Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    June 29, 2011 11:00am-11:30am PDT

11:00 am
that will be the case. thank you very much. next, we did not have recommendations, but i believe there are questions with regard to the arts commission. one of the questions i had was whether there was any ability to further fund some of the programs to deal with the graffiti abatement efforts the arts commission has been working on. >> thank you for the opportunity to come back and address some of the questions raised at the last budget hearing. there are two presentations documents in front of you. i would like to start whistling the recommendations raised by supervisor carmen chu.
11:01 am
yet a question about the 10 staff members at the arts commission associated with the public art program. in this presentation, we walk you through the responsibilities and workload these 10 individuals are involved with and differentiate the fact s seven of them are really working on the public art part and two are associated with the civic art collection with administratively, we have that all together. one is doing the financial work, the reporting work for that program. there are six project managers handling a workload between 60 and 70 works of art, public art projects.
11:02 am
supervisor chu: each of the staff members are managing 10 projects a year? >> it has actually averaged a little bit higher than that. there were additional slides that demonstrate how the amount of public art projects has ballooned in the last three years. three years ago, the total number of contracts was about 842,000. for the last two fiscal years, including this fiscal year, you see they are above $3 million. running through a summary of the projects but are involved with, central subway has 11 public art projects, general hospital has 14, recreation and parks has 13, public utilities commission has five, trans day has 5, the public library has
11:03 am
three, the public safety building has three, the airport currently has two but we just completed five projects. other public our programs are five. you get a sense of the workload currently underway. with the other capital investments the city is expected to make its infrastructure in the next few years, there will be new public arts projects that will be coming forward. that is why we say the workload is between 60 and 70 projects per year that are ongoing. going forward and looking at what the collection activities do, there are two slides said detail work associated with that. jumping ahead a little bit, you raised some questions about how some of these public art
11:04 am
projects might want to have impact in their surrounding neighborhoods. we decided to highlight a few things done in the last year- and-a-half that talk about how these public art projects in packed the streetscape. a longstanding project of the embarcadero was one of them. the installation of the language of the birds in one of the most traffic tourism sight of this city, the intersection of broadway and columbus. it has been a phenomenally successful works that bridges the cultures of north beach was chinatown. leland avenue generated a fabulous project called street life. the valencia streetscape improvements has generated a work of art.
11:05 am
one of the largest and most impressive outdoor improvements was to the plaza where we used an artist to use colored pavement to impact the plaza. if anyone has a chance to see that, it's quite a phenomenal change to the streetscape. but -- upcoming projects include the surrounding area of general hospital, soma west and the public safety building. going to the question you started out with, how will we try to change and improve the street smart program, we are going to be talking with the department of public works, which is our partner in this effort. we're going to change our
11:06 am
memorandum of understanding so we will incorporate more communication between the property owners and surrounding neighbors. that will be more labor- intensive, but your point was well taken. as you astutely, given your financing background, urged us to do more with less. we've been able to allocate an additional $20,000 by shifting administrative costs and by funding 10 more murals and the program for the next upcoming fiscal year, that will bring the total number of minerals to 30. we will continue to raise money through community challenge grants and seek outside funding for the program. i believe that addresses the questions.
11:07 am
if i can now shift -- do you have any follow-up on that? supervisor chu: i just want to thank you for taking the time to do that and we appreciate being able to free up the additional allocation to work on some of the murals that deals with the three problems. -- with the graffiti problems. i also want to thank you for the change with reaching out to the local community before we install these are works. that will be an improvement in the process and i look forward to hearing your update. >> if i can draw your attention to the second presentation which addresses the questions raised by president chiu, who does the arts commission commission to do all these public arts projects?
11:08 am
where do they reside? we start on the third page with a summary slide that provides a five-year overview. this is a cumulative average. we see out of a total of 115 contracts, 55 of them or 48% went to san francisco resident artists. if we look at the bay area which includes san francisco, the number shoots up to 86 contracts and a 75% of the artists. in terms of dollar amounts, it's a good break down as well. in the terms of total dollars spent in the san francisco area, you've got a little over $4 million. that represents 44%. for the purpose of thoroughness,
11:09 am
we provide you with several slides which i will not go through. there are several slides covering the five years, summarizing a particular page. are there any questions before i move on to the final question? supervisor chiu: the issue raised last year -- and was trying to understand why so few artists contracts were being awarded to san francisco artists. i appreciate the jump we've seen, but i'm shocked at the numbers -- only 22% of contracts went to san francisco -- people from san francisco. this year, 62% going to local artists. tell me how the arts commission -- was happening before and why
11:10 am
after some public pressure to we see more contracts being awarded to local artists? >> with all due respect, it has not been a response to political pressure. this program has hovered at about 75% bay area artists being commissioned by the arts commission over 30 years. the process the arts commission uses -- supervisor chiu: you said 75% over the past 30 years? >> that is what staff has informed me over the long term. the bay area artists, which include san francisco, was hovering at about 75%. supervisor chiu: why has that dropped significantly in the last decade? >> it has not dropped in the last decade. the years you are planning to, want to show you what we use in
11:11 am
selecting artists. it's a very competitive process and is driven by a community- based feedback. whenever projects we undertake always includes a component of community feedback and planned participation. supervisor chiu: can you explain that? i hear the exact opposite from the local artists' community. they feel shut out. >> what that means is we have the composition of a selection panel. these are people who will look at the large pool of artists who look at the proposals. the composition of that panel includes the client agency where the work is originated from -- being commissioned from.
11:12 am
then the surrounding community, whatever the appropriate surrounding community involvement is, and the number of arts professionals. these panels are the ones who select the artists. the arts commission also makes an effort to make a very wide call, an open call to get artists to submit to these open competitions. on an annual basis, every time we have one of these commissions, we put out the word. one of the things when we started to look at this in greater detail, we wanted to make sure our open poll and in recent years, it is also going out in multiple languages. one of the things we are starting to see is a greater response from ethnic communities that are coming forward, being put into the pool to compete and being viewed by the panels and
11:13 am
being selected. i think that is one of the improvements that might account for the bump you are talking about. but the process is very competitive and we are proud to say that in san francisco, there are a lot of very talented artists that have been part of the program. supervisor chiu: you are saying the reason we have moved from 22% in 2008 and 2009 to 62% this past year has been a result of better outreach to local diverse artists? >> the director of the program is here. she will help illustrate this better. >> that is true. i would like to go back to the selection panel. is a very competitive process. artists are selected for particular projects and we're usually looking for particular
11:14 am
skills and abilities to address whatever the opportunity is for that particular project. that is with the panels are looking at. they are not necessarily looking at where somebody lives or other aspects of the artist. they are looking at their skill level. the reason i show you this averages because it does go up and down over years depending on but the project is. but consistently, we have had 6% to 75% bay area artists, not just san francisco, but bay area artists, which has longstanding been our priority for commissioning artists in this program. this last year, knowing your particular concern about local
11:15 am
artists, we have made a greater effort out reach, limiting projects to just local artists and designing projects that i knew we could, with the talent pool here in san francisco, fill with local artists. supervisor chiu: i just wanted to say to my colleagues, when i've first started looking in this, i was contemplating what we should have some sort of number ensuring some grants go to local artists and i am heartened the numbers of dreamt significantly and look forward to the trend continuing -- had jumped cygnus' him -- had jumped significantly. supervisor mirkarimi: to that
11:16 am
point, similarly on my mind, i was wondering if we should seriously consider legislation like our local hiring policy that we should have a policy that prioritizes the grand distribution for local artists? i don't believe we are quite at that stage because there has been some marketable improvement in dissemination of grants to local artists. but in my district and many of our districts, it is home to a very sizable community and one that often goes unnoticed, but one we want to keep nurturing as best as we possibly can. many of us have opened our offices at 4 exhibits to feature local artists. we feel like we're doing our part in some way to promote the local arts, so we like to see through the grant program that
11:17 am
underscores this effort. if we have to legislate this commitment, that is something i would seriously want to consider. what i am hearing in this conversation is that it's improving in the right direction and it makes it unnecessary. that is important to note as well. >> thank you for your concern, supervisor mirkarimi. it is something san francisco can take a great deal of pride in. is a cultural capital at its home to many different artists, visual arts and particular. we have to be mindful that san francisco nationally was one of the first to adopt the art in richmond ordinance. -- the arts in richmond ordinance. that helped hold municipalities across the nation. we are looked at as a leader in this field and one of the things i would caution, and i would
11:18 am
love for the supervisor to keep in mind, is that competition for public art is an international competition. the artists who actually live here with us are competing for projects in albuquerque, completing for projects in texas and across the country, new york, and they're often successful. if we take a protectionist posture, that might be something that might be emulated in other communities across the country and could backfire on our artists and their ability to win commissions in other places. supervisor mirkarimi: i agree with you and that is not worth what this conversation to go. when people come to san francisco, i think they have a different impression about our reputation and our ability to earn that reputation of being very supportive of the arts. i don't mean the primary art
11:19 am
institutions, many underground, alternative art institutions where there is a healthy recognition both by city government and by our funding mechanisms. i think it is improving quite a bit, but the feedback i often get from people, such as some of the people visiting san francisco and to have made san francisco their new home, is that they are let down or underwhelmed by that commitment from city hall. to that point, i have to say i'm really impressed and delighted to see the level of street art going out brown san francisco and some of the most distressed areas. near the mid market area of the street art, that is great. i love checking it out and i tell people that the public are out there, it is worthy of its own tour so that people can check out the public art
11:20 am
installations, especially in the central part of san francisco. >> the final point i want to make about local artists is we have a granting program of which only san francisco artists receive those grants. over $2 million in grants we generate, that we allocate to the local arts community and many individual artists. that is a portion i would love to see increased in years to come. one of the things many people don't realize is san francisco is one of the few government agencies in the country that still gives individual grants to individual artists. the federal government, because of controversy and censorship pullback from that almost a decade ago. that has hurt our artists and artists nationally. that is a point the city can
11:21 am
take a lot of pride in. supervisor kim: to follow-up on this, i'm interested in this issue of how we support local artists. there are many ways to look at it, whether we are holding workshops for training programs for artists in san francisco were looking at the cultural centers that we sponsor and showcase local artists and ensure local artists exhibitions. there are multiple ways of looking at it, not just in terms of a local lands. but we do have to find a way to support our artists. many of the move to new york or los angeles because they feel like there is not enough support for the arts here. even minnesota has amazing state infrastructure supporting their artists. i'm interested as to how other cities and states support artists and we might want to look at so we did not go down what you are warning about, which is it could hurt our
11:22 am
artists if we start to establish some sort of percentage. >> now that we are on this topic, one of the areas that has been a great concern to me since i arrived three and a half years ago is the expense of having a space to create in san francisco is higher than just about everywhere else. the effect of that has driven artists out of the city, and to many surrounding areas, sometimes across the country. i would love to see an initiative that would help encourage the creation of some parts incubators were simple, affordable spaces could be made available to artists so they can rehearse, they can perform, they can create, and it is affordable. there are models out there for creating these affordable,
11:23 am
creative work spaces and arts incubators. i would love to see if the city could not make an initiative in this area. supervisor kim: i know we have looking at that for local manufacturing because of the cost of rent in the city. i would be very interested in that. >> finally, you had some questions about the pounding of the cultural centers. the staff went through great lengths to give the a comprehensive picture of the to the cultural centers, both physical and virtual, and what the sources of that funding is. it is hard because there are different city agencies that do support the cultural centers. we are the closest to becoming a central gathering place for this information. we're giving a total picture of the past few years of the cultural centers, with their sources are, and what the total
11:24 am
far. i hope that can help eliminate the questions you were concerned about four. -- you were concerned about before. supervisor chiu: i was told the asian cultural center and the queerer center was not receiving the same funding for other places and it has been difficult to get the data of exactly how much money is being provided to the centers. but we now have the data in front of us. in fiscal year 2011, the other centers i was referring to receive anywhere from 600 to a million dollars apiece. compare that to the clear center and the -- the queer center, the numbers are going down. what these other centers, the
11:25 am
numbers are going up. in some arts, you almost have it $100,000 increase. in my mind, this is exactly reflective of the anecdotal information i've received and we need to think about all little bit more equity to ensure all our communities are being served. >> if the arts commission can play a role in this area, we are thrilled to do so. supervisor chiu: you appear to have made decisions that continue to reinforce the differences in funding. tell me about that. >> this is a historical pattern of funding. i'm going to let the director of the program has been with the program for about a decade explain it. >> thank you. i will do my best to answer your question. the funding for the cultural centers -- it was 1997 when
11:26 am
legislation was passed to fund the cultural centers. at that time, there had been hope and anticipation that was referred to as a virtual centers would in time, over the years, be able to move into permanent basis. for various economic reasons, it's obvious why that was not able to happen. we have tried to maintain consistent funding threat the years. as the cultural centers take a reduction, it is spread equally between the buildings as well as the cultural centers we referred to as virtual. i want to remind to the four buildings we have, these are very large buildings ranging from 14,000 square feet, which is the bayview opera house, to
11:27 am
32,000 square feet of the african-american art and culture complex. the discrepancies see is based on capacity. the virtual centers to not have physical spaces and historically, they did more festival programming unless year-round programming. so the allocation that goes to the four buildings includes all of their staffing, additional costs of maintaining a building. the numbers we gave you do not include any additional revenue for facilities. we just showed to the operational budget without any facility. supervisor chiu: i thought of the facility costs were included, it might make sense, but these numbers are just operational? >> there are required to the lease agreement and grant agreement, the four buildings must maintain a full-time facility manager as part of our lease agreement. and the staffing costs are included, but we did not include
11:28 am
any capital. supervisor chiu: that seems troubling to me. if this is just based on operating expenses -- the asian- american community only gets 6% of your total funding. i'm still trying to understand why is it -- how do you and at justifying that given the community that we serve and wanting to make sure we are fairly funding the various diverse communities we have in the city? >> i think it is a fair question. the pattern of the allocation is a historical pattern of allocation. i think it's within the purview of both the mayor's office and the supervisors to look at the city's policy at the way these funds are allocated. that's a fair question. the arts commission has launched
11:29 am
two studies to look at the needs of the asian american cultural community and the need of the latino cultural community. the studies were launched in response to the demographic information the census has given us. we anticipate being able to provide the supervisors and other public officials with the results of these studies in the months to come. based on the information you have in your hands, a very thorough analysis of capacity, needs, and opportunities, i think it's time for the city to sit and think about its allocation policy. supervisor chiu: i just want to say to our colleagues that we ought to think about