Community Investments Committee - June 14, 2016 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
June 14, 2016 - 1:00pm
401 Van Ness Ave, Ste 125
San Francisco, CA 94102

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

1:00 p.m.
401 Van Ness Avenue, Room 125


The meeting was called to order at 1:09 p.m.

1. Roll Call 
Commissioners Present:
Sherene Melania, Chair
Charles Collins
Roberto Ordeñana
Marcus Shelby

Commissioners Absent:
Janine Shiota

Staff Present: Judy Nemzoff, Rachelle Axel, Liz Ozol, Cristal Fiel
2. General Public Comment
Commissioner Melania called for public comment. There was none made. 
3. Community Investments Program Director’s Report
Community Investments Program Director Judy Nemzoff said that the grants team was in the process of building out the new grants management system (“GMS”) for launch in the upcoming grants cycle. The team was mapping out a timeline for the buildout, beta testing, technical assistance workshops and panel process. Senior Program Officer Barbara Mumby would give a brief overview of the outcomes of this past fiscal year’s grant cycle at the next committee meeting. 

Commissioner Collins asked how the technical assistance efforts would continue, as they pertained to the areas in which the grants team found gaps in funding. Ms. Nemzoff said that the team would look at grantee and applicant data in preparation for designing technical assistance and outreach in the upcoming grants cycle. Ms. Nemzoff said that since the SFAC was launching the GMS, the grants team was looking into holding technical assistance workshops in a computer lab. 

Commissioner Collins asked about the appointment of the new executive director at SOMArts Cultural Center. Ms. Nemzoff said that she was thrilled with the appointment of Maria Jenson. Having previously been with San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (“SFMOMA”) and ArtPadSF as the co-founder and director, Ms. Jenson’s appointment spoke to the strong stature of SOMArts. Ms. Nemzoff said that SOMArts’ Interim Executive Director Jess Young had done a tremendous job in sustaining the organization at a high level. 

Commissioner Melania asked if the agency has seen the ability for new grant applicants to be successfully funded. Ms. Nemzoff said that while she did not have the specific numbers on hand, the data did show there was a large percentage of successful first-time applicants getting funding in this past year’s grants cycle. 

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

4. Grant for Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco
Director of Public and Private Partnerships Rachelle Axel explained that the grant to Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco (“CCFSF”) was an award from the National Endowment for the Arts’ (“NEA”) Our Town grants program to fund the CCFSF’s Alleyways Project, which included youth engagement and mural making activities. In addition to the $75,000 NEA Our Town grant, there was a $35,000 work order from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (“OEWD”) to support the Chinatown Music Festival. The timeline for this grant would be August 1, 2016 through July 30, 2018.

Commissioner Melania gave the following motion:

Motion: Motion to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into a grant agreement with the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco for $110,000 based on additional secured funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and a work order from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. Funds will be used to support the Chinatown Alleyways Project.

Moved: Ordeñana/Shelby
Public Comment: There was none made.
The motion was unanimously passed.

5. FY2016-2019 WritersCorps Teaching Artist in Residence Grant
Ms. Nemzoff said that this was the first step in the implementation of a new vision for the WritersCorps grants program. Staff went through a robust year and half of planning, focus groups, and work with two different consultants to align the WritersCorps program with the SFAC strategic plan. The WritersCorps Teaching Artist in Residence (“WCTAIR”) grant would be entering a three-year grant based on the WritersCorps model. The three-year model would support the agency’s desire to setup the teaching artists for success over a longer period of time. Ms. Nemzoff said she was excited to see how the model could develop and grow. Ms. Nemzoff said that while there was not a long time to roll out the application process, she was pleased with the number of applications SFAC received, as well as the robust panel process that involved an interview process and the applicants coming in and teaching a lesson. 

Ms. Nemzoff said that in addition to the sites listed in the motion, teaching artists would be required to collaborate with the neighborhood branch libraries. Furthermore, the teaching artists would receive behind-the-scenes professional development and training. The Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (“DCYF”) wanted to see that the community-based organizations (“CBO”) were supported for work that included the production of high-quality youth publications and a 10 percent fiscal sponsorship fee. DCYF increased their funding because they wanted the full grant amount listed in the grant application and guidelines to go to teaching artists. The CBOs would receive the fiscal sponsorship fee under separate cover. 

The committee discussed sustained engagement of youth through the WCTAIR grant program. Program Officer Liz Ozol explained that each of the three teaching artists and CBO partnerships were working in different circumstances, and were responsive to the different environments. Each teaching artist made a different proposal, but Ms. Ozol said she would certainly encourage long term, in-depth relationships with young people.

Commissioner Collins asked whether any of the teaching artists were proposing to work with spoken word. Ms. Ozol said that the teaching artists at Woodside Learning Center and Oasis for Girls have proposed spoken word as part of their curriculum development. Commissioner Collins said that spoken word was a genre that he believed resonated with young people, and if there was an opportunity to fund this work. Ms. Nemzoff replied that WritersCorps had explored spoken word in the past, but would not want to compete with highly successful CBOs like Youth Speaks. 

Commissioner Shelby commented that in the past the committee would approve five or more teaching artists a year, but there were only three recommended for funding. He asked whether the grant was comparable and a living wage. Ms. Nemzoff said that in the past, the first year teaching artists would receive a salary of $35,000, so the grant amount was a little higher. She said that the teaching artists were required to have health insurance in the program, and allocate funding to themselves to do classroom preparation. Ms. Nemzoff said that the recommendation to fund three applicants versus five or more had to do with how the other applicants ranked. Also, since WCTAIR was a new program, the staff decided to recommend fewer applicants to see how the program would develop. Applicants would be encouraged to reapply and the staff hoped to provide additional technical assistance to support teaching artists who were not recommended for funding to reapply. 

The committee discussed how the development of the WCTAIR program could support the field of arts education and the San Francisco Unified School District’s (“SFUSD”) Arts Education Master Plan (“AEMP”). Ms. Nemzoff said that SFUSD was working on comprehensive mapping of where after school arts education program and teaching artists exists. This would help support how to revise the AEMP. 

Commissioner Melania gave the following motion: 

Motion: Motion to approve the following recommendations and to authorize the Director of Cultural Affairs to enter into three-year, fiscal years 2016-2019, WritersCorps Teaching-Artist-in-Residence grant agreements for an amount not to exceed $40,000 annually, pending availability of funds, with each of the following:
Oasis for Girls (in partnership with Tina Bartolome)
Woodside Learning Center (in partnership with Madeleine Clifford)
Robyn Carter (in partnership with Redding Elementary School)

Moved: Shelby/Ordeñana
Public Comment: Commissioner Melania called for public comment. There was none made. 
The motion was unanimously passed. 
6. New Business and Announcements
Commissioner Shelby asked whether the SFAC was involved with curriculum development for the Coit Tower murals tour. Ms. Axel said that we were not, but that Friends of San Francisco Arts Commission/ArtCare received a grant to support the educational program.

Commissioner Melania asked if there was news about the Palace of Fine Arts proposals. Ms. Nemzoff and Ms. Axel said they did not have any news or knowledge of the status of the proposals. 

7. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned in memory of Carla Johnson, former director of the Mayor’s Office on Disability (“MOD”). Ms. Nemzoff stated that through Ms. Johnson’s leadership, there had been crucial funding to support Cultural Center facilities projects around accessibility throughout the years. Ms. Nemzoff said that the Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre (“BVOH”) renovation project was very near and dear to Ms. Johnson’s heart. Ms. Johnson asked that contributions be made to tenant organization BVOH, Inc. in her memory.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:56 p.m. 

6/28/16 1:50 p.m. CF draft minutes posted

7/11/16 CF 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, 415-252-2218,

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, 415-252-2218,

Materiales traducidos y servicios de interpretación están disponibles para usted de manera gratuita. Para asistencia, notifique a Program Associate Cristal Fiel, 415-252-2218,

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, 415-252-2218,