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Newsom, Eggers Talk Arts
by Liam O'Donoghue (liambodonoghue [at] yahoo.com)
Friday May 7th, 2004 12:38 AM
Mayor addressed housing, education, and funding issues with arts community at Thursday evening discussion.
newsom_on_art.jpg
On Thursday evening, author and McSweeney’s publisher Dave Eggers led a community conversation with Mayor Gavin Newsom at the War Memorial Performing Arts Center. During the hour-long, Arts Forum-sponsored discussion, Newsom vowed not to cut elementary arts education programs, but admitted that funding for the San Francisco Symphony, Ballet, Opera and Museum of Modern Art would be trimmed due to the City’s $352 million budget deficit.

Newsom cited decreased revenues from hotel taxes a major factor contributing to the deficit and announced a plan to aggressively market San Francisco arts to draw “cultural tourism.” He mentioned a new Cultural Affairs Office and an increased focus on the arts from the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, as well as forthcoming changes in several Arts Commissions, in facilitating this goal. “I like Pier 39, but that’s not San Francisco,” he said, explaining his vision of increased public art. “I want to replace the homeless people on Van Ness with statues.”


Admitting flaws in his failed Workforce Housing Initiative, Newsom said he’s looking into how to make some of the City’s 16 million square feet of vacant office space available and affordable to artists and non-profits. He pointed to mid-Market Street as an area that could be revitalized, but stressed the importance of bringing “art incubators” to other low-income neighborhoods, such as Hunter’s Point and Bayview, as well. He also offered an open invitation to anybody who wants to get involved with creating arts education programs in these neighborhoods.


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Facts leads to DiscourseLiamSaturday May 8th, 2004 5:37 PM
Huh?JankyHellfaceFriday May 7th, 2004 12:28 PM
No RelationLiam O'DonoghueFriday May 7th, 2004 10:08 AM
O'Donoghue. O'Donoghue.That name rings a bell.Friday May 7th, 2004 8:40 AM

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