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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm by Chair, Christine Lewis, at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center, 8236 SE 24th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040
 
 
Roll Call
Members Present: Sandy Glass, Ellen Hochberg, Shelly Krispin, Mireya Lewin, Christine Lewis, Susan Szafir and An Tootill. Absent: Kevin Curry, Jane Ditzler, Ron Hulce and Helen Martin.
 
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm.
 
Staff:
Amber Britton, Staff Liaison and Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Administrative Assistant.
 
Mercer Island Visual Arts League Liaison:
Marcella Diamond
 
 
Appearances:
Joshua Rosenstein representing Youth Theatre Northwest (YTN)
9789 SE 41st Street
Mercer Island, WA  98040
 
Mr. Rosenstein stated that YTN is making a concerted effort to stay in touch with the other groups on the island.  His mission tonight is to let the Arts Council know what they are doing as well as looking for new programming ideas.
 
Mr. Rosenstein gave a brief history of YTN.  He also touched in their building situation.  They are currently located in the old North Mercer Middle School.  It has never been brought up to code, and the school district is in the midst of determining what their new master plan will be.  The North Mercer Middle School is not in those plans.  Those buildings will be coming down sometime during the next one to five years according to the district.  YTN will continue to work with the school district in some capacity.  One idea currently under consideration is expanding the number of national and/or international groups that come in, and integrate it with the school district’s programs.  The school district has talked about having a theatre near where the admin building is currently located.  YTN thinks they can share this space and have some overlap, offering their expertise to the school district.
 
He asked if the Arts Council has any ideas to put forth.  Shelley Krispin suggested having actors perform at Shakespeare’s birthday.  Also, doing theatre in the round on a smaller scale. Maybe before an MMIP concert or like a flash mob – just showing up somewhere and putting on an impromptu
performance.
 
Susan Szafir suggested films, poetry, writing, or open mic night. She felt it would depend on YTN’s mission.
 
Christine Lewis stated that the Arts Council would like to explore having more of a partnership with YTN.  She asked Shelly Krispin to be the point person for the Arts Council.  She indicated that the Arts Council will be putting their 3-year plan together in the near future and may want to look at some new programming.
 
Mr. Rosenstein thanked the Arts Council for their continuing support and reminded everyone that “Hairspray” is currently playing and invited everyone to come see it.
 
 
Approval of Minutes:
Shelly Krispin motioned to approve the minutes of January 11, 2012 as submitted.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
 
 
Chair Report:
Chair, Christine Lewis
 
Introduction of new members: 
Christine welcomed new members, An Tootill and Susan Szafir. Each gave a brief summary of their backgrounds and interests. The third new member, Bruce Hulce, was unable to attend this evening.
 
Committee Chairs:
There was a discussion regarding vacant and soon to be vacant committee chair positions. Christine stated that Helen Martin has indicated she will probably be leaving the Council in May, so we will need to think about what will happen with Mostly Music in the Park. Right now the MMIP Committee includes Shelly Krispin, Jane Ditzler, Kevin Curry and Christine Lewis.
 
There is also a vacancy in Literary.  Susan Szafir stated that she is interested in taking the committee chair position for Literary. Christine approved and said that past chairs, Megan Hand and Judith Powers Leithe would be asked to meet with her.
Christine asked if anyone has an interest in the Community Relations Chair position.  There was no response. Kevin Curry will be asked to continue as chair for that committee.
 
Three Year Plan: 
Christine suggested that instead of attempting to do the three year plan all at once that they address portions of the plan at each regular meeting going forward until it is finalized. An ad hoc committee could then be created to establish how the Arts Council will develop funding during this three year period. It was agreed that cataloging of public art would be incorporated in the plan. It was felt that the Arts Council can keep doing what they have been doing, but they would have to find additional funding for anything more; i.e., new programs that keep our community excited about the Arts Council.
 
Christine asked for volunteers for the ad hoc committee.  She suggested they could meet an hour or two each month, and come up with a formal plan for raising money. This could include grants, individual and business donations, a fund raising event, etc.
 
Shelly Krispin asked to table committee appointments until the next regular meeting when members who are absent tonight will be present.
 
Ellen Hochberg expressed concern that a concentrated effort be made to come up with a plan for the 1% for the Arts money.  She stated that she would like to see this moved to the top of the list. Her request was supported by other council members. Christine agreed and suggested this be the first item, and that it be addressed at the next regular meeting of the Arts Council.  It will be added at the end of the next regular meeting agenda. It was agreed to stay later if necessary.  Christine requested that everyone come with three ideas.  Amber Britton stated that there is potentially about $200,000 available with $30,000 for performing arts.
 
 
 
Staff Report:
Amber Britton
 
2011 Funding Carryover Request:
Amber reported that Diane Mortenson, Recreation Superintendent, has requested to use the money to restore the five Mostly Music in the Park concerts that were cut from the 2012 budget.
 
Apollo Pieces – Location Proposal from ArtTech
Amber presented the ArtTech proposal for the installation of the pieces in front of the Community Center. She reported that city staff has approved the location. They did have a concern that the grass could be destroyed by foot traffic and asked that the Arts Council agree to find a solution if this is the case.  All that remains is to get sub-committee approval.
 
There was some discussion about having a ribbon cutting ceremony and tying it in with an Arts Council Program.  Christine suggested the Museum of Flight might be interested in getting involved.
 
New City Council Member:
Amber reported that Tana Senn was recently appointed to the Mercer Island City Council.
 
Luther Burbank Park Banners:
Amber reported that the Parks & Recreation Department is putting up some new banners at Luther Burbank Park, and they are planning to feature Mostly Music in the Park and Shakespeare in the Park
on several of the banners.
 
 
Mostly Music in the Park
Helen Martin, Chair
In Helen’s absence her written report was circulated.
The following five bands have been chosen to perform on the dates noted:
Dixie Kings Jazz Brass – Sunday, July 22
            Old School Jazz with audience sing-along.
Eclectic Approach – Thursday, July 26
            Original songs blended poetic hip-hop infiltrated with rock.
Convergence Zone Bluegrass – Sunday, July 29
            Straight down the road bluegrass to country, folk and a little pop.
Wild Snohomiams – Thursday, August 2
            A little bit country, a lil’ bit rock-n-roll with a taste of rock-a-bility and swing.
Snake Suspenderz – Sunday, August 5
            Cartoon jazz with a blend of hits from the 1920’s and 30’s with a large helping of    original tunes from that era.
 
Staff has sent out contracts to all of these bands.
 
The other four bands (should budget allow) have been chosen as well. Without knowing whether or not funds will be available, they have not been contacted about price or dates.
 
Ruzivo – Zimbaubwian Afro Pop
Rouge – French Gypsy Jazz
Kosher Red Hots – Yiddish Fold
Dusty 45’s – Boogie Woogie
 
Route 66 and Smilin’ Scandanavians have been chose as backup, should they be needed.
 
Amber Britton will be sending out a new RFP for sound.  Helen’s report mentioned that the company that does sound for Issaquah and Newcastle is interested in receiving an RFP.
Councilperson Jane Brahm reported that she received an email from Nannette Bassett of the Farmer’s Market. They are considering doing an early evening “Taste of MI” in August.  It would be held at Mercerdale Park prior to a Mostly Music in the Park concert.  Attendees could pre-pay and be able to take their food to the concert and eat while watching the performance.  It was agreed that this might bring more people to the concert.  The Farmer’s Market would like to coordinate with the Arts Council.  It was noted that the only August concert that is for sure right now is on August 5th. If the other four bands get funded, performances will go through mid August.
 
MIVAL liaison Marcella Diamond stated that she will be bringing three final designs for the Mostly Music in the Park.  Amber Britton explained that the Arts Council will vote to use one of the submissions in MMIP publicity pieces.  Our designer will make a poster and tri-fold design using the piece that is chosen.
 
 
Literary
No Report
 
 
Gallery:
Ellen Hochberg, Chair
Ellen reported that a new gallery show is being hung on Saturday, February 25th beginning at 10:00 am.  She stated that any help would be appreciated.  Sandy Glass volunteered, but will have to leave by 3:00 pm.
 
The reception for the new show is Tuesday, February 28th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
 
Jane Meyer Brahm reported that in late October the Seattle Art Museum is putting on a show called “Elle”.  It will feature the work of French women artists.  The Sister City Association would like to know if they might be able to hang some art of Mercer Island’s Sister City, Thonon-les-Bains, in the Gallery.  Ellen Hochberg, Gallery Chair, explained that the gallery schedule is full through the end of this year. She suggested the Chamber gallery.  Christine Lewis suggested an Arts Council/Sister City night at the museum be arranged.
 
 
Public Art:
Jane Ditzler, Chair
No Report
 
 
Community Relations
Kevin Curry, Chair
No Report
 
Special Events
No Report.
 
 
Announcements:
Location Change for March 14 meeting – North Fire Station conference room.
 
  
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm.
The next regular meeting is scheduled to be held at the North Fire Station on March 14, 2012
 

 

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