Apr 20 2021

Art Center Lease Refused

On Monday 19, 2021, for over two hours the City Council heard from the City staff, legal counsel, and the public, including Art Center Board members. 

Inclusion, diversity, continued use as an arts venue, city scheduling and management of the building were repeatedly emphasized.  Additionally, community involvement, prioritization of usage, end to subletting, risk assessments, city costs, staffing, and  utilization of the space were among the many topics discussed.

More information was also requested  by the Council to support their decision making.  Established hours of usage by the Art Center were requested.  Information available indicated only 20% of the programmable space was being utilized.

Art shows, chess, various music formats, book reviews, discussion groups, meeting spaces and classes were some of the many potential uses mentioned.

In the end, the Council did not reach a clear consensus on direction for the use of 801 Magnolia.  The matter was  returned to the City Administrator and City Attorney  to synthesize the ideas discussed and return to the City Council with alternative plans for the public facility.  City Administrator, Sara Lillevand stated she wanted the matter to expeditiously return to the City Council, for many potential facility users wanted to be scheduled.

Input can be provided to the City Council and the City Administrator at:



2 Responses to “Art Center Lease Refused”

  1. Still no mention of a Senior Center which is badly needed in our community. Although I have gotten many positive responses from Piedmont Seniors regarding this issue, I don’t see it listed as a priority and I’m hoping we can get a corner for seniors. Many go into Oakland where there are arts & crafts, drama, dancing, book groups,community service projects, etc. etc. .

  2. The key to having all those activities in 801 is for the city to fully manage the space. There is now talk of an MOU between the city and PCA but if that agreement simply enshrines the terms of the proposed lease then the diverse activities that people want probably won’t happen. 801 has a range of space – the formal main hall, the utilitarian east wing and the intimate office spaces – and the city needs to book all three to facilitate best use of the building.

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