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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Call To Order:

Beth Brennen called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm in the Luther Burbank Room, Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, WA  98040.



Roll Call:

Present:  Beth Brennen, Kevin Curry, Ellen Hochberg, Judith Powers Leithe, Helen Martin, Cynthia Nuzzi, Katalin Pearman, Sandra Schilling, Marcia Thomas and Jane Ditzler. Absent: Tudor Sherrard


City Council Liaison present:  Bruce Bassett


Staff present: Amber Britton and Eileen Hemmis Trifts.



Londi Lindell, Assistant City Manager, appeared before the Arts Council to speak on the topic of the Downtown Mercer Island Beautification Plan. The City Council approved $10,000 for the beautification fund, which is earmarked for the Town Center Plaza and the East and West Town Center Gateways.  Assistant City Manager Lindell introduced several conceptual drawings for the plantings by landscape architect, Phillip Decker.  The idea is to accomplish beautification through vegetation rather than infrastructure.  Assistant City Manager Lindell invited the Arts Council to provide feedback on the design and plant materials once the landscape architect has more complete designs. 


Assistant City Manager Lindell stated that an additional $350,000 originally slated for development of the right of way in the Town Center Plaza, which is now being paid for by the developer, has been freed up.  The City Council has approved going ahead with a water feature in the Town Center Plaza using these funds.


Assistant City Manager Lindell invited the Arts Council to join forces with the city and the chamber of commerce to create a program whereby Island businesses could also be involved in the beautification of downtown.  The basic idea for the program is to purchase 30 to 50 pots for distribution to businesses on the Island. The business would provide the soil and plantings. She suggested making awards in several categories to recognize the efforts of local businesses. She estimated the cost might be around $3,000 a year for 30 pots. The architect suggested a matt black versus a traditional terra cotta pot.


Ellen Hochberg motioned that the Arts Council fund the “adopt a planter” program in the amount of $3,000.  The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.


Londi Lindell asked that a representative of the Arts Council attend their next meeting at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, March 4th.  Kevin Curry, Public Art Chair, will attend.


Peter Donaldson appeared in front of the Arts Council on two matters:


(1) To ask for help in bringing two one-man shows – Salmon People and Leonardo Da Vinci – to Mercer Island.


(2) To determine interest on the part of the Arts Council in a collaborative, community epic play – Our Town Pageant.  This is designed to reach out to dance schools, choirs in churches and synagogs, schools and individuals in the community. In this endeavor, he is looking to the Arts Council for seed money and possibly grants through the Arts Council. He would write the grant proposals.


Beth Brennen, chair, suggested that Mr Donaldson meet with several Arts Council Members and then come back with a concrete proposal for Arts Council involvement.




The minutes of the January 9 meeting were amended as follows:


Paragraph 2, line 3 of the Chair’s report:  Insert “Beth said” in front of the sentence beginning with “Ellen”.


Paragraph 4, of the Chair’s report.  Change the first sentence to read: “Beth indicated that two tickets for the MIHS Ensemble and Jazz Bands have been received as a “thank you” to the Arts Council for the grant that was given to help fund their fundraiser.


Marcia Thomas motioned to approve the minutes as amended.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


Chair’s Report:

No Report.


Mostly Music in the Park: 

No Report.


Literary & Shakespeare:

Judy Leithe reported that a quarter page ad appeared in the Mercer Island Reporter publicizing upcoming Arts Council Events.  The Ring Cycle kick off with Perry Lorenzo is on February 28.  Judy encouraged everyone to attend as Perry Lorenzo is a fabulous speaker.  Judy reported that the Alfred Hitchcock series is about half way finished and that attendance has grown with each film.



Cynthia Nuzzi recently attended a 4Culture meeting and brought back a number of project proposals for review.  The Arts Council was especially interested in the Cultivation Utility Vehicle (CUV).  Cynthia will find out how much 4Culture will cover as far as cost of this project. 



Katalin reported that there have been two write ups in the Mercer Island Reporter for the current show, Paintings of Artist Laurel Nelms.  Six of her paintings have sold to date.  The show comes down on February 22 and the next show opens on March 3.  The upcoming show is paintings from Charlotte Segal and quilts by Gwen Jones. This show will run through April 11th.


With regard to the two new sculptures in the outdoor gallery, “Mojave Ship One” is in and the footing has been poured for “Expotentiality”.  It will be located at the foot of the hill near “Gnomon Group Three”, and should balance out the other side very nicely.


Public Art:


Kevin Curry stated that he is trying to develop an aquatic idea (floating sculptures) for Summer Celebration. He asked that anyone with an interest helping, please contact him.  He will post a website with his ideas and send out an email.  Kevin reported that he is interested in forming a Public Art Committee to research what works and what doesn’t as far as public art is concerned.  What do we already have?  This group would help consolidate ideas on how the Arts Council might want to spend their $60,000.


Community Relations:

Helen Martin reported that the Community Dance was very successful.  There were approximately35 attendees at the dance lessons prior to the dance.  Amber has some great photos and she will share them at the next meeting.


Staff Report:

Amber Britton reminded Arts Council members to be more specific when sending in their agenda items for upcoming meetings.


Amber advised that Helen Martin will be the lead for the Third Thursday Committee.   Let her know if you are interested in serving on that committee.


Youth Theatre Northwest has indicated an interest in performing “Charlotte’s Web” prior to an MMIP concert on July 24.  This would be fantastic in conjunction with a kid’s concert.  They would also like to perform Rogers and Hammerstein in August.  Sandra Schilling suggested that we check with the sound guys to be sure this would not interfere with their sound checks prior to the concert.  Amber will check into it.


Amber reported that she has been approached by the Farmer’s Market community.  There is a grass roots attempt to get a Farmer’s Market on Mercer Island on Sunday afternoons.  They want to piggy back with MMIP on Sundays.  In discussion, Arts Council members were concerned with the blurring of responsibility between the city and a private entity as well as how it might impact MMIP if they were not completely cleaned up and out of the area by 6:00 pm.  Ellen Hochberg suggested that we might try it during the last concert of the season as a kind of lead in to a Fall Farmer’s Market.


Amber reminded Arts Council Members to have all event receipts in to her no later than three weeks after the event. 


Amber reported that the Annual Report and Work plan will be presented to the City Council at their February 19 meeting.



City Council Report:

City Council Liaison, Bruce Bassett, was introduced to the Arts Council.  He briefly stated that he would like some guidance from the Arts Council regarding what they are looking for from him as their liaison.



Adjournment:   8:30 pm

                                                                                                            _______________________________                                                                                                      Beth Brennen, Chair




Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Scribe


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