Agenda for 4/19 Cultural Affairs Commission

Cultural Affairs Commission
Regular Meeting
Monday, April 19, 2004
5:30 – 7:30pm
City Council Chambers
Oakland City Hall – One Frank Ogawa Plaza, 3rd Floor

  1. Call to Order / Determination of Quorum
  2. Open Forum
  3. Action Item – Approval of minutes from: March 15, 2004
  4. Oral Report – Chair
  5. Oral Report – Department Director / Staff
  6. Oral Report – Amy Kweskin re: 6 Women with an Idea for Sustaining Oakland’s Arts & Culture
  7. Agenda Building
    Next CAC meeting – Monday, May 17, 2004 5:30 – 7:30pm, City Council Chambers
  8. Announcements
    Cultural Affairs Commissioners invite all interested to monthly post-meeting discussion and socializing at Cafe Van Kleef Contemporary Art Galley located at 1621 Telegraph Aven, two blocks from City Hall.
  9. Adjourn
  10. Note: Action Items will become Informational Reports if a quorum is not established.

    Whoa Baby!

    First off: check back here in a few days for Six Women and an Idea. Yes, I’m involved and I’m also in production with the students at the San Francisco School of the Arts. Hello. Kids First, People.

    Second off: Agenda Building. In a world gone mad (you know the kind, where you are the 6th largest economy in the world and ranking dead last in per capita arts funding), what the helly hell hell would you want your local arts commission to do? Tell me.

    Third off: Socializing at Cafe Van Kleef. I caught a nearby neighborhood gallery owner explaining Van Kleef’s as a space that has been there for thirty years with its proprietor and his predilictions, but only recently opened its doors to the public. Most times it seems that everyone inside is having a good time, in that Caligula kinda way. As a first step to making the Commission accessible to Oakland’s arts community, we may have already sprained something.

    Nothing that can’t be cured by a restorative at Mama Buzz, of course.

2 thoughts on “Agenda for 4/19 Cultural Affairs Commission

  1. Dan Fontes says:

    Hi Suki,
    I’m responding to that question you raise…What could the Cultural Affairs Commission do?
    The vision thing-y baby!
    Most members of the CAC sit there like stones and NEVER put forth a vision! Or any action items! Jerry originally said, he was going to give the CAC free reign to develop their own vision and he’d help carry it out. In response, I wrote a “One Hundred Murals for Oakland” proposal that Jacques Barzaghi (one of the former Art Dept. directors) never took out of the envelope!
    Over time we’ve seen that the Mayor had no personal vision for the arts and didn’t seem interested in the visions of anyone else. Well actually they did lure the Crucible to the Acorn, so they did at least one thing right.
    But history lessons aside…the CAC is still in a very powerful position to advocate to the City Council on behalf of Oakland’s artist and arts non-profit groups. But they don’t do it. My question is why? Set aside the fact that there is no money for just a second…Does that mean that it’s NOT a car mechanic’s DUTY to give a penniless car owner safety advice about a dangerous vehicle? Or at least give some friendly advice to a person about another car that’s a good deal? The point is that it’s still up to the members of the CAC to do their job and point the Council and our fellow citizens of Oakland in the right cultural direction.
    What does that mean? How about sharing the working cultural examples from other cities. How about suggestions for things like arts symposiums, workshops or educational forums where regional strategies are discussed or at least considered?
    As you know, there was a time when the CAC made recommendations to the staff of the Cultural Arts Department about what the citizens of Oakland need in terms of arts. Here are some easy examples:
    -A development of a neighborhood arts center plan or Citywide blueprint for specific locations throughout Oakland.
    -A comprehensive public art maintenance needs survey-(not just one that includes Oakland sponsored works).
    -A couple of photos of our public art collection on with an interactive map might make sense.
    -Increased theater venues/site development.
    -Ways to find/increase secured revenue sources for arts non-profits.
    -Expansion of arts education programs in the Oakland Public Schools.
    -REAL promotion/marketing to a worldwide audience of Oakland’s cultural offerings!
    -More funding for public art!
    -A recognition that technologies for making outdoor murals “permanent” for a public art commissions exist.
    -An arts district, or multiple arts districts (given how geographically big Oakland is) should still be considered.
    This stuff isn’t rocket science. The problem as I see it is the “too many generals and not enough soldiers” syndrome. With all the big-shots on the CAC there are few people with time enough for anything extra. Many, like Chris Johnson, the Chair of the CAC, are at the limit of what one individual can do!
    Anyway, Great to see your blog. Thanks for patching it all together. Nice going! Sorry about the long letter here.
    PS Thanks for the patch to my site and could you put in with the arts non-profit/cultural venues links?

  2. Sean says:

    hey, i just thought you should know that Oaklandia comes from my comic “the Adventures of Pipu.” which takes place in Oaklandia, the mixture of Arcadia, Antlantis and Oakland. The place that never existed. Anyhow, just letting you know!


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