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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Jane Ditzler, at 6:55pm at the Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, WA  98040



Roll Call:

Members Present: Jane Ditzler, Ellen Hochberg, Megan Hand, Shelly Krispin, Katalin Pearman and Pam Rock.  Absent: Kevin Curry, Sara Liberty-Laylin, Natalie Neubert, Fred Poyner and Helen Martin.


City Council:

Councilman Dan Grausz



Amber Britton, Staff Liaison; and Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Administrative Assistant




The following attended as observers only.

1.)    Kendall Watson, Editor
Patch Web Newspaper

Virtual Address:

2.)   Lesley Bain, Board Member
Youth Theatre Northwest
8805 SE 40th St
Mercer Island, WA  98040



Approval of Minutes:

Ellen Hochberg motioned to approve minutes of October 13, 2010 as submitted. The motion was seconded and passed.


Chair Report:

New member, Shelly Krispin, was introduced and welcomed to the Arts Council.


Budget Discussion:

Chair Ditzler stated that as a result of proposed budget cuts, Fred Poyner started on a letter of response to the City Council following last month’s meeting.  It has been revised several times and signed by members of the Arts Council. Today the city council received the letter.  Councilman Dan Grausz said he would be glad to present the letter at Monday’s City Council meeting.


Councilman Grausz reviewed the Arts Council portion of the $70,000 service reduction includes Arts Council Programs Mostly Music in the Park and Shakespeare as well as a .25 FTE reduction in Special Events Coordinator.


Jane stated that at the 1% for the Arts meeting she learned that there is a part of the 1% that could be put back into the general fund.  Councilman Grausz explained that the City Council is able to move funds around. At the end of this year, the 1% balance will be about $300,000. Dan said he would, as a member of the City Council, suggest taking the entire $70,000 from the 1% in 2011, and then seeing how things are in 2012.


The final budget is scheduled to be approved at the first City Council meeting on December 5th. 


Councilman Grausz felt that this is a significant concession on the part of the Arts Council – you are effectively accepting a reduction by agreeing to use the 1% funds.  He stated that they should be confident in asking for what they want.  He isn’t sure what will happen now that the City Council rejected a $300,000 revenue source at the last City Council meeting.


Jane asked everyone to plan on attending the City Council meeting on Monday evening. Jane reported that MIVAL and the Chamber of Commerce are lending their support.


Chair Ditzler reported that she received an email from Jordan Wentworth, who is starting a new opera company, Watershed Opera. His email was an announcement for the new opera company as well as a request for moral support from the Mercer Island Arts Council.  He also requested ideas for performance venues. It was agreed that the Arts Council could provide moral support, and suggested that Youth Theatre Northwest could be a possible performance venue.


Jane reported that MIVAL had their awards program ten days ago, and Ellen Hochberg took first place.  Congratulations Ellen.


The December meeting will be our holiday meeting.  There is a room reserved at the Community Center, and Jane stated that as an alternative she has also asked Aljoya if the meeting could be held at their facility.  Jane will let Eileen or Amber know which location we should plan on. A date or location change will require advertising this information to the public.



Staff Report:

Banner Project: Amber Britton presented a finished banner and bracket to the Arts Council.  She reported that the installation is being outsourced.  $35,000 was originally budgeted for installation, but it looks like the project is $12,000 under budget.  This amount will go back into the 1% for the Arts fund.


Elections: Amber reminded everyone that the election of officers and committee chair appointments are coming up. A new chair will have to be elected this year as Jane has served two consecutive terms.  The elections will be held at the December meeting and chair appointments will be announced at the January meeting.


Jane reminded everyone that the Annual Report and Work Plan will be coming up after the first of the year.


Communication and Advertising:  In an attempt to reduce confusion and keep duplication to a minimum, committee chairs are asked to route items for inclusion in the Mercer Island Weekly or Monthly through Amber or Eileen for the time being.  Once a new Community Relations Chair is appointed, all requests can go through the new Chair.


Public Art Inventory:  Amber announced that the Parks & Rec Intern is doing a major inventory of public art on the island. The current records are not in very good order.  This is a huge project and may take some time.


Mostly Music in the Park

No Report




Pam Rock reported that attendance at the films and literary programs has been high.  Average attendance for the two films in the last month was in the high 30’s.  Dawn on the Island on October 30 brought in about 45 people.  There is one more Orson Welles film and one French film this year.  Pam stated that Aljoya has been a wonderful partner in providing a venue, advertising, and food at these programs.




Ellen Hochberg reported that the MIVAL show reception was very nice. The show runs through December 17th. 


Ellen reported that the Gallery is losing the wall just to the right of the entrance. The Community Center plans to put in an information center in that area.  It will reduce the hanging space by about four pieces.


An email was recently received by Arts Council and City Council members from Pauline Reed, a past member of the Arts Council, and one of the founders of the Outdoor Gallery. It seems an old ferry, Wawona, is being dismantled and they are giving away giant “ribs” (and many other items) from the ship. Pauline suggested the Arts Council jump on the opportunity to acquire some of the ribs. There are a number of considerations in doing this.  Just a few include storage and transportation as well as refurbishing, sealing and maintaining the pieces.  Pauline volunteered to write the proposal should the Arts Council decide to go forward. Katalin Pearman volunteered to call Pauline.  Ellen Hochberg suggested that we should also find out if the proposal deadline can be extended as it is currently this coming Friday.  Katalin agreed to look into this as well.



Public Art

No Report



Community Relations

No Report



Special Events

Third Thursday:

 In Sara Liberty-Laylin’s absence, it was reported that she is working on overhauling the 3rd Thursday program and has scheduled a meeting with the involved parties for December 7th.


Art Bus:

Megan Hand reported that she has been able to secure a $60,000 anonymous doubling grant for the art bus. The logo is done. It was done by Deb Voss, an island resident.  Another island resident is going to do the renderings. 


Jane mentioned that she has seen what appears to be a remodeled school bus with the internet address on the side. 



Meeting adjourned at 7:55 pm.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 8, 2010.  Location to be determined.




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