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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm by Chair, Christine Lewis, at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center, 8236 SE 24th St., Mercer Island, WA  98040.
Roll Call
Members Present: Bonnie Bradley, Paulette Bufano, Jane Ditzler, Sandy Glass, Ellen Hochberg, Shelly Krispin , Christine Lewis, and Susan Szafir
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm.
Amber Britton, Staff Liaison; Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Administrative Assistant.
There were no appearances.
Approval of Minutes:
Ellen Hochberg motioned to approve the minutes of July 11th with the following correction:  Page 2, under 3-year planning, second paragraph, last sentence.  Strike the word “maintenance” and replace with “shipping and installation”.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Chair Report:
Christine Lewis, Chair
Christine stated that she would like to propose a half day retreat to talk about fund raising issues and to discuss programs.  She asked everyone to send her available dates in September and October.  Sandy Glass suggested the retreat be held in October so that it didn’t conflict with the Jewish holidays.  The consensus was to try to meet the first two weeks in October.  Susan Szafir suggested that rather than emailing Christine with dates, that they use an online interactive scheduling program.  She will send everyone the link.
Christine will float and agenda.  She suggested 2-3 hours each on finances and programming.
Staff Report:
Budget Discussion
Amber Britton stated that the 2013 dollar amount she submitted for the Arts Council budget was $30,450.  The Parks & Recreation Management Team was directed to make a 10% cut to the overall budget and wound up submitting a proposed program budget of $21,450.  However, there is a 2013/2014 Service Enhancement request for an additional $13,000.  That would bring the total up to $34,150 if it is added.  The service enhancement will include $6,000 for five MMIP concerts and $7,000 for Shakespeare.  Amber stated that it is possible that the Finance Department will increase the amount enough to cover the service enhancement request before it even goes to the City Council if the overall city budget allows for it.
Amber pointed out that it is very early in the budget process, and none of this is set yet.  She also wanted everyone to be aware that if the Arts Council receives grants or raises additional money through fundraising, they would be able to go back to the City Council to let them know about it and ask for a budget amendment.
The Arts Council also has a revenue target.  The numbers have not in the past accurately portrayed Arts Council Revenue.  The overall Parks and Recreation Revenue is being look at to ensure more realistic numbers are submitted.
Public Art
Jane Ditzler, Chair
Jane reported that the “space art pieces” now have a name; Orbits and Pieces.  The name was originally suggested by Susan Szafir.  The name was voted on at Summer Celebration, and chosen by 70% of those voting.  Jane took this opportunity to thank all of the new Arts Council members who helped at SC!  Special Kudos went to Ellen Hochberg for the great crafts.
The Orbits and Pieces installation went smoothly. It is currently sitting on concrete, but will eventually be barked and landscaped.  The pieces can get very hot when in the sun, so a sign was put up to warn people not to touch it. A more permanent sign will be needed soon.  The reclining woman was installed at the same time. It will need a plaque for identification.
The reception was not very well attended.  Unfortunately, it ended up being the same night as “National Night Out”, so City Council members were not in attendance.
Chair, Christine Lewis, congratulated Jane on the completion of the project. 
Jane brought up the fact that the Public Art Committee is still interested in having a Kiosk at the community center.   Chair Lewis suggested the Public Art Committee consider this at their next meeting.
Jane reported that the Topiary Sculpture project is on the City Council agenda for September 4th. Amber will make the presentation.  An Tootill reported that the plants are reserved and they are hoping to ship in October.
Susan Szafir reported that there is a junior high student that needs and wants to do something for the community that involves technology.  Susan was approached by his parents to see if the Arts Council might be interested in having him work on a QR code for the public art on the island.  Sandy commented that the only worry might be the size of the project and that he would be able to do it, and do it in a way that it will be useful to the Arts Council.  Susan will take the suggestion to Mireya Lewin, who is currently spearheading this project.
Jane Ditzler left the meeting at 7:18 pm
Susan Szafir, Chair
Susan thanked everyone for their help with Shakespeare, with a special thanks to Sandy Glass for creating a script for introductions and announcements.
Susan stated that she hasn’t touched bases with Roger at Island Books lately.  She stated that someone on her blog is coming out with her own novel, House Girl, in February, and Susan thinks she would be excited to do something locally.
Paulette Bufano left the meeting at 7:25 pm.
Chair Ellen Hochberg
Ellen reported that Susan, Bonnie and Paulette helped hang the Eastside Women’s Photo Forum gallery show, and it made it so much nicer. Thanks to everyone.  The reception was held Thursday, July 26.  There were 40-50 people in attendance
Ellen reported that the deadline for the juried art show submissions is August 10.   Twenty-five applications have been received to date. The reception is September 13th from 6-8 pm.  This is our first juried show, and it would be great to see as many Arts Council members in attendance as possible.
3-Year Planning
Christine reported that she has been working on a draft 3-year plan document for the past few months.  It includes sections on ongoing programming, finance, and 1% for the arts as well as brainstorming session results. New programming and finance both require work.
Susan Szafir stated that she would like suggest that the retreat be made really efficient by making sure everyone is prepared.  She asked that in addition to an agenda and the 3-year plan document, could Christine really bullet point action items. 
Christine will plan to have something ready by the end of this month.
Sandy Glass stated that she would like to include the 1% for the Arts in the retreat discussion.  She felt it is a very important part of the 3-year plan.  Jane Meyer Brahm commented that it is also the budget that is the most vulnerable.
Christine pointed out that the document she has been working on is only a draft.  There is still plenty of time to shape it.  She reviewed the draft process to date.  There has been a discussion about ongoing programs.  We have agreed that we would like to continue with MMIP, Shakespeare, the documentary film series, the indoor gallery, and participating in Summer Celebration.  We have also had a brief discussion for on new programming.  Nothing has been done on fundraising or finance.  The whole point of the retreat would be to spend focused time working on the draft to get it to a more complete draft form that could be worked on some more with the hope of having a final or near-final piece that could be presented to the City Council in December.
It was agreed that the budget portion of the retreat would benefit by having a moderator.
Annual Report Update
In the Hopper
  • Amber asked members to review the Recreation Guide draft.  Ellen mentioned that the 2013 Gallery Exhibitions are not included in the Rec. Guide.  The Gallery Committee hasn’t yet met to review and select for 2013. They should be meeting in September or October.
  • The Aljoya parking lot is no longer available for free parking.  Reference to this should be removed from the Rec. Guide.
There were no announcements.
The meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm

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