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La Peña Board Meeting Minutes, Dec 16, 2013

LP Board Meeting – Monday, December 16, 2013

Present: Mariola, Paul, Victor, Carol, Alex, Eric, Francine, Kristen, Ellen, and Sarah.

Meeting started at 6:15pm.

1.    Approve notes from the Nov. 18 mtg.

Carol moves to approve minutes from 11/18/13.

Paul seconds.

All in favor.

Sarah, Victor and Mariola abstain (not part of the Board at the moment.)

2.    Welcome new board members Sarah Guerra and Victor Martinez and renewed board member Mariola Fernandez.

3.    Report from ED: Kristen sees the need to form an active fundraising committee. This is a primary duty of the board, and we have an enormous opportunity between now and June 2015 with the Building Our Future campaign to be followed by 40th Anniversary activities.

ACTION: Kristen and Eric will look at the budget to determine if LP has money for hiring someone to help with fundraising.

Agreed: in the meantime we should keep a roster of ideas for fundraising; have another phone banking before the end of the year.

ACTION: Kristen will send an email to the board to inform of date for phone banking.

Addressing letter sent to the Board from some community, mural, and chorus members:

ACTION: Kristen will respond to the letter.

Points to cover: regular communication will be through our website; we are planning to go through with the renovations; schedule for the renovations; give numbers for the different phases; programming plan; general direction of LP; we look forward to open communication; we are willing to address the concerns; we are committed to our founding principles.

4.    Financial committee (financial review) by Carol of finance committee:

  • Thus far, for fiscal year 2014, our financial results are in line with the budget projections: Total revenue from the door has met our projected budget and also our overall operating expenses are in line with our budget projections.
  • We’ve received about $40,000 for the capital campaign with an additional $35,000 in pledges.
  • We’ve been doing very well with grants, particularly with key ones such as Hewlett and Haas.
  • So far we’ve taken the investment for the Café from the General Operations fund of the Cultural Center. We are not sure yet if we can use the endowment money for the Café. We are doing additional research.
  • For the most part we are living within our budget with minor variances.
  • Total budget for renovations, including contingencies: around $110,000. We have more than that amount available in cash, not including BOF pledges.
  • We would not be sending out a good message to our funders, donors, etc. if we delay the start of the project.


5.    Mural Report:

The mural group has raised most of what they’ve spent. The artists have been asked to do some touch ups on faces that some have complained about. The mural group has a plan/commitment to raise the money needed for this, which is about $3,000. There are some lights to put up too.

6.    Report from the Café Committee:

Things have been challenging. LP has invested $50,000 so far of which about $26,000 at this time is lost. The past month and a half has shown improvement in revenue.

We’re adopting a new approach to what we’re serving and doing popup kitchens where we bring a guest chef to handle the food service while the Café keeps proceeds from the sale of beverages. The most successful one so far has been the Flamenco cuisine, ñora. We are planning to start opening on Tuesdays. We are also getting interest from restaurants to take over the daytime business as a concession. The idea is that they open for breakfast and lunch and they would leave at 2:30pm. They would pay a rental fee and have a 1-year maximum lease. We had a tasting from one of these businesses and the board was very happy with the results. We also have interest from 2 more businesses. The deadline for proposals is December 20 and the Café board will make a decision by January 6. In terms of programming, there has been a lot more in the Lounge with many exciting events. We will try this arrangement for the next few months to see where we stand and re-evaluate as needed.

7.    Report from the Café Committee:

The construction schedule is being developed. Programming for February should be okay.

ACTION: Kristen will send out a report after hearing construction scheduling details this week.

8.    Capital Campaign updates (see financial report above).

9.    Kristen’s leave: Kristen presented her plan for maternity leave including time off and part-time work

10.   Set February meeting: Monday, February 3 from 6-8pm at La Peña.

Meeting ends at 8:30pm.

Celebrate! The Bomba y Plena Workshop’s 13 years of Puerto Rican Music and Dance in the Bay Area!


Join us for a celebration of the Bomba y Plena Workshop. We turn 13 and are honoring our students, families and friends. Performances by the Children’s Workshop, Adult Workshop and the Music Ensemble Workshop. We will end the night with a Bombazo and Jam at La Peña’s Cafe.

Doors open at 6:30pm with performances at 7pm. 
Tickets: $7-10 sliding scale. Child donation: $5

Hotter Than July, A Celebration and Benefit for the 2013 Girls Raks Bellydance & Body Image Program

HTJ2013_postcard_front HTJ2013_postcard_back evoi0715belly

All ticket sales support the Girls Raks Bellydance & Body Image Program.

The event features Bay Area professional bellydance treasures OREET, Ahava, Monica Berini, Shabnam Dance Company, Raks al Khalil, special performances from summer program participants, Girls Raks and event producers, Raks Africa.

Girls Raks is fiscally sponsored by Dancers’ Group.

La Peña & Tru Bloo present: WO(MB)ANIFEST: PEACE BATTLE – HHBG 2013

Manifesting our futures. Graffiti, DJing, breakdancing and MCing are all indispensable elements of hip hop. While often male dominated, these elements are also inhabited by female and transgender artists and dancers. Tru Bloo has conceived the Hip Hop Beyond Gender Series and is bringing an evening of all these elements to La Peña!

Featured Artists
On the Mics:
Tru Bloo
Tre Natro

On the One’s and Two’s:
DJ Trinity
DJ Rosa la Rumorosa

On the Floor:
Sisterz of The Underground

And a Live Graffiti Crew to complete all elements. All in one night!

The People’s Kitchen – La Peña’s Activist of the Month – Feb. 2013



Feature Activist

La Peña highlights the effort of The People’s Kitchen for bringing communities together as a free, monthly, community restaurant that couples political education & movement building with a high-end, local, organic meal that is lovingly prepared by community chefs. Also for using food as a tool for storytelling and reclaiming community knowledge. Lastly, for believing that sharing food as a community is key to decolonization.

For more information on The People’s Kitchen visit them on
Facebook or Twitter. Also join The People’s Kitchen mailing list and eat with us!

We Scratch: DJ Remixed Dance Party with Bay Area’s premier DJs! – HHBG 2013

We-Scratch-Postcard-backWe-Scratch-Postcard-FrontLa Peña, True Bloo & Queendom Presents:
We Scratch: DJ Remixed Dance Party with the Bay Area’s premier DJs!
Hip Hop Beyond Gender 2013

Hip Hop begins with the DJ. The DJ sets the pace, style and rhythm to the flow. Since the birth of Hip-Hop in 1977, women have been present in the game transcending language barriers, cultural differences, and gender bias. In this male dominated industry, meet Bay Area’s finest women DJs that are right up there with the best- pushing the limits in Hip Hop: Deeandroid, Pam the Funkstress, and DJ Zita!

Hear them transcend music with their mixes, see the versatility of their techniques in the turntables and enjoy their groove that will sure get you sweating on the dance floor!

DJ Workshop
Also- join us for a workshop and dialogue with two of the Bay Area’s premier professional women DJs, Zita and Pam the Funkstress, as they lead the WE SCRATCH Workshop through a talk and DJ demonstration about women DJs in the hip hop music industry, DJ techniques and tips, and a Q&A session.

@Multicultural Community Center in UC Berkley at Hearst Field Annex D
Friday, April 26, 2013 • 5-7pm

March 2013 – Calendar of events

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Check out the calendar of events for March 2013

La Peña, Tru Bloo & Emergence Media present: Event Horizon – HHBG Series 2013

For advance tickets click here.


Hip Hop Beyond Gender Series 2013

Hip Hop Beyond Gender is a five-part events series that features performances and workshops showcasing the cutting-edge music and art of women and trans Hip Hop artists. Mainstream hip hop may be lacking in female and trans artists, but La Peña, in collaboration with visionary emcee Tru Bloo, seek to prove that hip hop culture is alive and well amongst all genders. Hip Hop Beyond Gender illuminates the inherent connection between Hip Hop Culture and the struggle against misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. Each event will showcase the impact of music and art by women and transgender people in the hip hop movement.

Event Horizon is the second event of the HHBG Series proving that Hip Hop can transcend the Hip-Hop binary and showcase more complex ideologies and identities. Traditional Hip-hop communities reflect the realities of world we live in: where women, queer, trans, and gender variant voices are often pushed out and silenced. The ultimate critique of this hate, invisibilizing, and misrepresentation is to embody the solutions we want to see. We do this by creating spaces like Event Horizon and Hip-Hop Beyond Gender. If you want women, queer, trans, and gender variant hip hop artists to work towards inclusivity in hip hop you must support them.

Invincible is sometimes compared to fellow Detroit rapper Eminem on account of their verbal astuteness and spitfire wordplay, but the comparisons stop there. Invincible’s vision and work surpass any mainstream hip hop artist in terms of social progression and change. Invincible’s community activism work is just as prominent as their hip hop career and the two are inextricably linked. Invincible is the co-founder of EMERGENCE Media, and released their debut album ShapeShifters (2008), produced award winning videos like The Revival (2009) about women in hip-hop, and Locusts (2008) exploring displacement and gentrification in Detroit and well as being a fellow of Kresge Arts in Detroit and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for Women and Gender in the Arts and Media.

Formed in 1999, Las Krudas is a Cuban hip hop duo, raperas, that brought the female voice to the beginning of hip hop in Cuba. Las Krudas, have received a lot of attention in numerous documentaries and dissertations for their open homosexual identity. Their feminist lyrics and performance battle machismo and celebrate the power and beauty of women of color. They have earned international acclaim performing, recording, speaking, and touring in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, bringing Cubensi hip hop, dance-hall, cumbia, old and new school beats from around the world laced with their extraordinary Afro-Caribbean rebel lyrics and indomitable voices to empower communities.

Micah Domingo discovered his love and talent for hip hop while attending Boston University, and from there he began performing and produced what many call, the gay hip hop anthem, “Did It On ‘Em”. Micah takes the beats and melodies from popular hip hop anthems and transforms them from the superficial and frivolous to to discussing the trials, tribulations and triumphs of being queer in the world. His fan site describes his lyrics, “Micah attempts to capture raw emotions through lyrics that cut the skin, and peel back all the layers, to reveal the blood and guts of what it means to be human.”  He himself claims “For me, hip-hop is the music of struggle,” he says, “fighting to stay above water.”

Dignidad Rebelde – Featured Artist – Jan. 2013

dignidad rebelde fixed


La Peña Cultural Center honors the work of Dignidad RebeldeTheir art collaboration amplifies the voices of people that rebel with dignity against oppression and be an empowering reflection of their struggles, dreams and visions. The work of Dignidad Rebelde is multi-layered with history, cultural awareness, aesthetics, collaboration and more. Rooted in the Xicanisma and Zapatismo movements, their work is worthy of museums exhibits, as well as, street rallies. Dignidad Rebelde has collaborated with more than 60 community organizations and artist, voicing their resistance in a creative way.



For more information visit: Dignidad Rebelde.

Follow Dignidad Rebelde in facebook

Calendar of events – February 2013

Here is our calendar of events for Feb. 2013.  Download calendar here. 
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