officer Jaren Bonillo reported on the recent of the activities the Community Investments team. Some FY20 grants were converted to general operating support to allow for more flexible funding. Staff is currently closing out these grants and processing final payments. Senior Program Officer Bonillo shared two testimonials from grantees demonstrating how San Francisco artists have responded to the pandemic on virtual platforms and their appreciation for the flexibility of their funds. FY21 funding priorities are focusing on response and recovery, streamlining processes and increasing access. These guidelines are will be released in October with November and December deadlines. 

    Arts Education Program Officer Tina Wiley reported on the team's education priorities including an overview of the Sankofa Initiative, a re-granting program to support the healing and creativity of communities of color most effected by COVID-19. Research for the Sankofa Initiative included community engagement with administrators, teaching artists, organizations and elders to convey an idea of the arts education landscape in San Francisco. The three main strategies of this initiative are cultural preservation, technologies and supplies access, and professional development. 

    Deputy Director Lee acknowledged the Community Investments staff for their creativity in looking ahead to ways they can support our teaching artists, artists and arts organizations in addition to the ongoing grant making taking place. 

    Chair Collins acknowledged Lee, Bonillo and Wiley for their presentations about the importance of these initiatives and strategies. Chair Collins asked if there was any questions or discussions on behalf of the committee. Commissioner Shiota acknowledged the Community Investments team and asked about the source of funding for the Sankofa Initiative. Deputy Director of Programs Lee confirmed the funding is coming from the Arts Impact Endowment. Commissioner Ordeñana also acknowledged the Community Investments team and Program Officer Wiley and asked how this work is in alignment with the Department of Children Youth and Families initiatives. Deputy Director Lee confirmed the agency is in conversation with DCYF about how we might support the community learning hubs and as well as continued collaboration with WCTAIR. 

    Commissioner Debra Walker had a question about the larger concept of the Arts Impact Endowment budget being proposed to understand what it covers. Deputy Director Lee confirmed 20 percent of the budget will cover administrative costs and the rest of the funds will be granted directly.

    Commissioner Marcus Shelby expressed his appreciation for the Sankofa Initiative for its breadth and vision to serve the communities most impacted by COVID-19. 

    There was no public comment.
  4. FY21 Arts Impact Endowment

    Discussion and possible motion to approve up to $2,000,000 of FY21 Arts Impact Endowment funds in accordance with the priorities outlined in the Community Services Allocation Plan to support recommendations from the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force for artists and non-profit arts organizations.

    Deputy Director of Programs Joanne Lee reported on the San Francisco Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) findings and next steps. Deputy Director Lee and Commissioner Walker participated in the Art, Culture, Hospitality and Entertainment policy group. The presentation was an excerpt of a larger presentation that was recently presented to the full Task Force.  

    Chair Collins called for any questions or comments from the commissioners and asked Commissioner Walker to share her insights and experience working with the Task Force. Commissioner Walker noted that the hope and agreement among the Task Force members is that when the City recovers, it does so more equitably. Commissioner Walker commended Deputy Director Lee and Acting Director Krell for their leadership and for helping the SFAC staff manage recovery efforts moving forward.

    Commissioners ​Roberto Ordeñana and Marcus Shelby left the meeting at 2:00 p.m.

    Commissioner Parker Pennington thanked the staff and expressed gratitude that the Arts Commission was well represented on the Task Force to help bring the perspective of the arts into the economic recovery process. She offered to assist in a more direct way, especially given her experience working with corporations, in the recovery efforts. Commissioner Shiota commended the holistic approach of the Task Force's work and specifically the focus on the digital divide. Commissioner Ferras applauded the Task Force for recognizing the small business community, especially those that are engaged in the arts and arts education. 

    Chair Collins called for a motion.

    Commissioner Parker Pennington, seconded by Commissioner Shiota moved to approve the motion, as presented.

    There was no public comment.

    The motion carried unanimously by the following vote:
    Collins, Ferras, Parker Pennington, Shiota
  5. Cultural Centers Overview and Presentation
    1. American Indian Cultural Center—April McGill, Executive Director
      Executive Director April McGill presented on the programmatic and organizational activities of the American Indian Cutural Center for FY20-21.
    2. Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center—Vinay Patel, Executive Director
      Executive Director Vinay Patel presented on the programmatic and organizational activities of the Asian Pacific Islander Cutural Center for FY20-21.
    3. Queer Cultural Center—Pamela Peniston, Artistic Director and Natalia Vigil, Executive Director
      Artistic Director Pamela Peniston and Executive Director Natalia Vigil presented on the programmatic and organizational activities of the Queer Cutural Center for FY20-21.
    4. African American Art & Culture Complex—Melonie & Melorra Green, Co-Executive Directors
      Co-Executive Directors Melonie and Melorra Green presented on the programmatic and organizational activities of the African American Art & Culture Complex for FY20-21.
    5. Bayview Opera House—Barbara Ockel, Executive Director
      Executive Director Barbara Ockel presented on the programmatic and organizational activities of the Bayview Opera House for FY20-21.
    6. Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts—Jennie Rodriguez, Executive Director
      Executive Director Jennie Rodriguez presented on the programmatic and organizational activities of the Mission Cutural Center for Latino Arts for FY20-21.
    7. SOMArts—Maria Jenson, Creative & Executive Director
      Creative & Executive Director Maria Jenson presented on the programmatic and organizational activities of SOMArts for FY20-21.

      Program Officer Robynn Takayama concluded the presentations by recognizing that the cultural centers will be some of the agency's greatest partners in helping with recovery. Chair Collins thanked Program Officer Takayama for all her work in supporting the cultural centers and their directors and for lifting up their recovery efforts.

      Chair Collins called for any questions or comments from the commissioners. Commissioner Shiota commended the cross collaboration and solidarity in the Black Lives Matter movement amongst all of the cultural centers. Commissioner Shiota expressed an interest in seeing data showing demographics of current outreach plans. Commissioner Ferras thanked Program Officer Takayama and all of the cultural center director's for their hard work and inspiring presentations. Commissioner Parker Pennington commended the resiliency and initiative of cultural centers and their directors for pivoting quickly, their outreach, and the care for staff.

      There was no public comment.


  6. New Business and Announcements 
    Chair Collins asked for any discussion from the commissioners on this item. Commissioner Ferras stated her desire to building a program similar to Writers Corps that would support teaching artists, individual art, dance and music, and potentially spoken word. She would like to broaden this discussion, bring it to committee and add to a future agenda.

    There was no public comment.

  7. Adjournment
    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:11 p.m.

posted 8/25/2020, 12:32 p.m. CED
approved 9/14/2020

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Language Accessibility
Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost. For assistance, please notify Program Associate Candace Eros Diaz, 415-252-2253,

我們將為閣下提供免費的書面翻譯資料和口譯服務。如需協助,Program Associate Candace Eros Diaz, 415-252-2253,

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Program Associate Candace Eros Diaz, 415-252-2253,