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SOMA Leadership Council Meets Wednesday

Draft Agenda
SoMa Leadership Council
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
6:00 PM at The Arc of San Francisco
180 Eleventh Street, 2nd floor (wheelchair accessible)

“… to ensure that South of Market remains a
compassionate, diverse, vibrant and complete neighborhood.”


An agenda for arts and entertainment

What can be done to stop the displacement of the arts in South of

Is there still hope for the moribund entertainment scene?

We can talk endlessly about how much we value the presence of artists in this community, how their spontaneous and exuberant expressions of creativity enhance our everyday lives, how much fun it used to be to live here in SoMa … but what are we doing to ensure that the arts and entertainment remain a vibrant part of our future?

The Western SoMa Community Plan just scratches the surface of what can be done. The Plan envisions the area south of Harrison Street becoming the Service, Arts and Light Industrial (SALI) zone, where jobs would be the primary focus, new housing would be prohibited (except in the residential enclaves) and bonuses provided to encourage the development of new arts space. The SALI would see an expansion of entertainment opportunities. In addition, accessory entertainment venues (restaurants, galleries, coffee houses, etc.) would be allowed for the first time along the proposed Folsom Street Neighborhood Commercial corridor.

The WSoMa Task Force is preparing to vote to include the arts among
the categories of public amenities that qualify as recipients of
public benefits funding.

What more can be done?

* Can we encourage the expansion of public art?

* Utilize buildings awaiting development as temporary workshop space
to keep them from blighting our neighborhoods?

* Develop economic incentives to facilitate the inclusion of the arts
in new construction?

* Explore more opportunities for more nighttime entertainment under
liberalized zoning controls?

* Encourage the development of a vibrant Folsom Street commercial

* Demystify the “rent party” options for fundraising?

* Make arts and entertainment a full partner in the Complete
Neighborhoods we’re building?

Can changes to zoning and land use policy preserve the intangibles
that make SoMa unique? Yes! The Western SoMa Community Plan continues to evolve in response to input from the creative community. The dialog between neighbors and nightclubs is operating on a whole new level, devoid of the bitterness and confrontation of recent years. The economic downturn is opening up new opportunities.

It’s time for the arts and entertainment community to translate all
this talk into political action. Join us next Wednesday.

Remember, you set the agenda

Bring along your suggestions for future guests and subject matter …
and, bring some fruit, a snack or a little dessert for your neighbors.
As always, don’t forget that this is always a great opportunity to
share information about local political, social and cultural
activities with everyone at next week’s SoMa Leadership Council.

The SoMa Leadership Council meets on the third Wednesday of every
month at The Arc of San Francisco. The council is a private
neighborhood organization but the public is always welcome to attend
and participate. For more information, visit us at …


Jim Meko, Chair
SoMa Leadership Council

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