2014 fall public meeting

No place like home: displacement, relocation, and survival

Moderated by Ebony McKinney, Grants for the Arts Citizens Advisory Committee member

September 23, 2014 | Exploratorium

In recent years, a fluctuating economy has presented arts organizations with a new and difficult set of financial obstacles. As a result, many groups have found themselves dislocated from the very communities upon which they once relied for support. Yet some such organizations have managed to not only survive, but to adapt and thrive.

Grants for the Arts was joined in conversation with representatives from arts organizations that have faced and survived displacement and relocation, as well as other experts on the subject, who discussed the realities of dislocation and successful strategies for guiding organizations through its challenges.

The distinguished panel of experts on hand to delve into these issues and provide insight from their own experiences included:

Panelist Bios

Leiasa Beckham, Senior Real Estate Consultant at the Northern California Community Loan Fund, has over fifteen years’ experience in real estate development and construction management. She served as a member of the project team for the highly successful SF Central Market Economic Strategy, and is actively involved in efforts to insure nonprofit organizations can continue to operate in the rapidly changing neighborhood. Prior to joining NCCLF, Ms. Beckham worked in the Tenant Improvement Division at Swinerton Builders. She also served on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Community Land Trust, where she was project developer for the Land Trust's first project, a 21-unit low-income limited equity co-op. Ms. Beckham holds a Master’s in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Urban Affairs and Planning from City University of New York City.

JoAnn Edwards is responsible for the Museum of Craft and Design’s strategic plan, exhibitions, programming, day-to-day operations and staff management, as well as raising necessary support from individuals, private and public foundations and corporate sectors. As Executive Director, Ms. Edwards has stewarded the Museum’s vision, implementation and growth since its founding in downtown San Francisco in 2003, to its 2013 relocation and acclaimed inaugural reopening in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district. Under Ms. Edwards' leadership, the museum has developed highly praised and innovative exhibitions and educational programs, including the experiential MakeArt workshops for children and their families. Ms. Edwards' guidance has helped create a destination Museum Store that extends the museum’s mission beyond its brick and mortar space, and has enabled the institution to join the Green Museums Accord sponsored by the California Association of Museums to help encourage sustainable museum practices for museums throughout the state and the nation. Prior to the Museum of Craft and Design, Ms. Edwards co-owned a contemporary art gallery in the San Francisco Bay Area for twenty six years. During that period she orchestrated concepts, designs and installations for many hundreds of invitational gallery exhibitions, as well as personally hosting artists from all over the world.

Moy Eng brings over three decades of experience in the philanthropic sector as a grantmaker, consultant and senior manager in areas as diverse as arts, education, renewable energy, lesbian and gay rights, immigrant rights, and international human rights. Known for her visionary ability to identify and support progressive ideas, Ms. Eng has worked as a grantmaker in numerous foundations with assets ranging from $100 million to $7 billion. She directed the arts program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, investing in efforts that helped bring $800 million in new public sector funding for arts education to California schools. Ms. Eng also commissioned landmark research on the dynamics of the U.S. cultural ecosystem and the state of arts education in California, and supported efforts to build more than 750,000 square feet in new, affordable performing arts space across the San Francisco Bay region. Fortunate to live a life surrounded by beauty, Ms. Eng currently serves on the board of the Stanford Jazz Workshop, is a singer and lyricist, and the mother of two singular young women.

Michelle Mansour is an artist, educator, curator, and the current Executive Director of Root Division, a visual arts nonprofit in San Francisco. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and received a BA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University, a Post Baccalaureate degree in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA in Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. Ms. Mansour has given lectures and been on panels with the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, University of San Francisco, Oakland Art Gallery, ProArts, and the Berkeley Art Center. Her work as been shown in a variety of nonprofit and commercial galleries, including Southern Exposure, Swarm Gallery, Blankspace Gallery, Julie Baker Fine Art, and Spur Projects. She is also the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship from Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Ms. Mansour has had solo exhibitions at the SFMOMA Artist Gallery and Latham Square via ProArts, and has work in a variety of collections, including Nordstrom, Hilton Hotels, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, and the El Camino Hospital. As a curator, Ms. Mansour has worked on several exhibitions, including 2x2's at ProArts and Metaphysical Abstraction: Contemporary Approaches to Spiritual Content.

Terri Winston founded Women's Audio Mission in 2003 while she was a tenured Professor and Director of the Sound Recording Arts Program at City College of San Francisco from 2001-2011. Her love of music and the recording arts spans twenty-five years as a songwriter, composer, recording engineer, and producer. Ms. Winston was signed as a recording artist, engineer and producer by Polygram and BMG subsidiaries, and has shared the stage with such acts as P.J. Harvey, Pixies, Throwing Muses, Flaming Lips, Fugazi, Cake, and Third Eye Blind. She has collaborated with Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group and Greg Hawkes of The Cars, and worked as a recording artist and producer for MainMan, whose roster also included David Bowie, John Mellencamp, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop. Ms. Winston has composed and produced theme music for KRON-TV's First Cut series, Banana Republic, various films that have shown on BRAVO's Independent Film Channel, French Television's Cine Cinemas, and major festivals all over the world. She is a founding member of the seminal San Francisco band, Her Majesty the Baby, and has received numerous awards, including an ASCAP songwriting award, Boston Music Award and Bay Area Music Award. Ms. Winston is a voting member of the Recording Academy (The GRAMMY's) and is active in the Producers and Engineers wing. She has most recently produced/engineered Kronos Quartet, the SHE's, and master world musicians from around the globe.

For more information on the issues discussed at the 2014 Fall Public Meeting, we recommend the following: