Community Investments Committee - January 12, 2015 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
January 12, 2015 - 1:00pm
25 Van Ness Ave Ste 70
San Francisco, CA 94102


Monday, January 12, 2015
1:00 p.m.
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 70



The meeting was called to order at 1:07 p.m.


  1. Roll Call
    Commissioners Present:

Charles Collins (left at 2:24 p.m.)

Sherene Melania, Chair

Marcus Shelby

Janine Shiota (arrived at 1:24 p.m.)


Commissioners Absent: 

Abby Sadin-Schnair


Staff Present: Tom DeCaigny, Judy Nemzoff, Anh Thang Dao-Shah, Robynn Takayama, Cristal Fiel


  1. Public Comment
    Paula Datesch: First I want to note that in your thing there your general public comment says that it’s limited only to community arts matters and that’s not true. Public comment is open to any matters not on your agenda. I just want to bring your attention to the fact that the Street Artists Program is pretty disorganized. There is what has caused me an enormous amount of frustration. For the past six to eight weeks, I’ve been trying to work on Market Street between 4th and 5th, and I’ve been next to a crocheted animal hat stand that is grossly oversized. It displays over nine hundred mass-produced hats that are identical in shape and form. It’s very obvious; many people remark about it; street artists themselves. But when Howard Lazar comes out in his inspections he routinely just passes it and will whisper a joke in their ear. But me, he almost assaults me with his camera. He actually shoved me two Saturdays ago, which I have on video tape. I took it to City Hall and then afterwards I brought it here, rang your buzzer, Rebekah Krell came out she said, “Okay, I’ll find out about it and I’ll tell you on Monday what it’s about.” Of course, no email came. Then on Tuesday, I was able to get her on the phone and she claimed that it didn’t happen without viewing the video and that she had an eyewitness who witnessed the event. Actually, it was the animal hat stand who sent an email complaining about something else entirely. So it’s just another one of those Sunshine things and that’s why you spend so much time in front of the Task Force. For example, and you’ve been violated before your community arts, just now you failed to announce the date, time and location of this meeting. You don’t have the agenda posted outside. You don’t have enough agendas for the public. I mean I can do this ad nauseum, get you violated in front of City Hall. But, as I’ve said, you know, I’ve gotten you violated 47 times. You’re up right now for a violation because on December 10th your commission secretary didn’t appear in front of the compliance committee and I would like for this all to be in the public record. It’s very important to me because as an artist, particularly from another state, and you know San Francisco is a refugee city not only for immigrants, but also for artists because it’s much more liberal here and because of the permit. And when you’re being persecuted or locked up in other cities simply because you’re doing a craft and what they view is not under the compliance of the law, particularly in New York, you look at the minutes in other cities, you see what’s going on. And when your minutes don’t actually reflect what’s going on, you are creating havoc for the artists like myself who came here again with high hopes of shipping an enormous amount of artwork only to find out the reality of this program, which is you have fifteen selling spaces downtown and won’t bother to inform anybody but that won’t be the case until 2018. There was a public walkway on Stockton Street for the entire month of December. So that’s it. That’s my bit and if you don’t record this in your minutes accurately the way I say, then you’ll go in front of the Task Force again. Have a good day.

Commissioner Melania called for further public comment. There was none.


  1. SFAC Review Panelists 
    Commissioner Melania gave the following motion:

Motion: Motion to approve the following panelists to serve, as selected by staff, on SFAC review panels for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 Fiscal Years:

Kali Boyce, Artistic Director, Queer Rebels

Celeste Chan, Co-Director, Queer Rebels

Erin Dunning, musician

Sarah Guerra, Operations Manager, Brava! For Women in the Arts

Michelle Mulholland, Managing Director, Golden Thread Productions

Virgie Tovar, author

Manish Vaidya, Community Engagement Coordinator, Queer Cultural Center

Moved: Collins/Shelby

Public Comment: There was none.

The motion was passed unanimously.


  1. Cultural Centers Report

Community Investments Program Director Judy Nemzoff told the committee that the timeline for Cultural Center reports allowed the Cultural Centers to submit their Management and Programming Plan and Budget (“MPP”) on a rolling basis. Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (“APICC”) was the last of the Cultural Centers to submit their MPP. She turned the report over to Program Officer Robynn Takayama, who gave an overview of APICC report (see explanatory document “FY2014-2015 APICC MPP presentation”). Ms. Takayama noted that APICC had sent a revised version (see explanatory document “FY2014-2015 APICC MPP revised”) from the one posted publicly on the agenda and that the new document would be available to the Full Commission following the meeting. Ms. Takayama said that the organization was now fully staffed, with four part-time employees who were offered medical reimbursements which were funded by the cost of living increase. The committee discussed whether the Cultural Centers had baseline standards or requirements, such as how much they invested in professional development for their staff. Ms. Takayama said that the work of American Council for Learned Societies (“ACLS”) Public Fellow Anh Thang Dao-Shah would investigate promising practices for nonprofit organizations, and propose revisions for reporting requirements.

Commissioner Shiota and Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny arrived at 1:24 p.m.

Commissioner Melania gave the following motion:

Motion: Motion to approve the Management and Programming Plan and Budget (“MPP”) for Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (“APICC”) and to increase the grant to SOMArts Cultural Center (“SOMArts”) for an amount not to exceed $716,377.64: $614,690 to SOMArts, and $101,688 to sub-grantee Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center.

Moved: Shelby/ Collins

Public Comment: APICC Executive Director introduced the organizations new artistic director Melanie Elvena. Ms. Elvena helped recruit new staff and recently made her first hire. He thanked the Arts Commission its continued support.

The motion was unanimously approved.

Explanatory Document: FY2014-2015 APICC MPP presentation (pdf); FY2014-2015 APICC MPP revised (pdf)


  1. Community Investments Director Report
    Ms. Nemzoff introduced Ms. Dao-Shah, who presented her preliminary research findings around the San Francisco Arts Commission’s grant making from 1995 through 2014. The data was compiled from the former Cultural Equity Grants program and the Community Arts and Education program, which ran a neighborhood grant similar to Arts for Neighborhood Vitality, as well as the Programs in the Communities grant for some time. Ms. Dao-Shah also presented her research findings around promising practices in nonprofit arts and culture philanthropy and cultural equity.

Commissioner Collins left at 2:24 p.m.

Commissioner Melania called for public comment. There was none.


  1. New Business and Announcements
    Commissioner Melania proposed to move the regularly scheduled committee meetings from 2 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month, to 1 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month. Ms. Nemzoff said that staff would follow up with commissioners by email.


  1. Adjournment
    There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:28 p.m.


CF 1/26/15 draft minutes posted

CF 2/2/15 minutes adopted


Language Accessibility

Translated written materials and interpretation services are available to you at no cost. For assistance, please notify Program Associate Cristal Fiel, 415-252-3145,

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 Cristal Fiel, 415-252-3145,

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Program Associate Cristal Fiel, 415-252-3145,

Ang mga materyales na nakasalin sa ibang wika at ang mga serbisyong tagapagsalin sa wika ay walang bayad. Para sa tulong, maaring i-contact si Program Associate Cristal Fiel, 415-252-3145,