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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Call to Order

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


Roll Call

Members Present: Jane Ditzler, Helen Martin, Ellen Hochberg, Judith Powers Leithe, Katalin Pearman, Beth Brennen, Sara Liberty-Laylin, Fred Poyner, and Pam Rock. Absent: Kevin Curry.


City Council:

Councilman Dan Grausz arrived at 7:30 pm



Amber Britton, Arts Council Staff Liaison, Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Administrative Assistant; Bruce Fletcher, Parks & Recreation Director; and Mayor Jim Pearman



No appearances.



Ellen Hochberg motioned to accept the March 2010 meeting minutes with the following amendments:

Page 1, Chair Report, 3rd Paragraph:  Correct name from Cindy Johnson to “Cyndy Jensen”.

Page 1, Chair Report, 4th Paragraph:  Correct name from Elizabeth Helms to “Elizabeth Celms”.

Page 3, Public Art Report, 4th Paragraph: end of line 2, add: “estimated at”.

The motion was seconded and passed.


Chair Report

The Mercer Island Reporter ran articles this month about the Arts Council 25th Anniversary and the Banner Project.  It is planned to have a banner made for the 25th Anniversary to put up in the Arts Council’s Summer Celebration Booth. It can be used at other Arts Council events as well. Fred Poyner suggested that a blown up color map with the locations of banners in the downtown area also be posted in the Summer Celebration booth.


Jane reported that she recently attended Portland Business for Culture and the Arts. She will also be attending the upcoming Arts Alliance Cultural Congress as well.


Special Report:

Mayor Jim Pearman and Parks and Recreation Director Bruce Fletcher gave a report on the status of the Town Center Water Feature Project – where it is now and where to go from here.  Mayor Pearman gave a short history of the project beginning with the zoning that was done about 10 years ago. The concept for the Town Center was to get greater density in the downtown area. Two projects broke ground on both sides of the street and the city was able to work with them to create a “Westlake Mall” type of an area with major water feature at the end of the street near the Sculpture garden. The underground connections, water, etc. are already in place. The whole idea is to create a pedestrian friendly, vibrant downtown.  There are several designs under consideration.  The process is next – figuring out exactly what the project will look like.  Mayor Pearman stated that it is absolutely his intent to make this process inclusive.  The City wants input from all of the stakeholders, including the Arts Council.


The Mayor recommended that the Arts Council start by putting together a list of the things they want.  For example:  Is it interactive for kids and what does that mean?  Should it include a major piece of art? Should the art be integrated into the water feature? 


Fred Poyner made a motion that this project replace the third Arts Council 1% project.

Following discussion, the motion was tabled.


In response to an inquiry about parking, the Mayor said that the city is meeting with Sound Transit to discuss putting significant public parking downtown. There are two sites being looked at.  The vision is to also put some parking in place that is not too attractive to off-island visitors or to have some Mercer Island resident parking only.  Limiting parking to Mercer Island residents only is against Sound Transit policy, so a public/private partnership is being looked at as a way to make this happen.


Director Fletcher informed the Council that a group is being formed to consider the scope of this project.  He suggested it might be wise to look at the other drawings that were done by the architects for this project and see if there is anything worth saving.  He stated that he would like to get going on this and felt this project should be on the agenda again beginning next month.


Staff Report:

Amber stated that she has prices on Silver Anniversary commemorative pins requested at the last meeting.

These could be available at Summer Celebration and at the August 19th 3rd Thursday which has been designated as the Anniversary Celebration.


Amber reported that there have been 5 banner proposals received to date, and they are all very different.  The deadline for submissions is April 13.


Volunteer Program:

Sara Liberty-Laylin presented a draft volunteer web form.  The form, when ready, will be linked to Arts Council web pages.  She asked everyone to review web pages for their programs/committees and send updates or additions to Eileen via email.  Bring edits for the volunteer form to the May meeting.  The plan is to have the form on the web and ready to accept volunteers by the first of June. The forms will then be captured and given to Committee chairs.  This form will also be available in hard format for those who do not wish to submit online.



Chair, Beth Brennen, circulated prototypes of the new poster and brochure.  She reported that MMIP has received a total of $12,800 to date.  All 2009 Sponsors returned this year.  The cost for bands this year is only $8,400. There are four title sponsors this year – Sugar & Swank Skincare, Coldwell Banker Bain, Minor & James Medical, and Key Bank at $2,500 each.  Beth suggested some of the monies collected from sponsors go towards upgrading signs.  Some suggestions included:

·         A sign that will have the names of all four sponsors on it.

·         A larger sign with a frame with the names of all of the bands. Would like to have this in time for Summer Celebration.

·         Upgraded A-boards with all of the sponsor names on them.

·         Additional signs to post in key spots around the island.

Amber indicated that there will also be a full color banner that will be displayed at every concert.


Helen suggested that the Arts Council present a “thank you” award or plaque to each of the sponsors.  They could be presented at the first concert so that they will have and can display them all summer.


The printed programs will go out in the June and July utility billings. 


Food and drink for the concerts to date include:  Starbucks will supply coffee.  Roberto’s may sell pizza.  t.k. Chocolates will also participating.  Dan Grausz asked Council members to remind food vendors that the mantra is “no plastic” – recyclables!



Chair, Judy Leithe, reported that it has been a busy month – Shakespeare’s 2-day birthday celebration, two “Back to the Greek’s” programs, and 3 Pioneer’s of Cinema programs in May sponsored by Aljoya.


She asked that a sponsor plaque also be awarded to Aljoya.  They have made significant financial contributions, and they are an exceptional sponsor.



Chair, Ellen Hochberg, reported that a new show, the Northwest Collage Society, was hung on March 27th. There are 50 pieces in the show. Thanks to everyone that helped hang the show.


Ellen reported that there was been some discussion about putting up one of the Arts Council’s white cabinets in the lobby. Cyndy Jensen is anxious to exhibit some of her student’s work.



Public Art

Chair, Fred Poyner, reported that no date has yet been set for the committee to review the banner submissions.

He reiterated that information about the Banners, including a map of their locations, should be a part of the Summer Celebration booth; perhaps even showing a few banner samples.


Community Relations

Chair, Helen Martin and Sara Liberty-Laylin knocked on the doors of 38 businesses and followed up with 31 phone calls in an attempt to increase the number of Mercer Island merchants participating in 3rd Thursday.  They have collected $1,360 to date and have 7 additional calls planned.  It is hoped that additional participants will make it possible to add entertainment to 3rd Thursdays.


Helen reported that she recently attended the LAA (Local Arts Agency) meetings at the Kirkland Art Center. 


Special Events:

No Report



The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.


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