San Francisco artists feel left out of America’s Cup

Getty Images file photoArtists based in San Francisco say they feel left out of the planning for America's Cup because only $120

Despite countless outreach meetings held by organizers of the America’s Cup yacht race coming to San Francisco in 2013, some local artists feel left out of the process.

A litany of complaints from visual and performance artists dominated a Board of Supervisors committee hearing on Monday. Supervisor Eric Mar noted that despite the event’s $300 million price tag, only $120,000 has been budgeted for arts.

“You’ve really got to get it together,” Bruce Davis, a former arts director for the Arts Council Silicon Valley, told the committee. “It’s only 18 months away.”

Other artists complained that their attempts to get involved in the planning process have been met with a cold reception. Deborah Slater, a longtime dance choreographer in the Mission district, said she worked on arts programs for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where outreach by planners garnered good results.

“These [arts] organizations soon became co-producers of the games,” she said.

Similarly, Mission district community organizer Roberto Hernandez said local festivities for the 1994 World Cup also were the result of strong collaboration, but the America’s Cup has not followed suit.

“There is no plan for the arts,” Hernandez said. “America’s Cup has blown us off.”

Dan Hodapp, senior waterfront planner for the Port of San Francisco, said Monday’s hearing served as a primer for how artists can become involved.

“What’s going on here is an explanation for how to be included,” Hodapp said. “What you didn’t see today is how it could be funded.”

The 34th America’s Cup regatta — a world-renowned yacht race — is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to San Francisco in 2013 and generate more than $1 billion in economic activity.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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