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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm by Chair, Christine Lewis, at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center, Mercer Island, WA  98040.
Roll Call
Members Present: Sandy Glass, Ellen Hochberg, Mireya Lewin, Christine Lewis, Helen Martin, Susan Szafir and An Tootill.  Members absent:  Jane Ditzler and Shelly Krispin.
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm.
Amber Britton, Staff Liaison and Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Administrative Assistant.
There were no appearances.
Approval of Minutes:
Ellen Hochberg motioned to approve the minutes of April 11, 2012 as submitted.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Agenda additions:  The chair recognized and added reports for Literary and Mostly Music in the Park Committees to the agenda as requested by Committee Chairs.
Chair Report:
Chair, Christine Lewis
Tonight is Council Member Helen Martin’s last meeting.  Her term is up this month and she has declined to serve for another two years. Christine thanked her for her service over the past six years and everyone present indicated that they will miss her.
Christine announced that Kevin Curry and Ron Hulce’s terms also end this month.  Both have declined to serve for another term due to family commitments. 
Christine brought up the fact that most of the sculptures in the city have a name. She asked if the Council felt it would be appropriate to name the Space Art pieces.  It was agreed that the Public Art Committee will come up with several recommendations the next time they meet.  No date has been set for installation yet.  Art Tech will pick up the pieces on May 18th. Once they determine how long it will take for them to get it ready for installation, they will most likely provide Amber with several choices, depending on their calendar, for the installation date.
Christine indicated that the remainder of the chair report will follow staff and committee chair reports on the agenda to include sub-committee progress reports and the next steps to complete the Arts Council 3-Year Plan. 
Staff Report:
Amber Britton distributed the 2012 Annual Report draft indicating what the Arts Council has accomplished so far this year. She asked the Council to review it and let her know if there is anything else they would like to add.
Amber distributed copies of the finished MMIP brochure that will be sent out to all households on Mercer Island in their utility billing in June and July.
Amber reported that she finally got the paperwork for the Space Art pieces. As soon as we get one more W-9 we will have it all. Art Tech is going to pick the Space Art and the reclining woman on Friday.  Once they get it in their shop and look it over they'll be able to give us an install date options.
Amber reported that Island Crust Restaurant has indicated an interest in participating in some Parks & Recreation events.  They will be at every MMIP concert selling pizza and salads along with Soy Delicious ice cream.
Mostly Music in the Park
Helen Martin, Chair
Susan Szafir, Chair
Susan reported that the poetry contest was a success. The Jim Lynch event is scheduled for next week. She will send out information to the Council and to Amber to add to the P&R Facebook webpage.
Susan attended two of the films. She reported that the Literary Committee would like to do two additional outdoor films in the fall.  She felt they could pull in some of the Shakespeare audience with a series on British Royalty.
Ellen Hochberg, Chair
Ellen reported that the high-school AP show, which is currently in the gallery, was a little challenging getting it up.  Ellen commended Sandy for her work on helping to pull the show together and get it hung. It is a great show and reflects a segment of the community.
The next show scheduled is Shift Collaborative Studio and then Eastside Women’s Photo Forum.
After that is the juried show.  Ellen felt this is important and is another way of opening the gallery up to community and regional artists who might not otherwise have an opportunity to show their work.
Public Art:
Jane Ditzler, Chair
In Jane’s absence, other knowledgeable members reported her agenda items.
With regard to the Reclining Woman sculpture, Jane Meyer Brahm reported that the location the committee originally wanted is not going to be possible.  She proposed the sculpture be located on the corner of Mercerdale park just off of the concrete in the grass near the Pergola. as a possible location.  Amber will check with the Parks Maintenance Crew regarding any possible sprinklers, etc. in that area.
Susan Szafir motioned that the Reclining Woman be installed in the location recommended by Jane Meyer Brahm.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
In discussion regarding a publicity plan for installation of the Space Art pieces, Christine indicated that she would like to coordinate with the City's announcement. Christine shared her marketing expertise saying that in order to make the 5 o’clock news, the ceremony should be before noon.  Also, mid week is the best time to assure best possible coverage. She offered to draft a plan for the Public Art Committee to use.
Helen suggested having the ceremony during the Rotary luncheon. This will provide a built-in audience of 70 people.  It was suggested that the Arts Council could even ask them to co-sponsor it.
An Toothill reported that the Public Art Committee thought a topiary sculpture might be a nice addition to the sculpture park. The suggested location is where the path goes up to the Lid off of 24th.  This area is city-owned.  Christine suggested the Public Art Committee fill out the form proposal contained in the manual. Amber will also send copies out to everyone.  Christine stated that any project that is outside of the current budget should use this form so the group has something to react to. She suggested the Public Art Committee might even want to submit two or three proposals for consideration.
Mireya Lewis gave an update on the public art archive proposal.  She stated that the information regarding public art on the island is in complete disarray. It will have to be reconciled, including purging information on de-accessed art before proceeding with this project.
Mireya has spoken with Art Tech about the possibility of reconciling the information we have.  Her goal was to get a several proposals for comparison, but she has been unable to find another company willing to come in and create a spreadsheet to bid on. The bid from Art Tech is an hourly rate of $120, not to exceed $1,250 to do the initial reconciliation.  It was felt that this project would take much more than 10 hours, and that this is a very good price with the cap.
Mireya stated that once the reconciliation and spreadsheet are completed, Art Tech would also be able to create and maintain a database. Mireya felt confident that the Arts Council could get additional bids to do the database once this first step is completed.
Ellen Hochberg asked whether or not this is money that can come from the 1% for the Arts. Amber stated that we budgeted some maintenance from 1% this year. She felt a portion of that amount could be used.  This would allow us to complete this first step before going to the City Council with the remaining plan.
Ellen Hochberg made the motion that the Arts Council allow Amber Britton to spend $1250 for a defining performance based scope of work from Art Tech.  The motion was seconded and passed.
Community Relations
No Report
Special Events
No Report.
3 Year Plan Work Session
Christine Lewis, Chair
Discussion of 1% to update the Amphitheatre
The current Parks Superintendent is very interested in making Luther Burbank a more usable Park for our citizens. Parks maintenance may have some CIP money from the Luther Burbank master plan that can go toward the Amphitheatre project. The first step would be to find out if Arts Council wants to pay for a landscape architect to come in and design a new amphitheatre space.
Christine suggested an ad hoc committee be appointed to look at this.  Christine and Ellen agreed to be on the ad hoc committee. Amber will meet with Shakespeare to get their input.  She and the Parks Superintendant can then meet with Friends of Luther Burbank. It was agreed that the Friends of Luther Burbank Park, Parks Maintenance, and the Arts Council could all work together to come up with a plan. Once the concept design is done, it can then be taken to the City Council for a determination of how much of 1% can be designated for the amphitheatre project.
Jane Bryant suggested the ad hoc committee begin by reading the Luther Burbank Park master plan.
Tonight’s topic: New Programs
Christine reminded everyone that this is a brainstorming session. It does not address whether we can invest more manpower and/or time in new programs at this time. 
Ideas that came out of the brainstorming session are:
  • Story Teller.  Maybe this can be tied in with Farmer's Market.  Ideas included Pacific NW or native story tellers and non-fiction stories.
  • Bring in a big name author - might require some funding to do this.
  • Writing workshop or minicamp for kids.  Tapping into writer resources on the island.
  • Poetry contest
  • Youth participation in public art
  • Pizza and Paint Night (business partnerships to fill hole left by loss of 3rd Thursday)
  • Additions to MMIP - encouraging art (build out programs).  Suggestions included a Youth Theatre North one act play and MIVAL art sales.
  • Outdoor Culinary Arts
  • Photo Invitational on some aspect of Mercer Island.
  • Fiber Art appreciation.
Christine suggested the Arts Council keep in mind whether we are filling a hole with new programs or setting up new partnerships with businesses.  She suggested that if any of the new programs of interest to Arts Council members, that they try scoping it out using the work plan template and drawing up a proposal for consideration.
She suggested this be done independent of anything else. Once we identify something we want to do, we can look for other funding sources.
Annual Report Update:
Amber Britton, Staff
Add Jim Lynch event information to 2013 annual report draft.
What’s in the Hopper:
Amber Britton, Staff
No report.
The meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm

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