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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm by Chair, Christine Lewis, at the Mercer Island Main Fire Station, Mercer Island, WA  98040.
Roll Call
Members Present: Jane Ditzler, Sandy Glass, Ellen Hochberg, Mireya Lewin, Christine Lewis, and Susan Szafir.  Members absent:  Kevin Curry, Ron Hulce, Shelly Krispin, Helen Martin and An Tootill.
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm.
Amber Britton, Staff Liaison and Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Administrative Assistant.
Marcella Diamond
MIVAL (Mercer Island Visual Arts League)
Marcella presented artwork from three MIVAL artists for consideration to be used in Mostly Music in the Parks (MMIP) poster and mailers.   Following a brief discussion of each of the pieces, a majority vote was reached by a showing of hands.  The Arts Council chose the piece entitled Dandelion Dance by Zeynep Alev.
Approval of Minutes:
Ellen Hochberg motioned to approve the minutes of February 8, 2012 as submitted.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Chair Report:
Chair, Christine Lewis
The Chair, Christine Lewis, indicated that she will follow staff and Chair reports on the agenda. 
Staff Report:
Amber Britton
Budget adjustment for MMIP:  Amber reported that there will be a total of nine Mostly Music in the Park Concerts.  She stated that MMIP Chair, Helen Martin, was able book the additional bands in time for it to appear in the next issue of the recreation guide. She further reported that the Parks Department will find money in their budget rather than going back to the City Council again.
MMIP Sound: Amber reported that a request for bid (RFP) for MMIP sound has been sent out.  We have received 3 bids to date; two of which are new vendors.
Sculpture Park Extension: We are working to get WSDOT to approve the extension of the land by Aljoya to place the Reclining Woman sculpture.  They have indicated they do not anticipate any problems.  They require that: (1) It must be open to the public, and (2) we cannot make any revenue in that space.  We can still rotate pieces, but cannot include anything that is for sale.  Jane Meyer Braham presented a map to help clarify the location of the land.
Pergola Cover Repair: Amber reported that a request for bid (RFP) for Pergola Cover Repair has been sent out:  She explained that the canvas cover on top of the pergola is about 10 years old, and in need of repair.  Fund for repair will come out of the 1% for the Arts.  There is $10,000 budgeted.  The RFP was sent out to sixty vendors. Twenty were returned presumably because they are out of business.  We had three companies attend the open house to view the old pergola cover.
Space Art Location:  The location for the Space Art pieces has been approved by the Parks & Recreation Sub Committee.
Summer Celebration: Amber reported that jurors are needed to review and approve crafter submissions.  Jane Ditzler & Christine Lewis volunteered. Judging will be scheduled the first part of April.
Mostly Music in the Park
Helen Martin, Chair
No Report
Susan Szafir, Chair
Susan gave a report on current programs that she is working on. She stated that she is looking for someone to attend the March 30th and May 4th films. Sandy Glass said she might be able to do May. Susan will send out an email asking everyone to check their calendars to see if she can get more volunteers.
Susan reported that she and Roger from Island books are trying to find some partnering opportunities for the Arts Council and the bookstore.  Roger said that our ability to promote and to provide a potentially larger space is of interest to him.
Susan reported that author Jim Lynch who wrote "Truth like the Sun" is scheduled for May 16th.
She felt Roger is going to be watching to see how we do with this event.  What he needs from us is for this event to say "sponsored by the MI Arts Council" as well as any additional promotion that we may be able to provide.
Christine felt if we could, even in some small way, give him a small boost, the next time something big comes around, he might feel good about partnering with us.  It was agreed by those present to go forward with this partnering project.
Susan reported that Island Books used to hold a writing contest.  The focus was prose in fall, poetry in the spring.  At the end of the contest there was an awards ceremony.  Roger would like to start this up again, and he would be willing to do something in April.  Amber mentioned we could ask the City Council to give the awards at one of their meetings. They can also do proclamations. Susan will let Roger know we don't have a budget this year, but the Arts Council would like to see what they can do by reaching out to other businesses for awards and prizes.  She will see how Roger feels about us seeking support from other local businesses.
Ellen Hochberg, Chair
No Report
Public Art:
Jane Ditzler, Chair
Jane reported that the Mercer Island Reporter called her to ask about the Space Craft art pieces. She said that she asked them to hold off on running an article until we have an installation date.  Her impression is that they are very excited about both the Space Craft art pieces and the Reclining Woman sculpture.
Jane stated that she would like the Arts council to continue to support the kiosk idea. She said that City Council Member Mike Grady has been writing grant requests, and feels that his employer, NOAH, may be interested in being involved with it as well.
Community Relations
Kevin Curry, Chair
No Report
Special Events
No Report.
1% for Public Art:  Work plan and 3-year plan
Christine Lewis, Arts Council Chair
Amber Britton provided a copy of a portion of the city code:  (MICC 4.40.976(B)) and gave an overview of how the 1% for the Arts came about and how it can be used.  The 1% for the Arts fund is restricted to the purchase, installation, and maintenance of art in public places.  Any unexpended funds remain and are available to use from year to year unless otherwise directed by the City Council. Amber explained that this is how the City Council was able to allocate a portion of the 1% for the Arts funds to Youth Theatre Northwest.
Christine outlined her thoughts on how we can work through the 1% decision.
She proposed that each Arts Council member present 5 ideas for consideration.  All of the ideas were listed, and each member was asked to choose their top 3 choices from the list.
Once the ideas were listed, it was determined that they could be further broken down into short term (6 months or less) and long term.
The top three short term choices included: 
  1. Cataloging all of the public art on Mercer Island and posting this information on the website.
  2. Luther Burbank Amphitheatre update
  3. A plan for purchasing public art
Christine proposed that the Arts Council focus on these 3 things now, and decide on a longer term project at a later date. 
Christine and Amber will create a one page form that will pull the ideas together with more information, and bring it to the April meeting.  Mireya will not be at the next meeting, but will send information about the catalog idea.
The meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.

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