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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm by Vice Chair, Jane Ditzler, at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center, 8236 SE 24th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040
  
Roll Call
Members Present: Kevin Curry, Jane Ditzler, Sandy Glass, Ellen Hochberg, Mireya Lewin, Christine Lewis and Helen Martin.  Absent: Megan Hand, Shelley Krispin, Sara Liberty Laylin and Pam Rock.
 
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm.
 
Staff:
Amber Britton, Staff Liaison and Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Administrative Assistant. 
 
Appearances:
There were no appearances
 
Approval of Minutes:
Christine Lewis made a motion to approve the minutes of August 10, 2011 as submitted. The motion was seconded and carried.
 
Chair Report:
Pam Rock, Chair
Report given by Amber Britton
Amber distributed a draft agenda for the upcoming Arts Council Retreat. Amber indicated that she is currently working on getting a facilitator.
 
In response to an inquiry about the agenda, Amber explained that the Arts Council is scheduled to go before the City Council in December at which time we will ask them to give us the 1% that was previously approved in the budget. This will provide time to break down where we plan to spend it.
 
Additional topics for the agenda included:
o  Grants or Fundraising
o  Public Art – Plans for the 1% for public art money.  What are the goals for spending that money and                  the time frame in which it will be spent?  Amber will provide a dollar amount at the              retreat. 
 
Staff Report:
Amber Britton, Staff Liaison
Amber announced that the Giselle Burman “Reclining Woman” sculpture has been picked up and is now stored in the caretaker’s cottage.  This piece was donated to the city, and will require City Council’s approval for placement. Amber would like to present this piece along with the Space Craft pieces to the City Council at the same time.
 
Amber announced that “Sizzling Water” in Mercerdale Park is now filled with dirt and will be planted before our next meeting.
 
Amber presented the final numbers for Mostly Music in the Park.  The revenue mark that we had to meet was exceeded.  However, we are not covering our cost, so we will have to get more sponsorships.  She anticipates we will receive additional individual donations in December when people are looking for tax deductions.
 
Mostly Music in the Park
Helen Martin, Chair
Helen mentioned that in the past we have done a ‘thank you’ ad in the Mercer Island Reporter and wondered if there is one planned for this year. Amber said she will get that out very soon.
 
Literary:
Megan Hand
No Report
Christine had a comment about the fact that the films are all on Fridays. Orthodox Jews cannot attend on Friday because the Sabbath runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. It was agreed that this is something to consider for future schedules.  Perhaps they could be split so half are shown on Friday and half on Sunday. The Aljoya will have to be consulted to see if it will fit in with their schedule.
 
Gallery:
Ellen Hochberg, Chair
Ellen announced that Sandy Glass is going to assist with the Gallery.
 
Ellen reported that we currently have 8 consecutive shows in the gallery per year.  The Gallery Committee is thinking of reducing it back to 7 shows again. There is currently not a long waiting list. The committee felt that it would help to avoid scheduling conflicts with the Community Center if shows weren’t scheduled so far in advance.  It was agreed that the committee should do whatever works the best. Ellen suggested that it would also be nice to tie Literary programs in with the gallery at some time.
 
There was a discussion about adding a student art exhibit to the gallery schedule.  Elementary or high school.  It was noted that in the past when student art has been shown, they were reluctant to sell their art.  It was suggested that perhaps students could be asked if they could make one piece that is for sale. Sandy suggested we could also have cards or prints made instead of selling the original. Another obstacle is the requirement that artwork in the gallery must be framed.  It was suggested that a grant could be written for items that need to be framed.  The council had no opposition to the suggestion. Amber will find out what the policy is regarding student art shows. 
 
Ellen suggested the gallery might want to consider having a juried show. Juried shows always require a fee to submit a piece. We could easily find jurors in the community. 
 
Ellen asked for assistance at Sunday’s exhibit hanging and/or the reception on the following Thursday, 6-8 pm.
 
Public Art:
Jane Ditzler, Chair
Jane reported that she viewed the Space Pieces in Dale Cox’s garden.  She circulated pictures.  There are five pieces instead of seven as originally reported.  The Cox family is donating four and the Arts Council is paying for one.  The fuel tank weighs 55 pounds so it will need a base. That expense will have to be included in the public art cost.
It was agreed that a schematic of the space crafts the pieces came from would be appropriate
Christine offered to do draft publicity write ups with details for these pieces.  Jane will assist Amber. Amber asked Jane and Kevin to finalize the visuals they have been working on so that she can go to the Director to talk about placing the pieces at the Community Center.
 
Community Relations
Kevin Curry
Committee Chair
Christine Lewis stated that she is trying to get a better handle on how the Arts Council is communicating. What is the overall strategy, the over-arching goal?  What is the problem we are solving for and what are the tactics to address those problems. She asked for each of the chairs to provide her with information on what methods they are using to communicate and get people in the community to their events.
 
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm commented that she thinks people do not always know what the Arts Council does and what their programs are. Christine felt that if she and Kevin have a whole picture of what we are doing today, they can come back with ideas for what we might be able to do in the future to do a better job of communicating.
 
Christine agreed that we could have a discussion about this at the Retreat without getting into tactics.
Jane suggested it could be added to the 3 year goal discussion area of the agenda.
 
Special Events
Sara Liberty-Laylin
Committee Chair
No Report. 
 
Announcements:
Jane Brahm city council will be discussion an unanticipated savings of 2 million dollars in the budget from the sewer lake line replacement project.  Some of it has already been accounted for.  Council Member Brahm would like to make the suggestion that the City Council earmark some of the savings to restore the budget amount that was originally cut for 2012.
 
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm.
The next meeting is scheduled to be held at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center on October 12, 2011.
 

 

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