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Dedicate a Library Book
If you're in need of a gift for the book lover on your list, the San Francisco Public Library has an idea for you.
For a tax-deductible donation of $25 to the Main Library or branch library of your choice, the Books to Branches Fund will purchase a new book for the library's shelves and put a bookplate on the inside cover inscribed with the name of your friend, colleague, or family member. The bookplate reads, "Presented to the San Francisco Public Library in honor of by ."
"This is a win-win opportunity for people to support the branch libraries," says Donna Corbeil, chief of branches. "It gives folks a chance to be personally involved in strengthening the collection at their favorite branch, while at the same time acknowledging a friend or loved one with a bookplate."
Unfortunately, patrons will not be able to choose a particular book to donate. "It would make the process too complicated," says Beverly Hennessey, of the library's public affairs office.
However, the library will notify the honoree of the purchase through a letter from the City Librarian. Donors can also choose to make a donation without the bookplate feature, or have the library create a special design, in memory of someone who has died, for instance.
If you're interested in more details, call Hennessey at 557-4277. Or pick up a donor form at the Main or any branch library. The staff at the Noe Valley Sally Brunn Library on Jersey Street (695-5095) welcomes your inquiries.
Arts Donations Really Pay Off
To keep the arts in San Francisco vibrant, Grants for the Arts is again encouraging city taxpayers to contribute to the Voluntary Arts Contribution Fund (VACF).
By adding a tax-deductible donation of $5 or more to their December 1999 property tax payments, property owners can keep San Francisco's small theaters, galleries, parks, neighborhood centers, and school programs thriving.
"The fund brings urgently needed assistance to many of the city's nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that may have nowhere else to turn for their emergency needs," says Kary Shulman, director of Grants for the Arts.
According to Shulman, 100 percent of the money is distributed to local groups, and VACF often provides support for equipment and capital improvements, including safer wiring for lights, wheelchair ramps, and fireproofing.
Last year, the VACF distributed $150,000 -- the largest amount in the fund's 15-year history -- to 58 San Francisco nonprofits, including California Contemporary Dancers, the Lorraine Hansbury Theatre, the Women's Building, the Chinese Cultural Foundation, and the San Francisco School of Circus Arts. In addition, the VACF was able to help bail out the San Francisco Mime Troupe when their truck was stolen in Los Angeles during a tour there.
"All San Franciscans and visitors benefit as a result of the VACF," says Schulman. "These grants are known as 'the little grants that make a big difference.'"
For more information, call 554-6710. Schulman notes that renters and businesses can contribute to the fund, too.
Women Who Paint 24Seven
Pastels, photographs, collages, and other works by four Noe Valley artists will be part of the 24Seven Holiday Art Show & Sale held Dec. 9 to 12 at SoMar Gallery.
24Seven, an eight-woman artists' collective based in San Francisco, was formed this fall, following the annual Open Studios exhibit. "We saw this as a way of being less isolated as artists," says Noe Valley resident Sherrod Blankner, a founding member of the group. Blankner will be exhibiting her landscape paintings at the 24Seven show.
Other participating Noe Valley artists will be Linda Saytes, who will show her pastels, watercolors, and collages; Denise Denis, conceptual art, photographs, and drawings; and Susan LaFranchi-Mado-nich, photographs and book art. Saytes says the name of their group, 24Seven, refers to the fact that "we all work on our art 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
A public reception for the artists will be given Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at SoMar, located at 934 Brannan St. Entertainment will include a "song-picture performance" in which 24Seven artist Nickova paints to the world-rock music of performance artist Mr. Eugene. When the painting is done, it will be auctioned off.
Gallery hours are Thursdays, 6 to 10 p.m., and Fridays through Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. For more information on the 24Seven exhibit, call 824-5756.
How to Fill Holiday Stockings
If you want to help out those in need this holiday season, but you don't know where to go or what organizations could use your assistance, get in touch with the Volunteer Center of San Francisco.
The center has put together two thick publications -- the city's 1999 Holiday Wish List and 1999 Holiday Volunteer Opportunities -- describing hundreds of volunteer and gift-giving options in San Francisco. Here's a sampling:
* On Lok's 30th Street Senior Center is in need of volunteers to serve meals to seniors during the holidays. Contact Kim Longenecker at 550-2214 for details.
* The Salvation Army needs help organizing craft-making projects for homeless children. Call Salvation Army's volunteer coordinator at 252-6107
* Diamond Senior Center seeks help setting up and serving a potluck eggnog party to seniors on Dec. 30. Contact Betty Garvey at 863-3507.
* The group Our Kids First wants donations of books and school supplies, plus volunteers to help students plan a Kwanzaa celebration. Call Maya Hart at 585-1104.
* The International Rescue Committee needs donations of furniture, appliances, and toys for newly arrived refugee families from Kosovo and Bosnia. Contact Denene Andolpho at 863-3777.
* The Jewish Museum of San Francisco is looking for helpers at a "Being Jewish on Christmas" exhibit and party on Dec. 25. Contact Phoebe Gurin at 543-2090, ext. 218.
* The San Francisco Food Bank needs help sorting community food donations. Call Chris Sams at 282-1907, ext. 244.
* The AIDS Emergency Fund seeks people who can wrap packages for four-hour shifts at Borders Books on Union Square. They'll raise money for people with AIDS. Call Clark Sealy at 558-6985.
To view lots more listings, log onto the Volunteer Center's web site at www.vcsf. org. Or you can receive a copy of both holiday publications by calling 982-8999.
This month's Short Takes were written by Kathy Dalle-Molle. If you'd like to publicize an event in our February issue, please e-mail your notice to email@example.com by Jan. 15.