Arts & Community: Preserving Arts & Culture Space

Sunday, June 18, 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Preserving arts space in the face of massive, fast-moving gentrification is a huge challenge. Come hear how, in the middle of one of the hottest and most expensive real estate markets in the country, one team has made real progress in protecting and preserving cultural spaces.

This session addresses issues of capacity, equity/diversity/inclusion, engagement, leadereship, and public value.

This session is part of the Engaging Equity sessions.


Tom DeCaigny
Executive Director
San Francisco Arts Commission
San Francisco, Colorado

Tom DeCaigny is San Francisco’s Director of Cultural Affairs where he oversees the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC), the City agency that champions the arts as essential to daily life by investing in a vibrant arts sector, enlivening the urban environment and shaping innovative cultural policy. The SFAC is charged with overseeing the design quality of public infrastructure, stewarding over USD $8 million in annual grant investments and implementing San Francisco’s '2% for Art’ public art ordinance. Before being appointed by Mayor Ed Lee in 2012, Mr. DeCaigny served nine years as Executive Director of Performing Arts Workshop, a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to helping young people develop critical thinking, creative expression and essential learning skills through the arts. Mr. DeCaigny currently serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Urban Arts Federation and has a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.
John Rahaim
Director of Planning
City of San Francisco
San Francisco, California

John Rahaim is the Planning Director for the City and County of San Francisco. Mr. Rahaim is responsible for overseeing long range city planning, development entitlements and environmental reviews for most physical development in San Francisco. He was appointed Planning Director in January 2008.

Since Mr. Rahaim’s arrival, the San Francisco Planning Department has completed several comprehensive neighborhood plans, several neighborhood historic resource surveys, and updates to the City’s general plan. Major initiatives completed under Mr. Rahaim’s direction include the Transit Center District Plan, enabling a new high density core for Downtown San Francisco and the Better Streets Plan, a comprehensive strategy to upgrade the quality of the city’s public realm.

The Planning Department also plays a key role in the city’s strategy to accommodate the state’s High Speed Rail Corridor and regional planning efforts to address the nine-county region’s Sustainable Community Strategy. The ongoing work of the department includes reviews for 8000 projects per year, of which nearly 2000 require detailed review and analysis, more than any city in the US.

Mr. Rahaim started his professional career with the City of Pittsburgh’s Planning Department in 1984, where he later became the Associate Director for the department. He was in charge of development review and rewrote the City’s Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Rahaim moved to Seattle in 1999 where he became the founding Executive Director of CityDesign, Seattle’s Office of Urban Design, and the Executive Director of the Seattle Design Commission, the city’s primary design advisory panel for public projects and related urban design initiatives. In 2002, Mr. Rahaim later served as the Planning Director for the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development. During his tenure in Seattle, Mr. Rahaim managed the early stages of the Central Waterfront Plan and created the Center City Strategy for downtown Seattle and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Rahaim holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan and a Master in Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Public Service History
2008 – Present: Planning Director, City and County of San Francisco, Planning Department
2002 – 2007: Planning Director, City of Seattle, Department of Planning and Development
1984 – 1999: Associate Director, City of Pittsburgh, Planning Department


Moy Eng
Executive Director
Community Arts Stabilization Trust
San Francisco, California

Moy Eng brings over three decades of experience in the philanthropic sector as a grantmaker, consultant and senior manager in areas as diverse as arts, education, renewable energy, lesbian and gay rights, immigrant rights, and international human rights. Known for her visionary ability to identify and support progressive ideas, Moy has worked as a grantmaker in numerous foundations with assets ranging from $100 million to $7 billion. She directed the arts program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, investing in efforts that helped bring $800 million in new public sector funding for arts education to California schools. Moy also commissioned landmark research on the dynamics of the U.S. cultural ecosystem and the state of arts education in California, and supported efforts to build more than 750,000 square feet in new, affordable performing arts space across the San Francisco Bay region. Moy began her career in New York City in fundraising, working with both the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, attracting leadership support from American luminaries such as the late Reginald Lewis, and Harry and Julie Belafonte. Fortunate to live a life surrounded by beauty, Moy currently serves on the board of the Stanford Jazz Workshop, is a singer and lyricist, and the mother of two singular young women.