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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Call to Order

The meeting called to order by Chair, Jane Ditzler, at 6:34 pm at the Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040



Roll Call

Beth Brennen, Kevin Curry, Jane Ditzler, Ellen Hochberg, Sara Liberty-Laylin, Helen Martin, Katalin Pearman, and Fred Poyner. Maryann Huhs, Judith Powers Leithe and Tudor Sherrard were absent.


City Council:

Councilman Bruce Bassett



Diane Mortenson, Manny Ocampo, Keith Kerner and Eileen Hemmis Trifts




There were no appearances



Beth Brennen motioned to approve the minutes of July 8, 2009 as read.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.



Chair Report

Jane Ditzler began by stating that one of her big goals is to make meetings much more efficient and have everything run smoothly at and between meetings.  She requested that members email her with any suggestions to meet this goal. She reported that the Executive Board plans to get together with staff between today’s meeting and the September meeting.  Her goal is to start out September as a new year.


Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition Exhibit status report:

AYP100 was mentioned in today’s Mercer Island Reporter three times. 

The show has been getting tremendous compliments. One of the great ones we got was that it is really authentic. The great great granddaughter of Mr. Denny attended the exhibit and just happens to work with MOHI. She felt they needed to know about this exhibition. 


Celebrity invitees on the 16th include Representative Judy Clibborn, Senator Fred Jarrett and Mayor Jim Pearman. There will be a handout for every person that walks through the door with times, events, locations and a map on the back.


Arts Council members congratulated Jane on the fabulous job she has done on this project.


Representative Judy Clibborn purchased a bench at auction and has donated it to the Parks Department. It will be placed in the children’s area at the Community Center.



City Council Report:
No Report.  He did suggest that he would like to plant a seed regarding the park by the freeway on Island Crest Way.  He thought it would be cool if we had a bunch of ducks in that area.  It was agreed that they would have to be quite large and heavy to preclude vandalism or theft.





Staff Report

The Arts Council meeting in November falls on Veteran’s Day.  Staff will put an email out with a couple of possible alternative dates.


Manny Ocampo Manny congratulated Jane and the Arts Council on a tremendous job with current exhibit (AYP100).  He said, “It is top notch.”


Manny continued with his suggestion for an Arts Council retreat; one that would include staff and the Arts Council.  He distributed proposed retreat topics and suggestions. His recommendation is to do it as soon as possible and think about making it 4 to 6 hours in length.


Jane felt that the Exec. Council should meet before the retreat.  Hopefully before the next scheduled meeting and then set up a date afterwards.  She also stated that she felt that Manny should not facilitate the whole time.  She would like to have time for special reports from Arts Council members. Jane also suggested a brainstorming session or two during the retreat. 


Beth suggested that the Executive Board’s recommendations be considered as topics for the retreat. 


Ellen stated that she thought this was not the place to address problems but to get an overall perspective of the Arts Council, its history and the big picture.


There was a reminder from Manny and Bruce that the retreat must be open to the public.


Fred Poyner motioned to table this discussion and move on to the next item on the agenda.  There was no second and the motion was not put before the assembly.  After further discussion, it was agreed that the Arts Council would think about October as a tentative date for the retreat.


Keith Kerner, Parks Superintendent, gave a background on “Sizzling Waters” artwork at Mercerdale Park.  It has not been working since 2002.  He asked for feedback from the Arts Council as to its disposition.  He felt there are three options: 

(1) Leave it alone and do nothing. 

(2) Redesign the infrastructure and replace it.  This option could come with a big price tag – anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.

(3) Decommission the piece and convert it to a planter bed.


Following discussion, Diane Mortenson agreed to do more research to see if it can be refurbished.  She mentioned that she is having a difficult time getting a hold of the artist. There is a whole process to go through in decommissioning a piece of art.


Beth felt it might be good to consider it as a landscape piece.  Staff will gather more information from the Artist point of view and what we might be able to do.


Katalin requested an option telling us how much it would cost to take it out and re-commission another piece of art.


Jane asked that the Public Art Chair be involved in the process.




Beth Brennen reported the bands have all been very good this year.  We’ve had good weather and good turnouts.  Beth reminded everyone that the former chair, Tudor Sherrard, was the one that got all of the bands and organized this.  However he has not attended any of the concerts or the Arts Council meetings.  He indicated to Beth that he is unhappy with the City and the Arts Council.   Diane mentioned that she and Jane have been trying to reach him regarding his position on the Council. She will check with the City Clerk as to what our next step is.


Fred asked if there were any negative comments received.  Beth felt that the sponsor signs were difficult to read from more than five feet away.  She felt it was difficult to read the sign at Mercerdale when driving by.  Diane felt we could make it larger.



Literary and Shakespeare

No Report



Helen Martin attended the 4Culture meeting in Burien. There were approximately 35 attendees. It was held in their plaza area and was very interesting. Their big sculpture park is fascinating. Some of them are 130’ tall. Helen learned that they had cooperation from the City and developers and had to have a building permit.  Helen asked Diane to check how much money is still available for performing arts, if any.



Katalin Pearman gave an update on the Gallery.

·         The D’Elaine Johnson exhibit sold one small piece, but it was a wonderful show.  Her presentation was fascinating and eye-opening.  The slide projector was a disaster. Ellen saved the day and got one from the library.


·         AYP100 – 8/3 THROUGH 8/16


·         Brenda Zager passed away about a year ago. Her colleagues approached us to do a show to honor her.

            This one is scheduled September 14 – October 16.  There will be some nudes in a separate room. The     reception is scheduled for September 17.


·         MIVAL show. October 19 – December 19.  Katalin mentioned that this is our big show.  MIVAL is bringing 4 people for the set up. Katalin will need one volunteer from the Arts Council. 


With regard to the Outdoor Gallery, no new sculptures are scheduled.  She said they are waiting for the construction fences, etc. to come down, and there is some question as to whether we would be able to get more art considering the recent vandalism. Diane mentioned that Larry McLaughlin who had three pieces vandalized is ready to put three more pieces in.


Katalin will work with Eileen to temporarily update the brochure in response to a request from the Chamber of Commerce.


Public Art 

Kevin Curry stated that some time ago the Arts Council voted on three projects, and he would like to get started on the banner project.  Kevin distributed a project information sheet that Fred Poyner prepared.  Diane said this is exactly what is needed to go forward on this.  She suggested adding some general ideas on locations.  There is city code concerning banners.  She will find out exactly what that is.  Once done an agenda bill can be developed, and once passed it can go out as a call for artists.


For clarification, Jane asked if we have to set the locations before taking it to City Council.   Diane suggested they would want to know where you want the banners to go.  Fred and Kevin felt they have enough to go forward and will refine the proposal for the next meeting.


Diane said they should get this approved by City Council before the end of the year.


Community Relations

Helen Martin reported that she did contact the Museum of History and Industry regarding the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition Centennial Exhibit.  She also sent information out to everyone on the 4Culture list. 

Helen, Fred, Kevin and Sarah are the Third Thursday Committee. She said that they will need some help. Some activities being considered include a chalk art contest and possibly a street fair.




The meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm


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