Saturday, August 23, 2014

Transforming Vallejo and Mare Island: Summary and Proposals

Contact Transforming Vallejo facilitator Dr. Kay Flavell at New Pacific Studio in Vallejo, 321 Nevada St., [], office [707-563-5166], cell [707-342-7470], [newpacificstudio@)].
We are now ready to move towards constructive collaborative action in discussing how we wish to reshape the infrastructure of our museums /cultural destinations. Exciting times ahead!
Please add your names (if applicable) to a new list I am setting up called Vallejo Museums Consortium Resources  - Designers, Curators, Children's Museum Consultants, Medical History experts etc.
Hope to see you at the gallery on Friday Sep 12, 6:30pm. Since this will be during the September Art Walk, I hope our formal meeting can be over by 7:30pm so that some of us can then visit all the other venues and collect signatures.
We could not have reached this point without your support and many suggestions at our meetings from April- July, so thank you, everyone.

Transforming Vallejo and Mare Island 2014-2024  
Summary, Vision and Proposals of Study/Discussion Group after 8 meetings April 12 through July 19, 2014, facilitated by Dr Kay Flavell.
Next meeting: Friday September 12, 6.30pm- 9pm  McCree-Goudeau Gallery, cr. Marin and Florida. Founding meeting  of VALLEJO MULTICULTURAL COALITION. All welcome.

Summary -
Vallejo’s public parks and libraries are functioning well. Its schools are receiving intensive attention and pursuing clear strategies aiming at excellent results for all students. The main problem we identify is that Vallejo lacks an inclusive daytime public cultural destination with café, comparable to the Oakland Museum but on a smaller scale. The JFK Library lacks a café. The Empress is evenings - only, with an entertainment focus. Both museums target special-interest groups with a naval focus and receive no city funding. Two new independent groups, The Hub and Artiszen, are bravely attempting to fill that gap. This lack of a credentialed daytime public cultural space as an inclusive visitor destination is retarding the development of the city.

Vision 2014-2024 -
** Over the next decade Vallejo and Mare Island will become widely known to locals and to national / international tourists as an exciting multicultural city famous for its
* diversity, cultural festivals and street markets
* rich maritime heritage and Mare Island Historic Core
* ferry services to downtown San Francisco and Vallejo/Mare Island
* historic downtown and adjoining Victorian residential districts
* Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve and San Pablo Bay Trail
* panoramic vistas, and twin-waterfront location in the northern San Francisco Bay Area.

** Its cultural infrastructure, such as schools, colleges, universities, libraries, museums, parks and hospitals, will draw on the best professional expertise to foster a climate of learning, creativity and healthy living, build collaborative programs, and partner with other Bay Area and regional institutions

** Its economic development will encourage mixed-use and environmentally friendly businesses.
The city will emphasize its central location, its excellent climate, and its accessibility to all Bay Area markets.

Proposals -
1. Set up a VALLEJO MULTICULTURAL COALITION.  Founding meeting – Friday September 12, 6.30pm- 9pm McCree-Goudeau Gallery, cr. Marin and Florida.
* to educate ourselves and others about our different cultural perspectives and histories (via monthly talks, discussions, films)
* combat institutionalized racism, and work together for equal justice.
* acknowledge the long history and continuing presence of Indigenous Native Americans and honor their cultural sites in our community
* Turn our diversity into a valued community asset, and bring together business, arts and college communities.

2. For the July 4 parade, invite students to work with Michael and Valerie Nelson of Magical Moonshine to create GIANT puppets representing central figures in the struggle for civil rights : African American, Filipino, Latino.   (Current puppets General Vallejo and his wife Benicia, their mare, the submarine Mariano Vallejo, and the Statue of Liberty were all made by the Nelsons). Invite the Native American community to participate in civil rights performances.

3. Create a new Annual Multicultural Calendar of Events listing all environmental and cultural ethnic festivals.

4. Develop a NEW DESTINATION: a contemporary Vallejo  Multicultural  Center/Museum downtown, with a café, children’s play area, and hands-on educational, environmental and creative activities designed for people of all ages.  Its focus will be on the Vallejo community now and the shaping of our future.
(The existing two naval and historical museums focus on memorializing the pre-1996 past, though the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum (VNHM) also hosts art exhibitions and various community events. 95% of out-of-town visitors to the VNHM are naval-related. The Mare Island Artifacts Museum (MIAM) lacks a professional director, lighting, design and narrative. Volunteers have enabled both institutions to survive but not to thrive. Given improved resources including more professional staff, VNHM director James Kern could transform both history-based museums into city hotspots with much greater visitor figures.)

5. Expand marketing of Vallejo/Mare Island to Bay Area day tourists. Current focus of Convention/Visitors' Center is solely on Six Flags and overnight family stays.

6. Create a Guide to Vallejo’s Community Gardens, to encourage ongoing public participation.

7. Expand marketing of Vallejo’s historic residential districts and downtown buildings via monthly rather than annual guided tours, following Benicia’s model.

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