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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Call To Order:

Beth Brennen called the meeting to order at 6:45 pm in the Luther Burbank Room, Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, WA  98040.



Roll Call:

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


City Council Liaison present:  Bruce Bassett


Staff present: Eileen Hemmis Trifts.  Staff absent:  Amber Britton



There were no appearances.



A motion was made to accept the minutes of February 13, 2008 as submitted.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


Chair’s Report:

Beth Brennen, Chair, announced that member Marcia Thomas is moving to Bellevue and will be resigning as a member of the Mercer Island Arts Council.


Beth reported that the 2007 annual report and 2008 Work Plan were recently submitted to and approved by the City Council.  Dan AMENDED Grouse Grausz asked Beth if there was anything the Arts Council wanted that they didn’t have.  She responded that it might be nice to have some additional funding for music or concerts.


In Amber’s absence, Beth reported that Amber had received a possible grant funding opportunity, but the deadline for submission of the grant request is April 1 and staff would not have time to work on it. The grant would pay $2,500 or ½ of a performer’s fee. It is for non-profits presenting out of state touring performing. Funding would be from September 1, 2008 through August 2009.  Beth asked if there was any interest in working on the grant request.  Helen suggested that a recently submitted grant could be used as a template. Amber or Diane would have copies. Beth will look into it and try to get started. Anyone else interested in working on it should contact Beth.


Beth received a request from Councilman Bruce Bassett to collaborate with the organizers of the Farmer’s Market in order to obtain entertainment for the Farmer’s Market. They are looking at having a street performer on the corner outside the recycling center to help draw people into the market. Performers would not be paid, but would be allowed to sell their CD’s and collect donations.  Beth asked Councilman Bassett what they would like from the Arts Council at this point. He responded that they don’t quite have a plan yet, and suggested just opening a dialogue for the moment. Ellen Hochberg suggested incorporating the community into this – perhaps some of the musicians from the high school. Sandra Schilling asked if they might be eligible for a grant.  Bruce said they have applied for a 501c3, but don’t have it yet. Up to this point, it has been supported by individuals who are interested in seeing it succeed.  Helen will mail out the grant guidelines to Nanette at Farmer’s market.  Beth and Tudor thought they could come up with some “buskers” for the Farmer’s Market.


Tudor Sherrard made a motion “That the Arts Council collaborate with the Farmer’s Market to recruit performers”.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.  Sandra Schilling is currently working with the Mostly Music in the Park committee and put her name forward to feed them some bands along with Tudor and Beth.  Beth will contact Nanette and act as point person on this.



Mostly Music in the Park: 

Tudor Sherrard reported they have so many bands that they have an A, B and C list for MMIP, depending on availability. He is currently talking with the A list.  He doesn’t want to get any hopes up on the B & C list until he knows who is available.  Tudor would like to have food at the concerts.  The problem is that the concerts really aren’t long enough for food vendors to make money.


Literary & Shakespeare:

Judy Leithe handed out the newest bookmarks.  The logo is off center!  Eileen will fix it.

On April 19 is Shakespeare’s 444th Birthday party.  New programs in the rec guide are Shakespeare in the Park, etc.  Perry Lorenzo was here to kick off for Into the Ring a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get the Opera mailing list in time so only a few mailings went out.  Also the Opera’s magazine, Encore, had the wrong phone number in it.  There were about 32 people that attended. Judy will be doing a full mailing before the first series which is in the first of September.



Cynthia Nuzzi reported that she attended a 4 Culture ethnic program. She felt that one year we could possibly have a totally ethnic MMIP.  Cynthia reported that she is also currently working with Joy Johnston, the City’s Public Information Coordinator, on Earth Day, April 19th.



Katalin reported that Steve Jensen’s “Poles” has been purchased and donated back to the City.  The purchaser has asked to remain anonymous.  We got the art back plus 15% of the sales back. The new piece by Lance Carleton has been installed on the corner of Sunset and 77th to the right of the wall.


The 2009 Gallery Schedule Committee met this evening. We have a pretty full schedule. We just need to go through and plug in the dates. 


The Laurel Nelms show that came down a week and a half ago was tremendously successful. People loved it. The press loved it. It really makes a difference when it is a local story.  Total sales were $2800, out of which we get $810.  Ten pieces sold.


The new show has been shipped in from Chicago. One of the artists used to live here and her daughter still lives here. Comments have been very favorable. The artist reception is on March 27th.


Katalin saw an art auction in Edmonds for art people no longer want. She thought it might be something the Arts Council would like to consider doing. It was agreed that we should keep this in mind to do next year.  Beth will talk to Amber about getting this into the calendar for consideration for next year.


Public Art:


In Kevin’s absence, Ellen reported that the committee chose a planter. They liked the tall narrow one better, but they were concerned about wind and possible vandalism.  So, they decided on the largest square planter.  No name for the event has been chosen.  There was some discussion of award categories and numbers of awards, but there was no decision on this either.  Kevin is going back for more information. Jane said she would be interested in working with Terry at the Chamber to solicit businesses.  Helen thought Terry already has 12 businesses lined up. 


Kevin asked that the Arts Council come up with a name for the program so it can start being promoted by the Chamber of Commerce. 


Ellen suggested “Beautify MI”.  Katalin suggested “Mi Planter” (sounds like “my”).

No consensus was reached.


Community Relations:

Helen reported that Third Thursday is moving along – the first one will be in May.  Jane is helping with this. 


Peter Donaldson gave Helen more information on the “Salmon People”. He would like to make a proposal to the Arts Council next month.  He wants to do the show in 2009. He wants to know if we can put it in as a line item in our budget vs. doing a grant.


Staff Report:

No Report


City Council Report:

With regards to the donation to the city of Steve Jensen’s artwork, he would be happy to lend his support.

Katalin asked Bruce for some clarification regarding the Island Vision Group. She thought they wanted to be a part of the publicity for the donation.  Bruce said they do not.  Island Vision is group, with a board.  They feel sustainability and education about sustainability is worthwhile. They feel initiatives should come up from the grassroots.  It is a fairly loose coalition. The impetus for Farmer’s Market started there, but it has taken on a life of its own.  Leap for Green is another Island Vision idea.  The group is more about energy and ideas.


Councilman Bassett suggested that the Arts Council consider a large piece of artwork somewhere on the island.  Jane asked if he would work with the public art committee to help raise money to do something like this – perhaps using the sale of “Poles” to help generate publicity and interest.



Jane Ditzler reported that it looks like we are going to be a part of the Seattle Yukon Exposition. Two people from 4culture have put themselves at our disposal to do anything we want in conjunction with this. We have the option of doing as much or as little as we want. Jane suggested we get the kids from school involved or Peter and the Salmon People.  She suggested an art show with Native Alaskan Art might be a good way for the Arts Council to get involved.  It was agreed that it would require some good “lockable” display cabinets.


Katalin Pearman said that she still would like the Arts Council to do a walking tour (Art Walk inventory)  of downtown.


Jane suggested that everyone take a look at  She felt this artist might be a good mural painter for the project on the wall outside the community center.  AMENDED  Helen Martin suggested that everyone take a look at  She felt this might be a good resource for the amphitheatre. 




Adjournment:   8:30 pm


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