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Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Call to Order

The meeting called to order by Chair, Jane Ditzler, at 6:37 pm at the Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Jane introduced new Arts Council member Pam Rock, who is filling the position left vacant by Maryann Huhs.


Roll Call

Members present:  Kevin Curry, Jane Ditzler, Ellen Hochberg, Judith Powers Leithe, Katalin Pearman and Pam Rock.

Absent:  Beth Brennen, Sara Liberty-Laylin, Helen Martin and Fred Poyner


City Council:

Councilman Bruce Bassett (6:37-7:00 pm)



Amber Britton, Manny Ocampo, James Mason, and Eileen Hemmis Trifts



Ellen Hochberg motioned to accept the minutes of the October 14 Arts Council meeting as submitted.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.



Chair Report

Jane Ditzler introduced Deputy City Manager James Mason.  He addressed how art can benefit the town center.   There needs to be something different to attract people.  He felt the combination of public spaces where people can gather and artwork, like the banner project, that gives the city an identity will fit nicely into the downtown plan.


Katalin Pearman suggested a public “opening” of the town center once it is complete.  Deputy City Manager Mason stated that he felt there are some really good opportunities here and suggested the Arts Council think about what they would want to accomplish with this.


Jane invited the Deputy City Manager to the Arts Council Retreat on December 6th.   He accepted.


Chair Ditzler asked the Arts Council members to think about membership in other organizations.  The City is a member of the Chamber of Commerce so we, by extension, are also members.  The Chamber has invited the Arts Council to take advantage of the membership. She suggested the Arts Council could be a Washington State Art Alliance member as well.  Organizations and Councils report $1.00 per thousand of their budget or a minimum of $60 for membership. 



City Council Report

No report.  Councilman Bassett apologized that he will have to leave early for a Utility Board meeting.  He indicated he will attend at least part of the retreat on December 6th.




Amber reported that Chair Beth Brennen will be screening groups beginning in January.  Amber is looking at promo packs for bands to consider.



Literary & Shakespeare

Judy Leithe reported that Maryann Huhs, Literary and Shakespeare Associate, no longer felt she could be on the Arts Council, and resigned her position.  Judy reported that she has been working on the idea of a Friends of the Literary Arts Committee for a while. This is for people who are interested in the Literary Program.. She suggested the Arts Council might want to consider forming a Friends of the Arts Council.

Judy distributed flyers for the current film series and meet the author/lecture series.


Judy reported that she conducted a pilot program of story telling on Halloween.  There was no cost involved other than for popcorn and candy.  The story tellers were from the Eastside Story Tellers. It is also a nice way to work with the preschool association.




No Report




Katalin Pearman reported that the MIVAL show was quite a challenge to put up.  Ellen Hochberg assisted.  Katalin mentioned that Ellen has a piece in the show. 


Katalin reported that she is getting requests for gallery bookings in 2012 and 2013. It seems everyone wants to show here. Katalin was not sure if there is a policy on how long a show can be and the frequency.  There is interest in having shows that last two and three months. She would like to discuss this in the future – possibly at the retreat.


Manny commented on the MIVAL show.  The night of the opening there was a large crowd, music playing, a big tent meeting, and regular classes and programs in the Community Center.   It really drove home the value of this Community Center and that the community has so many aspects that come together.  It was kind of exhilarating to go from one to the other.  He said, “It struck him as being illustrative of the kind of quality and diversity we have”.


Jane Ditzler mentioned that MIVAL is opening a gallery in the Avellino building.  She mentioned that we might want to consider that in continuing to give them 6-8 week shows every year.


Katalin reported that they have approached her to have a second show in the summer in 2011 for their 50th anniversary.



Public Art


Kevin reported on the status of the banner project and some new developments.  He stated that Summer Celebration wants a banner.  Jane suggested the MIAC logo be on all of the banners with the exception of Summer Celebration.  Kevin stated he is still looking for good quality standards.  Manny mentioned that the Parks & Recreation Sub Committee was very positive about the banner idea.  They recognize that this is an art program vs. a way of advertising.  Manny will provide Arts Council members with the notes of that meeting.  Manny stated that he did not anticipate any problems with City Council approval of the project as submitted.


Jane asked if the city will cover the cost of a Summer Celebration banner.  Manny thought this might be considered. 


Ellen asked for clarification - Are the banners a way creating art or of celebrating the activities of the island through the art of the banners?  It was agreed it was the latter.


Amber is interested in getting a subcommittee together to focus on the details of the banners.  There are a number of questions that are coming up as she writes the agenda bill that will need to be addressed as well.



Retreat Session 2:


Manny OCampo stated that he took some of the comments from the last retreat meeting to prepare a draft of what the new mission statement might look like. He distributed copies.


Draft Revised Mission Statement:  The Mercer Island Arts Council takes pride in nurturing, promoting, and implementing high quality arts and cultural activities for the enrichment of the Mercer Island Community.


He indicated that feedback would be appreciated.  We will continue to work on it at the retreat.


Draft Revised Goals:


·         Acknowledging the positive influence that the arts have on the community’s quality of life, serve as the City’s advocate for the arts, artists, and arts organizations of Mercer Island.

·         Inspire, stimulate and promote community wide education, awareness and enjoyment of the arts.  Create curiosity.

·         Support implementation of accessible, high quality performing, visual and literary arts programs, projects and events through _____________.

·         Acknowledge and where possible, quantify the economic impact of a high quality arts environment on Mercer Island.

·         Other?


Manny stated that these are the broadest sense of goals.  The next step would be to develop an action plan from these.


Manny distributed a brief summary of the 2009 Work Plan with suggestions to facilitate the discussion of the 2010 Work Plan Discussion. Additionally, he facilitated a brain storming session for additional topics of consideration for projects in 2010.  These will be refined at the retreat.


Manny distributed a revised draft Retreat Agenda for December 6th.



The meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.


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