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News Briefs: Interim ED named for Rainbow center

by Cynthia Laird

Philip Arca is the interim executive director of the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County. Photo: Courtesy RCC
Philip Arca is the interim executive director of the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County. Photo: Courtesy RCC  

The Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County has hired Philip Arca as its interim executive director.

RCC's board made the announcement January 23. In a statement, the board said that Arca has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to social justice.

In an emailed response to questions, Arca, who's in his mid-50s and straight, said he was "grateful to be invited into the organization, have been welcomed warmly, and aspire to be helpful with organizational, administrative, and fundraising issues and efforts." He hopes to move the organization forward, "handing off to a long-term leader from the LGBTQ community that will write the next chapter ..."

Arca became interim executive director following the retirement in December of longtime Executive Director Ben-David Barr, Ph.D., due to health issues.

Most recently, Arca had been interim executive director for a national network of employment lawyers committed to justice/equity in the workplace; an art and science center; a countywide foster youth program; and a youth science outreach effort in the East Bay. He has also consulted with the Ella Baker Center.

He was recently accepted as a charter member of the National Association of Accredited Interim Executive Directors.

Arca was formally the executive director of a $7 million, 85-employee, and 800-volunteer faith-based social services organization that works in Alameda County. In other positions, he led a turnaround of the Oakland Zoo.

Arca lives with his partner, Sherry, with whom he has two daughters.

RCC board members said they were pleased to have an interim leader in place.

"Rainbow continues to move forward and meet the needs of our community," board chair Ken Carlson said in a statement. "As we move forward with our strategic plan, Philip's vast experience, talent, and leadership will help to strengthen and define the future of Rainbow."

In his email to the Bay Area Reporter, Arca said that he expects to be in the position for about six months. He will also assist with the executive director search and explore efforts to leverage the center's new site in El Cerrito, which opened last year.

Arca said that he is a contracted employee, and the hourly rate for most interim leaders is in the $90-$150 per hour range.

For more information about RCC, visit

Levine has new role at SF Pride
A lesbian who has served as San Francisco Pride parade manager for 17 years has assumed a new position at the organization that oversees the mammoth event.

Marsha Levine has started a new role at the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee as community relations and facilities manager. She will work to coordinate numerous projects such as managing the selection process for community grand marshals and coordinating their participation in the parade; overseeing the community partners program; and facilitating the membership program and volunteer registration, according to Fred Lopez, communications manager for SF Pride.

"We are in the process of restructuring the roles of various staff and contractors within the organization, and anticipate further changes specifically to the parade team," SF Pride Executive Director George F. Ridgely told the Bay Area Reporter. "That said, as community relations manager, Marsha will continue to play a leadership role in terms of the parade composition, as well as in the participation of community and celebrity grand marshals."

Levine has been with SF Pride for more than 30 years, during which time she served, at different times, as president of the board of directors, vice president of production, main stage co-chair, safety police liaison, medical liaison, and parade co-chair.

Levine spoke to the B.A.R. about what she loves about working with Pride.

"It's our grassroots nature," she said. "We have more than 50 percent community groups and individuals participating in the parade, which keeps our nature very political and message-heavy for our spectators. Every year we have a thematic lead-off contingent for the parade, which allows us to showcase a particular focus and create awareness."

This year's theme is "Generations of Strength."

Levine hails from Boston. She moved to San Francisco in 1985 "because of a job offer with a design firm and a desire not to ever be freezing cold or walk through snow again," she said.

Levine was a member of Boston Pride for five years, serving as president for three of those years.

In February public voting will commence for this year's community grand marshals chosen by the public. The winner will be announced in mid-March. The announcement of the full slate of community grand marshals and other awardees will be made in April.

SF Punk Archive seeks ephemera
The San Francisco Punk Archive, located in the San Francisco History Center on the sixth floor of the main library, 100 Larkin Street, is interested in original materials from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Penelope Houston said that the collection now includes zines, handbills, videos, mailart, buttons, photos, recordings, tickets, setlists, lyrics, and other items.

The archive is looking for all aspects of punk and outlying cultures from the Bay Area, Houston noted on a flyer.

For more information, call (415) 557-4567 or

Gender and name change clinic
The San Mateo County Pride Center and Bay Area Legal Aid will hold a gender and name change clinic Saturday, February 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1021 South El Camino Real in San Mateo.

There is no cost to attend and Spanish interpretation will be available.

Volunteers with Bay Area Legal Aid will be available to assist community members with document changes for Social Security, passports, driver's licenses, and filing or receiving a court order. They will also help people fill out the fee waiver request form.

To RSVP or for more information, call Bay Area Legal Aid at (650) 358-0745, ext. 6374.

SF Chronicle public winetasting
The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition celebrates its 18th year and will have a public winetasting Saturday, February 17, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.

At the popular winetasting event guests can learn about wines, while gourmet food purveyors offer samples that pair with the award-winning selections. The event includes KGO Radio show hosts, Chronicle writers, and notable wine industry leaders.

The competition kicked off earlier this year with the judging, which took place in January. Sixty-seven wine judges participated. Wines were categorized by varietal and price range, evaluated, and then select winners were invited to participate in the public tasting event.

Tickets are $70 in advance or $80 at the door, though organizers noted the event has sold out the past seven years.

For tickets and more information, visit

David-Elijah Nahmod contributed reporting.


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