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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!

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

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.”

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!

March 2013 – Calendar of events

LP logo Color small


Check out the calendar of events for March 2013

RADAR + La Peña + Tru Bloo present: HEAR ME ROAR! – HHBG Series 2013


HHBG-FINAL-Tru BlooLa Peña is proud to present: Hip Hop Beyond Gender Series 2013, conceived by visionary emcee Tru Bloo.
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.

HEAR ME ROAR! A night of queer/feminist hip hop literature + spoken word. This first event of the series features:

Aya de Leon is a writer/performer working in poetry, fiction, and hip hop theater. Her work has received acclaim in the Village Voice, Washington Post, American Theatre Magazine, and has been featured on Def Poetry, Essence Magazine, and various anthologies and journals. She was named best discovery in theater for 2004 by the SF Chronicle for “Thieves in the Temple: The Reclaiming of Hip Hop,” a solo show about fighting sexism and commercialism in hip hop. Also in 2004, she received a Goldie award from the SF Bay Guardian in spoken word for “Thieves…” and her subsequent show “Aya de Leon is Running for President.” In 2005 she was voted “Slamminest Poet” in the East Bay Express. Aya has been an artist in residence at Stanford University, a Cave Canem poetry fellow, and a slam poetry champion. She publicly married herself in the 90s and since 1995 has been hosting an annual Valentine’s Day show that focuses on self-love. Aya has released three spoken word CDs, several chapbooks, and a video of “Thieves…” Since becoming a mom, she has been working to transition from being a touring performer into being a novelist. She is currently working on a sexy feminist heist caper. She is the Director of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program, teaching poetry, spoken word, and hip hop at UC Berkeley. Feel free to visit her website that has barely been updated since her daughter was born three years ago:

Raquel Gutiérrez cut her teeth on Los Angeles performance art when she interned and house managed at Highways Performance Space in the year 2000. Raquel is a performance writer, playwright, and cultural organizer, studied in university settings and performed in a variety of locations, like the Salvadoran countryside, cabarets, galleries, San Antonio, more universities, Pico-Union, etc. In 2001, Gutiérrez was one of the co-founding members of the performance ensemble, Butchlalis de Panochtitlan (BdP), a community-based and activist-minded group aimed at creating a visual vernacular around queer Latinidad in Los Angeles. Raquel also co-founded other queer women of color projects and Latino projects, Tongues, A Project of VIVA and Epicentro Poetry project. Raquel has published work in Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing (edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano), Los Angeles Weekly, Make/shift magazine, Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies, and Izote Vos: Salvadoran American Literary and Visual Art (published by SF’s Pacific News Service). Currently, Raquel is working on a novel while being the Manager of Community Partnerships for Cornerstone Theater Company, a leader in community-based theater-making in the United States.

Chinaka Hodge is a poet, playwright and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, Chinaka graduated from NYU in 2006, and is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Writing for Film and TV at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Chinaka was a member of the U.S. Artist Delegation to the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya in early 2007. She was the Assistant Director of Suzan Lori Parks’ 365 Plays, 365 Days, at its San Francisco debut in November 2006. Her first independently written play, Mirrors in Every Corner, commissioned by SF’s Intersection for the Arts, is a 2010 Rockefeller MAP Fund grantee. Her work has been featured in Teen People Magazine, Newsweek, The San Francisco Chronicle, Theater Bay Area Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, Scholastic Magazine, Current Magazine, The Annual Women of Color Film Festival, PBS, NPR, CNN, C-Span, and in two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry. Chinaka is the oldest of seven children, split between six parents and five households. In short, she’s a true product of blended-family, Northern California and the late 90s. She aspires, above all else, to be an outstanding great-grandmother.

Carrie Leilam Love is a writer and community artist from Oakland, California. She was a real book nerd growing up, so it surprised no one when she received an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She likes to write poems and stories about people struggling to love themselves and each other, which is totally the dominant narrative of the human condition. Some of her poems and stories have been published by Diner Journal, Intersection for the Arts, and others. She recently performed in Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance, and was invited by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU to speak with distinguished company about cultural representation and the responsibility of artists. Formerly, she was a contributing editor for Ironing Board Collective, where she wrote about the intersections of politics and sartorial choice. In 2011 she founded The Ephemory Project in memory of her brother, a website and organization dedicated to using creativity to heal communities and raise awareness about epidemic violence. In her free time, she has pursued at one time or another and to varying degrees of success: gardening, triathlon, roller derby, and quilting. Currently she is the BayView Community Artist in Residence for WritersCorps, a program of the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Dawn Robinson is a genderqueer writer and filmmaker who calls Oakland, California home. Dawn is a two-time Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging Writer, and seeks a wider conversation on issues of race, gender and sexuality and firmly believes in the organic creative spark in each of us; the work we do is part of a global continuum of gratitude, rage, rebirth and irreverence. For Dawn it’s pie over cake, salty over sweet, crunchy over creamy, beach over snow, dogs over cats, and fire over ice.

Featured in the HBO Documentary Asians Aloud, Kit Yan tell stories through slam poetry from the lens of a queer and transgender Asian American from Hawaii who travels all over the world on tour. Through touching love poems, coming out stories, and comedic tales of his childhood. New York Magazine describes his art as “knockout spoken-word” while Curve magazine says “incredible slam poetry” and Bitch magazine states that: “The eloquence of Kit’s spoken-word delivery lies in the anti-racist, anti-homophobic, gender-inclusive, language that ties his lyrics together.” Kit’s work has been taught at universities all over the world from Singapore to San Francisco State to Harvard. Kit is on Campus Pride’s Top 25 LGBT college campus speakers and artists hot list and is dedicated to creating positive social change. In 2010, Kit appeared in a census psa focusing on same-sex couples and people of color. Kit also spoke to over 200,000 from the stage of the 2009 National Equality March, performed on the 2009 San Francisco Pride main stage, and earned a top three spot at the 2010 National Queer Slam. Kit Yan is the first ever Mr. Transman 2010.

Love Fest 2013 with Aya De Leon

Lovefest_2.13FINALAya de Leon takes a break from parenting to present her annual Love Fest 2013, an alternative Valentine’s celebration in music and spoken word! Celebrating love of self, spirit, community, family, peace & democracy.

Guest hosted by Micia Mosely.

Featuring new work by Aya de Leon, poets & teachers from UCB & Poetry for the People plus other guests TBA!

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