Daly City seeks members for new Arts and Culture Commission 

click to enlarge transit station
  • Brendan P. Bartholomew/Special to the S.F. Examiner
  • Joseph Curran, director of Daly City’s Department of Library and Recreation Services, says the transit station at Top of the Hill could see more public art courtesy of the new Arts and Culture Commission.
Hoping to focus more efforts toward the arts, Daly City is looking for volunteers to serve on its new five-member Arts and Culture Commission.

Department of Library and Recreation Services Director Joseph Curran said ideal candidates would be local citizens who have demonstrated their commitment to the arts through patronage or educational or professional involvement. He said the commission would meet monthly, and its members would serve as liaisons between the arts community and the City Council.

Councilman Mike Guingona said the Arts and Culture Commission would fill a long-standing need, noting that local support for the arts has been lacking in recent years. While City Hall’s third floor used to showcase the work of local artists, he said the exhibits fell by the wayside, partly because only one person facilitated them. In addition to helping bring art back to City Hall, Guingona said he also hopes the commission will encourage cultural festivals to celebrate the diverse heritages of the city’s residents.

“We want to get this going as soon as we can,” Guingona said.

Curran said there are groups interested in adding cultural celebrations of their own to the city’s existing roster of events. For example, he said members of the local Samoan-American community are interested in creating a Pacific Islander celebration, an event with which the Arts and Culture Commission could be involved.

Another area where Curran envisions the new commission making some improvements is in the display of art in public. He said San Francisco and other metropolitan areas tend to have art in their public spaces, but he lamented the fact that Daly City currently does not. He said the recently unveiled Centennial Plaza at Top of the Hill is an example of a public space that’s “crying out” for art.

Curran also noted that there are almost no statues to honor the people who helped build Daly City. Although pioneering developer Henry Doelger is commemorated by a couple of busts, Curran said none of the city’s parks boast a statue in honor of businessman John Daly, the city’s namesake.

Curran said Mayor Ray Buenaventura has been a driving force behind the creation of an Arts and Culture Commission for the city. Buenaventura, who is recovering from knee surgery, was unavailable for comment.

Applications to join the Arts and Culture Commission are available from the City Clerk’s Office, located at 333 90th St., Daly City.

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