Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Leader Profile: Anne Seeman

Anne received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She moved to Visitacion Valley in 1991, and lives in a former bakery which local lore claims was the only bakery to survive the 1906 Earthquake.

With the birth if her daughter in 1994, Anne became interested in creating a better neighborhood for her daughter to grow up in. The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the city Recreation and Parks Department initiated a series of meetings at this time, to help the community organize and prioritize goals for parks and open space. Anne was a founding member of the Friends of Visitacion Valley Parks, and advocated for her community at City Hall and McLaren Lodge.

Inspired by this process, Anne came up with the initial vision for the Greenway, and together with Rebecca Lillis of TPL, mapped a conceptual plan giving each of the 6 lots its unique theme. A petition drive was launched to build support for the plan, as the lots at that time were threatened with development. During this time, Anne met Fran and Jim, whose artwork and meticulous design have raised the Greenway to an aesthetic standard beyond that of most neighborhood parks anywhere. The Greenway continues to be a collaboration of neighbors, city departments and nonprofit organizations. It is a laboratory of possibilities, enriched by all who participate.

Anne is a co-coordinator of programs on the Greenway, and works with children, youth, and adult volunteers. She teaches cooking and art to children. She is currently seeking interviews with community members who would like to share gardening tips, recipes and folklore, representing the diverse cultures of our community, potentially for a childrens' book. She has served on the Board of the Visitacion Valley Community Center, is currently on the Board of the Visitacion Valley Planning Alliance, and is a member of the Schlage Lock Redevelopment Citizens' Advisory Committee. Other pursuits include playing steel guitar with the Tin Pan Haoles, and banjo with Murray's Banjo Racketeers.

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