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Dear ArtSeed Families, Friends, Artists and Benefactors,

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Thank you for making this past programming year the most remarkable since ArtSeed’s founding almost 15 years ago! Through our collaboration with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players I witnessed three to ten-year-olds at the SF Public Montessori School writing and drawing in their accordion books specific reasons why they are inspired by Anton Webern, Gertrude Stein, or Andrea Palladio. There, and at the Leola Havard Early Education School, I listened to children this same age compose mottos for their Coats of Arms, and watched them construct miniature imaginary rooms from odds and ends to develop a sprawling shanty town. They exercised critical thinking, expressed their own individuality, and cultivated their tactile intelligence.

Dozens of ArtSeed Teaching Artists, (many new volunteers and some, in our core, despite life-changing challenges) gave generously of themselves in schools and public workshops to help even the youngest illuminate our theme, Legacies and Living Spaces. Distinguished guest artists, as well as a conductor and an anthropologist gave spellbinding presentations in classrooms, some in their homes or studios, or at ArtSeed’s Fine Arts Summer Intensive. This latter was hosted by the Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club in Bayview Hunters Point and included a field trip to the di Rosa Preserve, the historic Napa Valley collection of major works by Northern California Artists. Our two Open Studios and our final exhibition at the Thoreau Center for Sustainability drew the largest, and most appreciative, crowd of visitors ever!

Behind the scenes, we piloted and are developing our unprecedented Cottage Residency Program (visit Blue Mountain -Rentals for more details) for centrally involved artists and educators who are invited to reside affordably in the Diamond Heights home bequeathed to ArtSeed by our late benefactor, the distinguished photographer of historically marginalized communities, Michelle Vignes. Click to Read more.

We are immensely grateful to of all you individual donors, sponsors, government agencies and foundations listed below and on who have been so loyal through economic storms that raged around us these past fifteen years. To supplement this mainstay income we embarked this year on a grant-writing campaign (up from two or three a year to thirteen!) to make it possible to build our staff, our programs and start to create a cash reserve to secure them. ArtSeed artists and youth won almost half of the $2,000-$8,000 grants from the agencies we applied to. Wish us even better luck with our next round! Now we have attracted more experienced volunteers who have begun to mentor us in leveraging the enthusiastic testimonies of returning alum who describe the lasting outcomes manifested in their lives from ArtSeed involvement.

ArtSeed is experiencing big changes as we WELCOME painter Mark Harris, our new Program Coordinator and a half dozen new volunteers and interns who are committed over the long haul to take ArtSeed families to a powerful new place!

Mark Harris in ArtSeed’s new tee-shirt designed by Peter Mann.

To recap some highlights of 2013-2014 in pictures (from top to bottom, right to left)check out our selection below: 1) DeNae Landrum, ArtSeed’s CA Lawyers for the Arts Intern with Marja van der Loo, ArtSeed’s Interim Program Coordinator and Trey Houston ArtSeed’s Past Program Coordinator (with daughter Annika); 2-5) Leola Havard Early Education School Coats of Arms, Trey’s photo composite of abandoned mattresses, Shanty Town installation, and Closing Reception for Legacies and Living Spaces at the Thoreau Center; 6-9) Shiri Mordechay, current Cottage Artist-in-Residence, with her drawings, Jeff Castleman, Trey, Josefa Vaughan and students from ArtSeed’s Summer Intensive on field trips to the home studio of artist Royce Vaughn (no relation to Josefa) and at the de Rosa Preserve. Brooklyn Z., Trey and Dina Kharag in glass bottle house by Mildred Howard; 10-11) Todd Standish, ArtSeed Board Member and Teaching Artist with student Josephine A. at the SF Public Montessori School .

Finally, we wish to extend the warmest THANK YOU to Trey Houston, ArtSeed’s Program Coordinator for the past two years who was also ArtSeed’s Pilot Cottage Artist-in-Residence. Visit ArtSeed’s website and click our Flickr link to find the “Cottage Activities” set containing images from his four months at 654 28th Street. Ninety percent of the extraordinary documentation of our school programs and events for the past five years in our Flickr album are Trey’s phenomenal photos!