Home » 40 Acre Art Gallery & Former Johnson insider Kim Curry-Evan Resigns; Cites Mayor Behavior & Actions As Reason
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40 Acre Art Gallery & Former Johnson insider Kim Curry-Evan Resigns; Cites Mayor Behavior & Actions As Reason

Gallery to close, Director cites Mayors Actions as Reason

Earlier this week, Kim Curry-Evans, Director of the 40 Acres Art Gallery in Oak Park announced that she will be leaving her position and closing the doors of 40 Acres as a result of alleged behavior by Mayor Kevin Johnson.  Curry-Evans also announced that she will immediately be resigning from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

When asked by KCRA, Kevin Johnson reponded by saying that the situation was a personal matter and that St HOPE will determine if the gallery will actually close.

Below are the emails that Curry-Evans sent to supporters, St HOPE staff, and members of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission:

Hello SMAC staff and Commissioners –

As long-time supporters of the 40 Acres Art Gallery, and as the one organization in Sacramento with which I have maintained ties since my first day here, wanted to make sure you were aware of something that has recently occurred. The following statement has been distributed to St. HOPE’s board.

I will also not be able to continue on as a commissioner with SMAC, effective immediately. There is much that I must do and consider as I move forward with the next chapter in my life, and SMAC’s work with the city, particularly in light of Kevin’s arts initiative, places me in an uncomfortable position.

I appreciate your understanding.



"I have recently received information regarding St. HOPE founder Kevin Johnson’s personal behavior and actions that make me unable to continue working for St. HOPE. I have pursued St. HOPE’s and the 40 Acres Art Gallery’s missions with passion but I cannot continue that passion given my new knowledge.

As a result, the 40 Acres Art Gallery will close its doors on December 23, 2009. This date coincides with the closure of the exhibit, Amazing Wonders: Quilts by African Americans in the Northern California Region. I am duty-bound to continue my work on this monumental and important project and to honor my commitments to the staff, artists, lenders, students, and sponsors involved in the exhibition.

I am very proud of the seven years that I have contributed to Oak Park and Sacramento and pleased to have affected so many lives. Knowing that this region’s art landscape has been forever transformed as a result of 40 Acres’ exhibitions, educational programming and outreach, also gives me great pride and I trust that the arts will continue to flourish in the region."

Kim Curry-Evans
40 Acres Art Gallery


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  • The Parrhesiac

    What a cop out… I would like to hear the real story instead of insinuations, which lets the imagination run wild.

    At one point she says…”particularly in light of Kevin’s arts initiative…” and then states “Kevin Johnson’s personal behavior and actions…” This is confusing, contradictory and could be construed that Johnson made sexual advances or harassed her. I for one do not care for this type of “journalism”. I fault BOTH Curry-Evans for her vague and ambiguous email, and Larry Meade for not directly asking Curry-Evans to clarify the email and her reasons for stepping down. If she does not feel comfortable stating publicly what happened…then the article should have simply said that she was stepping down.

    • Maverick

      Very well stated Gadfly.

  • Steven Maviglio

    It was a personal matter between two long-time friends. Let’s just leave it at that instead of Inquirer-style gossiping.

    • The Parrhesiac

      I agree, but whether it was intentional or not, Ms. Curry-Evans has muddied the waters with her vague emails.

      Lets talk reality though Steve, now that this has hit the press, the reality is that her vague insinuations will either grow, or she will be forced to clarify. If I were Johnson’s media adviser, which you are, I would want her to clarify her statements with a press release, to MAKE IT VERY CLEAR that this was a personal matter UNRELATED to any inappropriate sexual advances or attempts. Lets not ignore the elephant in the room, All your doing by trying to keep this matter “a personal matter” without clarification, is feeding the already intense rumor mill that surrounds Kevin Johnson.

    • Mr. Johnson may have wanted to consider his personal life before he bacame a public figure. Public figure = public scrutiny. Agreed the insinuations are a cop out – facts are what is needed now.


    This is not just a personal matter. Sacramento is losing one of the area’s greatest artistic minds because of (in Curry-Evan’s own words), “I have recently received information regarding St. HOPE founder Kevin Johnson’s personal behavior and actions that make me unable to continue working for St. HOPE.”

    Given the recent developments regarding the strong mayor iniative, it’s more important than ever to question Kevin Johnson’s ability to effectively lead and manage people. When (as you state) a long-time friend leaves an organization she loves because of the Mayor’s behavior and action, it’s a sad day for our city.

    • The Parrhesiac

      AHHH a glimmer of the truth surfaces…Your last comments made it very clear that you have an axe to grind with Johnson and are against the Strong Mayor initiative… Why don’t you just ASK Curry-Evans to clarify what she means or shut up and keep it a personal matter between the two.

      Did Curry-Evans and Johnson ever date? That’s one of the first questions I would ask, if so, then her resignation could be explained rather easily as a rift between people who have dated…

      As I am sure you intended, this story will only harm Johnson, and he may be completely innocent of any wrongdoing. This kind of “article” is irresponsible; this is the main reason I have problems with Sac Press’s business model, they are often used by people like you to disseminate partisan attacks under the guise of “journalism”.

  • The Parrhesiac

    Figures… After a quick Google search I see Larry Mead is a Fargonian Droid

    • Devin Lavelle

      Cute … and I like the strategy, if someone disagrees with you, call them names!

      My kindergarten teacher told me it wasn’t okay, but what does she know? She was a total doodyhead.

    • The Parrhesiac

      I don’t think this is name calling as much as it is an apt description of someone who blindly supported Fargo and who is anti-Johnson…although I suspect that almost all who are Fargonian Droids are also doodyheads.

      Hey and after all it is in the Urban DIctionary.

      See: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fargonian

    • Devin Lavelle

      Ironic that after criticizing SacPress’ open source business model, you would go ahead and link to something that follows the same model. Regardless, the are other quite not nice things on urban dictionary that could be described as nothing other than name calling, so I’m not sure what your point is.

      Do you have any evidence or verifiable reason to assert that Mr. Meade is a blind supporter of Heather Fargo’s or are you simply assuming that he must be because he disagrees with you?

  • A Fargonian Droid. That’s brilliant! What about Graswich joining the mayor’s team? You guys are behind in reporting the news, or did I miss it on this site?

    • The Parrhesiac

      Yeah it’s been in the Bee and Joesacramento.com did a great piece on Graswich…. what a sellout.

    • Graswich and Johnson are a perfect pairing: a couple of lame, lightweight knuckleheads.


    Jim Knapp,

    Everything that was in my story was also in the Sacramento Bee & covered on Capital Public Radio.

    I brought up the Strong Mayor Iniative because (as a recent editorial in the Bee described very effectively) there are many concerns regarding Johnson’s ability to manage people. When an acclaimed Art Director who moved here from Phoenix at Johnson’s requests resigns and closes a gallery that is a cornerstone of the redevelopment of Oak Park, I think it is important to talk about why she is leaving.

    Fargo Droid? Interesting. Because I may have voted or not voted for her? Would I be a droid if I was a lifelong political operative who is working “for free” on the Johnson staff?

    • The Parrhesiac

      um yeah… the problem is Larry that you DID NOT talk about why she is leaving….your article was ambiguous at best and leaves the readers imagination to run wild….was this intentional?

  • Susie Shields

    It would be helpful if Ms. Curry-Evans gave more specifics. It seems as though she is protecting a possible victim of Kevin Johnson. I know her daughter went to St. HOPE and was very involved in promoting Mr. Johnson as some sort of savior. Did something happen with the daughter and Mr. Johnson and the mom (Curry-Evans) is just finding out? This is all speculation, of course, as I don’t have all the facts. Just putting 2 and 2 together.

    • The Parrhesiac

      See this is exactly the type of speculation that I am talking about. you are not putting two and two together…you are putting 2 and O together at this point until this issue is clarified.

      This whole string is irresponsible.

  • Tina Armour

    The article is ambiguous, because the statements made by Ms. Evans were stated ambiguously. I think the article is a very good summary of what the current status of the situation is. Journalism is about reporting the facts that are currently available and letting the public know as well as updating them as more information becomes available. Very good job Larry the article is written well.

    • The Parrhesiac

      So Tina don’t you believe he should have asked Evans to clarify the issue of for a response before writing the article? That’s what EVERY educated journalist would have done… Even if she had “no comment” he should have stated such in the article.

      Also coming from a person who has an axe to grind does not help matters.

      I am no friend of Johnson’s, but I believe in independent journalism…if we can call this journalism.

    • Tina Armour

      I believe he was posting the material that was pertinent to the story because there was no mention of a personal interview between himself and Ms. Evan, but if you would like to conduct an interview with Ms. Evans and/or Kevin Johnson and write an article clarifying the issue we at Sacramento Press would love to have the information and the demonstration of your idea of what journalism should be.

    • The Parrhesiac

      Thanks Tina but I’m a bit busy, where are the rabid Sac Press reporters?

      This is better than Lost, I gotta know.

    • Tina Armour

      Since this topic is of such interest. I hope you will research it and eventually post an article when you do get some free time.

  • Steve said: “It was a personal matter between two long-time friends. Let’s just leave it at that instead of Inquirer-style gossiping. ”

    ? Not according to Ms. Curry-Evans. She did not characterize the impetus for her departure as “personal matter between friends” whatsoever; she said she “recently *RECEIVED INFORMATION* regarding St. HOPE founder Kevin Johnson’s personal behavior and actions…”

    The words “receive information” and “behavior” are 100% inconsistent with the idea of a mere ‘personal dispute between friends’ and all the stonewalling in the world is not going to erase that fact.

    In light of this GLARING discrepancy between KJ’s characterization and Curry-Evans’, I would think any rational person could totally understand why people would have lingering questions.

    Eyewitness 1 [with head bandage and arm in cast]: Mr. Smith ran the red light and t-boned my car in the intersection.

    Audience: Eyewitness 1, please take us through the series of events that led up to the collision.

    Judge Steve [slamming gavel down]: Come to order!!! There was no collision, only a harmless fender bender between old friends.Stop asking questions, you dirty gossip trolls. This is an outrage. I move for dismissal!


    With all due respect, my point here is that I think you’re directing your frustration at the wrong people. SHE brought it up in the first place. SHE used the words that begged our questions. The MEDIA drew the public into it. KJ poured gasoline into the public fire when his response (“It’s a personal matter”) did not jibe with the language Curry-Evans chose.

    Furthermore, “friends” don’t drop bombs on friends in the middle of said friend’s political crusade in which said friend is trying to gain public trust. Do they? Seems to me, in my lowly opinion anyways, only an adversary or someone with an axe to grind would do that. Here again, it’s non sequitur. It simply doesn’t follow.

    There is a conflict here that you can not reasonably expect to abate just because you are willing it to. We now have two accounts that are in conflict with one another, and it only stands to reason that reasonable people who are weighing Johnson’s trustworthiness should seek more information.

    Thanks for reading.

  • David Watts Barton

    This is a very interesting thread. I’m glad Larry Meade posted the complete emails from Curry-Evans; he didn’t seem to be aiming to do much more than that, and I hadn’t seen them posted in their entirety anywhere else.
    However, I think more should be done – as noted above by Jim Knapp, her comments are leading to speculation and increased rumors – and I would be very happy to see what a group of motivated citizen journalists would be able to find out, since several of you have expressed doubts.
    We are eager to hear what you can find out, and we will be looking into this ourselves. The story continues…

    • Marion Millin

      Motivated citizen journalists and SacPress staff might be able to tell the stories that local media have buried, regarding the Emperor of St. HOPE; the aspiring Emperor of Sacramento. There are plenty of witnesses to talk to.

      Jim Knapp’s jibe about “an ax to grind” is out of line. “Personal behavior and actions” matter in civic leadership, especially when a leader claims to need more power to provide “acccountability.”

      How much confidence are Sacramentans supposed to have in the integrity of someone who was protected by a local media near-blackout of multiple criminal investigations; someone who was enabled by misleading, fawning coverage regarding his presence at St. HOPE and in Oak Park.

      In that environment, the rock unturned, Kim Curry-Evans has said all that she may be able to say.

    • The Parrhesiac

      Marion I agree with you 100% “Personal behavior and actions…matter in civic leadership” But for full disclosure, Larry Meade does have an axe to grind… If there were any allegations of impropriety by Johnson, I believe the media should cover it. Unfortunately, there have been no allegations, just ambiguity that says nothing. I believe that Curry-Evans should put up or shut up. Taking a parting shot by vague insinuations is irresponsible.

      And btw, what “near-blackout” by the media of allegations are you speaking of. All of the allegations against Johnson were covered very well by the Bee and every news station in town.

      There were also three or four investigations of these allegations that uncovered nothing. Until an investigation proves any misdoings, we cannot convict someone.

    • Marion Millin



    • The Parrhesiac

      What is nonsense Marion?

      Everything I just said can be proven by a simple Google search. type in “Kevin Johnson Sacramento allegations” I see over 18,000 web pages devoted to this. All the allegations have been very well publicized.

    • William Burg

      um, Jim, you first said
      “Unfortunately, there have been no allegations”
      and then you said you got 18,000 hits searching for allegations. So are there allegations or not?

      In terms of investigations proving wrongdoing, Johnson and St. Hope had to return half of their $800,000 grant because of his wrongdoing. The fact that he paid for it doesn’t mean he didn’t do anything, it means that he DID do wrong, and had to pay for his wrongdoing in cash. If someone gets arrested for robbery, goes to jail and serves his time, that doesn’t mean he didn’t rob someone–it means he paid a penalty for his illegal action. That’s what Johnson did: writing a check doesn’t mean he didn’t misuse the funds, just that he got caught.

      A settlement just means you agreed to pay for your wrongdoing before a judge ordered you to, not that you didn’t do anything wrong.


    • The Parrhesiac

      William can you read? Seriously… I was referring to the article that started this threat…try scrolling up, there are no direct allegations.

  • It is difficult to understand if Kim Curry-Evans is a bitter political foe or a principled community leader. Either way, I think the manner in which she handled her resignation is unfair to Sacramento. There is obviously something big going on here and her 15 minutes of fame are up! Give us the 411!!!

  • I am reading these emails with some amazement. Why is everyone so focused the Director’s departure…the real issue is why were taxpayer dollars handed (SHRA GAVE Johnson the building and several million dollars in loans it has since forgiven, without ever collecting a penny).

    What does a neighborhood, like Oak Park need with an Art gallery that was really not a public venue but a private museum for KJ and his closest friends.

    With the closure of Starbucks (which closed a locally owned coffee shop across the street) and KJ disengaging from Oak Park, maybe this prime property will actually be turned into a commercially viable project, which after all is the best test of whether something benefits a community.

    Now all we have to do is get the barber shop KJ’s brother owns and the bookstore KJ’s mother owns to close and Oak Park will get its property back… Maybe then Oak Park will be allowed to decide what it wants in the Guild Building


    Jim Knapp,

    You have made several repeated accusations that I am a “Fargonian Droid” and have an “ax to grind.” Could you please provide one piece of evidence to support you statement?
    I think civil discourse is great – however when you make personal accusations against someone withou any proof, it becomes troubling.

    I look forward to your response.

    • The Parrhesiac

      Evidence? I use google

    • Yes Jim, Google never turns up rubbish. Or information produced by someone with an ax to grind (to coin a phrase).

    • William Burg

      Jim Knapp labels people “fargonian droids” basically if they have any criticism of KJ or the Strong Mayor Initiative. I know he will respond by saying that he is plenty critical of KJ, but Jim doesn’t practice what he preaches, so maybe his definition of “fargonian droid” is based on “people who criticize KJ or the Strong Mayor initiative who are not me.”

    • The Parrhesiac

      I always practice what I preach, please give me any instance where I haven’t.

      Unlike 99% of the people in this town, I have the ability to separate the strong mayor issue from Johnson, I doubt he will be around long anyways.


    Jim Knapp,

    I am kindly asking one more time: Please offer one piece of evidence that backs up your statement that I “have an ax to grind” and that I am a “Fargonian Droid.”

    You have an incredible ability to make statements and accusations without any evidence to back it up.

    Again, I look forward to your response (that hopefully will have more heft to it than “Evidence? I use google”

    • The Parrhesiac

      You do not like Johnson, you supported Fargo. You are against the Strong Mayor initiative…

      enough said.

  • Been reading a lot of emails sent to me from people in the know–or at least closer to it than a little blogger like me– who want to share their theories. There are some interesting and compelling theories out there. If any of those I have read prove to be true…. look out below…

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