Performing Arts Center at City College Resurrected by Trustees
With all the cynicism about politics now surrounding the Presidential election, it's important to recognize the success grass roots activists can have at the local level. One such example is the reinstatement of plans to complete the building of a new Performing Arts Center at City College's main campus. This major building project was previously approved and funded by San Francisco voters in two separate bond measures. Despite the fact that an award winning design plan had already been approved by the state and some foundational construction already completed, the project was summarily cancelled by the "Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers" at at time when the elected Board of Trustees lacked the power to stand up to the administration. But with the reinstatement of full powers for the elected Trustees, we are seeing better decision making that reflects the interests of San Franciscans.
The activisism around the Performing Arts Center has been intense, with students, faculty and community members organizing many direct actions on campus to get the word out. As previsously reported below, this activism included singing protests in front of the administration building (to demonstrate the lack of practice rooms) and a performance/teach-in event at the Diego Rivera Theater. And after the Trustees regained their decision making power, activists lobbied the board to insure that the Performing Arts Center would be reinstated. Today one of those Trustees, John Rizzo, reported on the resurrection of the Perfoming Arts Center in his newsletter:
"I'm happy to report that the Performing Arts Center is now part of the College's Five-Year Capital Outlay Plan that we sent to the State Chancellor's office, and will be part of the College's Facilities Master Plan, due later this year.
In addition to providing much-needed state-of-the art performance spaces for students and local artists, this facility will provide new educational opportunities tro San Francisco students. We currently lack the facilities to offer classes in 'back-stage' technology, such as lighting and set design, audio/video recording of live music, dance, and drama perfomances, and other fields that employ people in the Bay Area.
The Performing Arts Center will also be the new home of the famous mural, Pan American Unity (1940) by Diego Rivera. The mural is currently displayed in the crumbling and inadequate Diego Rivera Theater."