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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Call to Order

The meeting called to order by Chair, Jane Ditzler, at 6:30 pm at the Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040


The Chair stated that there would be an addition to the agenda.  There will be a Public Art Report.



Roll Call

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


City Council:

Councilman Bruce Bassett



Amber Britton, Diane Mortenson, and Eileen Hemmis Trifts




There were no appearances



Sara Liberty-Laylin motioned to approve the minutes of August 12, 2009 with the following correction.

            Page 3: Gallery Report – second bullet.  Change 8/16 to 9/11.

The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.



Chair Report

Jane Ditzler reported that the Executive Board met with Staff on September 4, 2009.  Jane reported that the interests of the Arts Council and communication were discussed as well as having Executive Board meetings prior to each Arts Council regular meeting.


Jane reported that the AYP show is being taken down.  It was a very successful show.  It has been determined that the storefront will be disassembled and stored in the boathouse for future use.


Jane asked staff about the $4,000 originally set aside for the Salmon People that was frozen in the budget.  Staff indicated that none of the monies frozen in the budget have been released.  Amber Britton clarified that this was meant to be a “break-even” item.  Revenues would have to equal expenses. Ellen Hochberg reminded the Council that the Youth Theatre Northwest agreement states that the Arts Council could use the theatre.


It was noted that the City Clerk is actively recruiting to fill the current opening left by Tudor Sherrard’s resignation from the Arts Council.


City Council Report:
No Report.



Staff Report


Amber Britton gave a recap of the September 4th Arts Council Executive Board Meeting.  A list of topics was distributed, and included:

·         Re-evaluate the roles of the Executive Board

·         Revise timeline of various dates we currently use (i.e., election date, work plan submittal date, annual report date, terms, etc.)

·         Necessary to review the Annual Report and Work Plan with entire Arts Council

·         Retreat topics to be finalized (Manny Ocampo to provide this list based on discussion) – 6 hours in length was decided upon.

·         Redefine staff roles vs. Arts Council member roles keeping in mind City Council restrictions on staff time. How best to utilize staff.

·         Making sure we start with a clean slate…don’t point fingers or show blame, develop a vision of what we now want the Arts Council to look like from this point forward.


There was some discussion as to the retreat format with regard to dates and times.  Perhaps two mini sessions and one 6-hour session. It was determined that staff will communicate via email to choose date(s) when the majority of Council members will be able to attend.


A proposed retreat agenda was distributed.  Manny Ocampo has offered to act as the facilitator.


Jane Ditzler requested that the Arts Council be advised as to the topics that Manny will cover prior to each meeting.  Diane Mortenson stated that this could be done.


Bruce Bassett suggested that it would be nice if a new Arts Council Member could be brought onboard prior to the retreat.


Amber distributed a draft of a new informational brochure that she is putting together with information on the Arts Council and their programs.  She asked for any additional input.  Once she has everything, it will be printed and made available to the public at the Community Center.




Helen Martin reported in Chair Beth Brennen’s absence.  The final concert was a huge success.  It ran an additional 45 minutes.  There was a large crowd of around 800 people at the concert.  The weather was perfect and it was a great end to the season.  Amber reported that she placed a big “thank you” to all of the sponsors in the Mercer Island Reporter.


Literary and Shakespeare

Judy Leithe distributed copies of the new Recreation Guide with the fall and winter film series and lectures.  She gave a brief overview and some history about the speakers. She also mentioned that due to conflicts the dates of some of the programs will need to be changed.  These new dates will need to be advertised in our future mailings.



Helen Martin reported that she will be attending the next 4Culture meeting in Shoreline on September 24th.  She reported that 4Culture has recently added a registry of prequalified artists on their website.  It can be viewed at  She suggested that this might be a good pool to draw from for future calls for artists.



Katalin Pearman reported that the next gallery show, The Artwork of Brenda Zager, is scheduled to be hung this Sunday.  Brenda is a well known artist, and a large crowd is expected at the reception on the 17th.  She passed away about a year and a half ago.


The only remaining show this year will be the MIVAL Holiday Show.


Katalin distributed a schedule for the 2010 shows.  She would like to set up a gallery meeting in late September to begin reviewing submissions for 2011.  She will send out an email with possible dates.


Katalin asked what the budget is for the outdoor gallery.  Amber said we usually budget two installations at $300 apiece per year.  However, since we are looking to make a commitment to fill the gallery, the staff will work to come up with additional money from the budget.  Staff urged Katalin to go ahead and contact the artists.


Helen Martin had a question about the outdoor plaques.  She said that one of the downtown developers mentioned that he had never seen anything that said that he donated artwork.  She said she will go back in her emails and find out who it was.  She thinks it may possibly have been Avellino.  Diane Mortenson said once we know which piece of art it is, we can check into it.



Public Art 

Kevin Curry reported that he felt they are ready to go forward with the banner project.  Diane Mortenson said that the written proposal will need to go into an agenda bill and then go before the City Council.  She asked Kevin to send the proposal to Amber Britton, and they will prepare an agenda bill.



Community Relations

No Report



Ellen Hochberg reminded everyone that we have an agreement with Youth Theatre Northwest which gives us a really great venue for some of our programs.  Ellen is the Arts Council liaison and is meeting with Manny Cawaling tomorrow.  Diane suggested she talk with him about the literacy program – he would pick a play, the kids would study it at school and then come to see it at YTN.  It was agreed that the Arts Council wants to work toward promoting a continuing relationship with YTN in the future even after the current agreement is complete.



The meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm


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