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tv   [untitled]    August 15, 2010 8:30am-9:00am PST

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>> welcome to "culture wire."
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on this episode, we visit with one of the arts commissions very special teams. >> the asia-pacific island cultural center receives help from the census but our commission. john mean today to talk about in off festival is the executive director. welcome. i understand this is the 13th annual festival. can you tell me the name? >> the name is a celebratory
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name. we also celebrate what we call the asian-pacific islanders as well, in terms of culture, experience, and multidisciplinary arts. >> the festival is actually very wide-ranging. you have 16 venues, and how many different performing arts centers? >> we have over 85 artists participating, 16 venues, 21 events. there are over 15 groups that are performing. >> there recently kicked off at the beginning of may and will continue through june 13? correct? >> that is correct. unlike in the past years, we have had to expand the festival because there has been so much activity and so many people want
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to be part of the celebration. we're very honored and pleased to have the festival going all the way into june. >> we're kind of coming in on one of the groups. >> francis is one of the pioneers of the asian american jazz movement and is also one of san francisco's very own. we're very honored at the cultural center that we can be part of the program. >> an addition to him, what are some of the other highlights of the festival? >> we have three gallery openings in the festival. one is called reclaim, which is a film art. the others are receptions that are happening at four different the supervisors' offices. the other is called mining the creative source. >> think you for sharing the content with us on "culture
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wire." >> thank you very much. >> it is in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the strikes at uc-berkeley of the study of ethnic studies. it is a celebration of that history, as well as some of the other items. >> what led to this multidisciplinary collaboration? >> i am from san francisco, and from the 1960's on, that is the aesthetics. the poets, working with the musicians, dancers, the waitresses, the jazz club, actors, whatever. the idea is we are all a community and we share this common story. >> did you reach out to the dancers? how did it come together? did they come to you? >> the choreographer and dancer
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actually was a student of mine and residency in cameron house and chinatown. i developed a friendship with her over many years, and also with the spoken word artists. i met him at a benefit at one of the benefits in chinatown. it is part of that ongoing really rich relationship building that happens in our arts community. >> i got a chance to hear a little bit of your performance, and i am a big fan of john coltrane, and you play a phenomenal sax. can you tell me a little about your musical influences. >> a particular piece about john coltrane was he reached out to asia and his global vision. as an asian american growing up and coming up in this country seeking some recognition, that was a very meaningful, making that kind of contribution.
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i really owe a debt to john coltrane for recognizing my culture and uplifting it as part of the music as well. >> i know that your family history is really rich and complex in terms of illustrating how the chinese has occurred over the last two centuries. it could talk about that? >> it began in the 1870's, when my great grandfather, instead of coming with everybody else to the united states to build a railroad, he went off the coast of madagascar are. -- madagascar are. he met a woman there who is creel, african-american, french, and chinese. they married, and they had family, and i am the product of that. growing up here in the bay area, we have some influences because
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it is the gateway for emigration. from many countries. you walk down the street, you are participating in that mix. in my music, i really want to express and represent that kind of topic that goes on in the streets. it is the most exciting part of being here. >> francis, thank you very much for being part of "culture wire" and thank you for being one of the great artists of san francisco. >> thank you so much. >> welcome to culturewater. in 2001, the san francisco arts commission and tampa does go public library established an arts master plan for the city soon to be renovated branch library. almost 10 years later, the san
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francisco arts commission has integrated a collection of vibrant new artworks by bay area artists into five new libraries, and there is more on the way. here is a closer look at some of the projects. >> the branch library improvement program is a bond funded program undertaken by the san francisco public library to upgrade each of the branch libraries throughout the neighborhoods. one of the great benefits of this opportunity is that each of these branches has a unique artwork that has been created specifically for that branch, based on input from people who live near that branch, in the
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surrounding neighborhood. >> trur- minded. there was a lot of community support for the project. i try to make it about the true hill and its history. they were something that natives used for making houses. the construction of the pond is based on abalone house construction. at the bottom of the form, it is woven into a rope which transforms into a manufactured rope. that is a reference to the cordish company, a big industry at the waterfront that went along with the shipbuilding industry. other examples of art work in libraries that you might be interested in seeing it is dana
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zed's glass shatters in front of a library. there are a wall sculptures in the lobby of the glen park branch library. and then there is an illuminated book on the wall of the mission bay library. >> "ocean current." we are on ocean avenue, so there is a connection to that. that is what this is about. culmination of all lot of dialogue, processing over a five-year period. that is longer than most art projects take, but i really feel like the product was enriched from that. making the sculpture involves forging and fabricating steel.
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we used to deal to create this flowing, central sculptor, heating, bending, grinding, painting, bending, and adding a patina to it. layers and layers of craftsmanship that went into this. >> of the artists who participated in this project are all bay area of projects. they work in a wide variety of media. metal, glass, natural elements, photography, just a range of different approaches and aesthetics. so we have created a nice collection of art work that is reflective of the current date. art scenes. and we invite everyone to participate and to see the unique art works that have been developed.
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>> to learn more, visit >> as the city of san francisco has grown, there are a number of cultural organizations that have grown with it. the san francisco symphony, the ballet, and ensure we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the san francisco museum of modern art's. one of the things many of our viewers may not understand about museums is the way they grow and evolve is really about a broad. his patient and support from many individuals who give their collections -- and broad support from many individuals who give their collections to the museum. this year it will be celebrating and abolishing those
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individuals through exhibition -- and acknowledging those individuals throughout asia. joining me is janet bishop, the curator. i understand you have been with the museum quite a number of years. you remember its original home on van ness. now you are part of that transition to the center, the civic center, and of course your museum has been really the anchor of cultural tenants that has helped us transform this area of the city. >> to my mind, it is wonderful to be part of such a rich cultural community. when visitors come to this area, that have so many different options. >> let's talk about the anniversary show, which will be a phenomenal opportunity for san franciscans and all visitors of
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the city to get a real sense of how the city has grown and the importance of culture. >> we focus on moments where it was involved in pushing the dialogue about contemporary art forward. the jackson pollock exhibition in 1945 is a perfect example of that. our founding director was deeply interested in abstraction and was engaged in dialogue with the guggenheim about bringing the jackson pollack showed to the west coast. the original price for the painting, $750. are directors thought that was too much of a stretch before the board of trustees, so she convinced them to reduce the price to firefighter dollars. it was just -- to $500. it was what was needed to persuade the board. it is a very subjective history of art. it has been very much shaped by the individuals involved with
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the museum over the years. in 1935, would start with the gallery with works that came in through albert bender, one of our founding trusties. when we opened our doors in 1935, 181 of the 186 pieces in our permanent collection had been gifted. >> what are the names that pop out as the museum evolved? >> we have another gallery that looks at the theories that the museum has since the late 1980's. we focus on a particular aspect of that program that developed under one of art curators. he arrived in 1989 and was especially interested in artists. >> are some of the highlights?
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>> one of the aspects of the museum program that i have been especially involved with have been the exhibitions that stand for society for the encouragement of contemporary art. it is encouraged to honor exceptional bay area artists during their careers. for instance, an early worked who showed here in 1996. for this exhibition, he has extended an updated it to 2010 with the addition of photographs and other frameworks. >> thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> as we examine the 75th anniversary, we cannot overlook its important role as an educational institution and how it brings public program to all of our citizens in the bay area. try me now to talk about that
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is dominick, the curator of education and public programs. you are vested with a multifaceted responsibility, with education and also multimedia. could you explain that? >> there are three main areas. we produce education activities for all ages, k-12, and adults, and we also produce a lot of educational media, a lot of interviews with artists, stuff that we published online, and other galleries. there's also a public program, which include some educational activities, but also live cultural programming for the artists projects. >> what are all the ways that the museum reaches out?
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>> the latest platform for educational media is launching right now with his anniversary. we have gotten to the point where we could put a lot of the content about artists, the stories behind artists we have had on line, but those on to the ipod touch. >> could you talk about the education role that the museum plays in the city of san francisco? >> we are in the middle of a new initiative to provide more resources and programs for families and the locality. we are benefiting from a grant from the wallace foundation, and in the last two years many more bay area families have come to the museum, participated in the programs, most of which take place on sundays. we will see more and more different offerings rolled out
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in the coming months. >> thank you, dominic, for being part of "culture wire." >> the museums are almost like a team sport. there is a tremendous amount of talented staff that puts together patrons to help support the institutions, but they all need a coach. the coach is the director. neal, could you let the viewers know, you have been director how long? >> we are working on eight years. >> now you have the 75th anniversary. how does that feel? >> we opened this building in 1995. it was bought at that time as a move from the civic center and the veterans building 2 third street, into our new building, a much expanded space, better space.
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it will be wonderful for the museum for decades to come. and 15 short years we have been amazed by we have outgrown the building. the collection has grown to 26,000 works. >> was a challenging to decide what was going to be put on display during the anniversary year? >> 3 people on our staff spent 2 1/2 years of going through archives, the storage vaults, honor think all kinds of works that we have not seen -- uncovering lot of works that we have not seen but also history we uncovered about how we presented a television show produced by the museum, in the museum, in 1950. a lot of great stories that the presentation tells. >> the most recent news was the incredible decision on the part
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of donna morris fisher to give their collection to sfmoma. >> think it is commonly understood that the fischer collection was 1100 works by some of the great contemporary works, one of the great collections in the world. in fact, the collection has not been seen. it has been largely stored at the headquarters, there has never been a publication or exhibition. >> but fischer collection and the additional expansion over the next 50 years, what in the next 25 years will the museum be doing? >> we are very committed to expanding the museum, expanding the collection, the overall growth of the museum. that is one of the things that is very important to us. we are about to enter a strategic planning process.
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the fundamental question we want to address is, how wil sfmoma growth and enhanced its engagement with the community? it is not enough that the museum has great works in its collection, has great exhibitions, wonderful education programs, it is how does the institution grow and enhance its relationship with the community. it is very important to us. >> on behalf of the residents of san francisco, we thank you for shepherding this institution through this incredible growth phase, and thank you for being part of "culture wire." >> my pleasure, thank you. >> the museum has exciting anni
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>> in district 10 is very much of a family city and neighborhood. >> welcome to district sf, featureless enigmatic district 10. this district has great weather, a football stadium, beautiful views of the bay, colorful history, and a community of outspoken activist, but the area is struggling over how to deal with environmental health problems, crime,
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poverty, and concerns about a i have one great grandchild. i think that should tell you i have been here a while. >> have always loved this neighborhood, and it just so happens that i married someone who loved this neighborhood, too. sort of the fall of each arm and the history of the buildings. the trees and the architecture resonated with me. >> i stayed in the neighborhood, went to school year, and i just continue to work in the neighborhood. it is a great neighborhood. >> i think we probably have more children and most seniors than most other districts. i would say we have energy and wisdom. we have a great deal of new asian families and older italian families, people would have been here for 80 or 90 years.
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and then leland avenue, which is very interesting because they, too, have an asian population and an african-american population. and then you have bayview hunters point. a lot of people keep year for jobs. and then potrero hill is very different because is kind of a new yuppie population, and little hollywood and dog patch. >> historical, district and has been home to shipyards, heavy industry, and a naval base. now, the naval base and most of the shipyards and factories are closed, but the environmental problems continue to impact the district. let's hear how residents are responding to the environmental and health issues they are facing. >> it was hard to breathe last night. i woke up coughing, you know? those are the things that we go through because of the
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contamination out here. >> this community has a history of issues, environmental issues that have been let go, just run amok. sitting in a meeting once with the health department, we discovered haphazardly that they had known for years that in bayview hunters point, african- american women under the age of 50 had the highest rate of breast cancer in the entire state, but the health department has noted for years, and they failed to address it. they only started talking about it when we actually found out. >> we have babies that were born -- that were stillborn. we have babies that live for maybe an hour or 2 and died afterwards, and nobody could explain why. nobody could explain any of it to us, and it all has to do with where we live, what we are breathing, and what we are playing on. we are not put it all off on pg &e, because we know that there are many issues, but this power plant was the number one
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largest single standing source of air and water pollution in bayview hunters point. for obvious reasons, we wanted to make it go away, but we started -- we decided that we were going to plant our feet and go after them, as we said, one goliaths at a time. >> the power plant issue, both potrero hill and bayview, you never hear one mentioned without the other. the spokesman did together to make sure they are getting rid of their power plants, and they look at which one was the worst, and the bayview one was the worst, and we got rid of that. >> the oldest power plant in the country. 77 years old, and we finally got it tore down by fighting. others tried to take the credit, but the community pushed the power plant down. >> i have a child suffers from the effects of this power plant and from the other pollutants. my job was to take it where it really counts.
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that is what we did. we formed mothers for environmental justice of on the hill because these guys were up at the foot of this power plant, and that was our first goliath. >> with the shipyard, long before we started coming up, we knew that there were issues. when i became elected, i co- authored legislation to make sure we put the health department has the lead agency so that health was number one, and then we put a lot of things in place, a lot of traders in place, so we felt that it whoever was going to redevelop it, if they did not do the right thing, then triggers would come into play, and we would be aware of it, and we would make some changes. >> better than 80% of all the schools in the city come out here. don't send everybody out here, that old dilapidated plant out there. >> sewage plants should not be within 25 feet of people's homes, and the bayview