hey, it worked for altrea!

Out of the blue, I received an email from Nancy Nadel’s office inviting me to come to a community meeting to discuss a possible name change for the Alice Arts Center.

Naturally, it conflicts with the Cultural Affairs Commission Meeting, which is this:

  • Monday, March 19, 2004
    City Hall Council Chambers
    1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
    Oakland, California
  • apparently it streams or you can find watch it on cable television (KTOP)
  • no agenda received yet, or perhaps I’m backlogged

But it would be ideal to clone oneself and go to this:

  • Monday, April 19, 2004
    6:30 to 8pm
    Alice Arts Center
    1428 Alice Street
    Conference Room A
  • Please come to the Alice Arts Center to discuss the idea to possibly changing the name of the center to honor the memory of Malonga Casquelourd.
  • For more information, please contact the Office of Councilmember Nancy J. Nadel at 510-238-7032,
    via email at jtena@oaklandnet.com, or write aliceartscenter@hotmail.com.

and that.

call for proposals: city of oakland public art program

From: “Babcock, Roberta”
To: suki@mocha.org
Subject: FW: Open Proposals RFP-City of Oakland
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 19:27:44 -0800

The Public Art Program has announced an Open Proposals call for artists. We
are accepting proposals from artists, community organizations and
neighborhood groups for the creation of public art projects throughout
Oakland. For full announcement go to web page www.oaklandculturalarts.org
under call for artists/ artists opportunities.

Proposal deadline: Friday April 30, 2004

Roberta Babcock
Acting Public ARt Coord.
Cultural Arts and Marketing Dept
City of Oakland


The new commissioner terms don’t start until May 8, 2003, a Saturday.

I’m taking Paul Garrison’s place, which he left in May of 2003.

So I rolled over to the Commission meeting on February 23 on a tip from Raissa to see what was up.

Newly appointed Commissioner Michael Liener was there, operating on the same instincts. Michael’s taking Harold Lawrence’s place. After Commission Hyland Baron walked us around the edges of the dais for introductions, we sat together in the City Council gallery and watched another quorum fail to establish, on one level, and watched a portion of Oakland’s history unfold before us, on another.

    Slobodan is gone, after years of always being there, somewhere, somehow, remaining above water much like his Artship in perpetually uncertain waters. The Artship has been sold for scrap and with it the street report that Slobodan has moved out of Oakland. I’ve been running into Slobodan on Oakland streets for over 10 years, and am quite accustomed to long, random intervals between each meeting. This absence struck me more as heartbreak, and I realized I’m going to have to learn the story in its entirety.
    Dennis Power, was plucked from a Commissioner’s seat when he was appointed Director of the Cultural Arts portion of Oakland’s Cultural Arts and Marketing in the new fiscal year, then plunked down immediately to the left in the City Staff seat. Dennis is the Executive Director of the Oakland Museum of California. It crosses my mind to research examples of combined local arts agencies and collecting museums, and I will, but the idea makes my head hurt. I’d rather just interview Dennis here.
    Devin Satterfield just took Dennis’ place. I think that’s really cool.
    This seems a hybrid of musical chairs and eerie ghost town, let’s just say it. I can’t immediately find a rational perspective on it. Under the disco ball in the City Hall Rotunda, I’m asking you how you know anyone is ever really here, after all, you know, acknowledging that elephant in the room with the big “Maybe We Don’t Exist” message painted on its side?
    The Cultural Arts website lists seven vacancies but the City Clerk’s seems all full up.
    Only one citizen came to watch these proceedings.

My Day One Was Not The Same As Dusty Crevice’s

I watched the City Council meeting on KTOP from the safety of MZ’s couch, which came equipped with a never-ending bottle of Two Buck Chuck. My appointment to the Cultural Affairs Commission was the Item 31 of 33 items, and not on consent. Would there be objections from For The Record I’m Sanjiv Handa, East Bay News Service? None personal, but he did, and he was right to, point out how sorry Oakland boards and commissions are these days.

I think the assumption is that the Cultural Affairs Commission is irrelevant. To everyone. In every way.

From Dan Fontes:

5 different Directors in the last five years. Nobody wants to acknowledge that the Mayor has lost close to 30 cultural affairs commissioners over that period of time. His pattern of using arts folks is serious when contrasted with his “promise to celebrate the arts”. This business of calling the Arts Department the “Arts and Marketing Department” is particularly galling given Oakland’s constant fumbling of arts marketing. The lack of quorums has been going on now for close to three years! In fact, about the only area they haven’t damaged is the Art & Soul festival.

Not so. I think budget cuts removed the leadership on Art & Soul as well. artandsouloakland.com is currently looping webserver foo from hell. I think it’s a Saturday night thing.

In spite of all this, incidental remarks by Eddie Ytuarte at that same Council meeting made it easy to discount anxiety about the meaning of this civic appointment. I count Eddie among my One Hundred Or More Mentors who continue to inform Oaklandia with their principled action.