a whole bunch of people to the library, because I needed a neutral, non-television space. I didn't want to go to KQED or Ant Farm or Open Eye or Marin Community Video or any of the TV projects because they all wanted money for themselves, and I knew that the foundation would not be willing to fund eight or nine organizations. So I presented them with the figures, that over the number of years we had made over 600.000 in grants to that area, and I said, "That is a considerable investment. What can we do that will benefit all of you in someway? There is every likelihood that the foundation will continue to fund at that level if there is an organization that benefits a number of artists in some way. Will you people please find a way. "And they were very uncomfortable. Each one wanted to come up privately and say, "Well, that's all very well and good, but all you really need to do is give us the money." It was wonderful. It was my San Francisco period where I learned about San Francisco democracy. I thought I was a liberal; I had no idea of the residual prejudices I had about the democratic process, but they told me. It was a great learning experience. I was playing the role of funder and organizer, the patrons, it you will. I would meet with them and challenge them and be nice and try and got people co-cooperate. It was difficult, but it never would have happened without all that.
One can imagine the intense response to this kind of proposal-asking a diverse community of video artists and documentarians to coalesce and form a proposal for one organization to be financed by the foundation (especially in the wake of funding an organization like NCET, which had not been designed to serve the needs of the Bay Area video community). San Francisco has an active and highly varied video community to this day. For a variety of reasons the media arts centers in the Bay Area seem to alternate between regarding each other with competitive suspicion and cooperative spirit. Certainly Klein's dilemma of how to mesh the controlling criteria of the foundation board of trustees and the varied community of San Francisco was no simple task. However, the act of dangling this financial carrot before the community inevitably heightened its competitive spirit.
By all accounts, the resulting dynamic was highly emotional and complicated, with each organization attempting to prevent any other from gaining control. A decision was made to have this foundation fund a $30,000 study in 1976 by three relatively non-affiliated participants: Daniel Del Solar, Brooks Johnson, and Judith Williams. Some members of the community thought funding a study instead of giving the money to artists was just another example of misguided bureaucracy. However, the study, which summarized the needs of the Bay Area through circulating questionnaires to 500 artists and producers, effectively provided the basis for the formation of the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC).
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