3rd on Third Street Events to Get Public’s Input
At an August working group meeting to organize the 3rd on Third Street art celebrations in Bayview, Southside residents raised concerns that too few people were involved in the planning process. In response to the complaints, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the agency overseeing the event series, agreed to hold a public meeting to hear what residents want included in the celebrations.
Our “primary concern is ensuring that the funding that has been allocated for further activities in the Bayview is managed in a transparent, inclusive and smart way,” said Shane Mayer, a Bayview resident who attended last month’s working group meeting. Mayer spoke on behalf of BRITE, Bayview Residents Improving Their Environment, a group working to make the community safer, cleaner and more attractive. According to Mayer, he was told he wasn’t welcome at the meeting because the working group would be choosing its members, rather allowing anyone who wanted to join to do so, an approach he disagreed with, since public money is being used to pay for the celebrations.
Another meeting attendee, five-year Bayview resident Robert Davis, added, “Among the many issues is the neighbors think this is a public meeting; public money is being spent and we should have a say in what events take place in our neighborhood.”
The 3rd on Third Street celebrations are intended to spur economic activity along Third Street by attracting more foot traffic. During the next two fiscal years, $240,000 from District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen’s discretionary fund will be spent on the monthly celebrations, in equal amounts annually.
Two celebrations have already taken place. The first, in June, focused on murals created through the StreetSmArts program. At that event, six StreetSmArts murals painted on the sides of Bayview businesses were unveiled. Funding for the June event came from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Department of Public Works. That event was supposed to be a one-time thing, but it was such a success the City funded a second celebration in July, in part to maintain the momentum created a month earlier.
Future events will be planned by a professional consultant hired by the Arts Commission, which will issue a request for proposals after it holds the promised public meeting. Between now and the time a vendor is hired, $10,000 of the $120,000 earmarked for the next 12 months will be used to keep the event going.
Activities during future celebrations will center around Mendell Plaza, unlike the June and July celebrations, which occurred along Third Street from McKinnon to Quesada. “Supervisor Cohen clearly intended the funds to support the Third Street corridor merchants and specifically to maintain the activities that were introduced at the original 3rd on Third event in June,” wrote Judy Nemzoff, community arts and education program director of the San Francisco Arts Commission, to Alka Joshi, communications chair, BRITE. “She wants to see the event become established monthly and recognizes we would need significantly more funds and capacity to run the length and breadth of Third Street.”
The Arts Commission public meeting is scheduled September 11, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bayview Branch of the San Francisco Public Library.
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