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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm by Chair, Jane Ditzler, 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, Linda Iwanyk, Mireya Lewin, and Susan Szafir
 
City Council: Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm was absent.
 
Staff: Amber Britton, Staff Liaison and Eileen Hemmis Trifts, Administrative Assistant
 
Approval of Minutes:
Bonnie Bradley motioned to accept the minutes of the February 13 meeting as submitted. The motion was second and passed unanimously.
 
Appearances:
Attendees from Sound Transit:
Barbara Luecke, Public Art Program Administrator
Debora Ashland, Architect
Cynthia Padilla, AIA, Architect
The team Meta Arte is serving as the Lead Artist for art planning on the East Link Extension. Attendees from Meta Arte: Pablo Schugurensky and Jenny Heishmann. A third member, Kurt Kiefer, did not
attend.
 
The meeting started with a presentation from Sound Transit on what they are doing in the region and an introduction to the Mercer Island station/East Link Project. They will be coordinating on the Mercer Island station with both the Arts Council and Design Commission.
 
Eastlink will run from downtown Seattle to Redmond (Overlake Village). Mercer Island is the second stop on the line. Sound Transit is in the final design stage, which will end in 2016. Construction is scheduled to end in 2020. Revenue service is planned for 2023. Mercer Island Station is to be located in the center roadway of the freeway at 80th Ave SE. Preliminary design here has two entrances planned; one at 80th Ave SE and one at 77th Ave SE. It will be an at-grade station with vertical circulation (stairs or escalators to street level). Ticket vending and bicycle storage will be located on the overpass bridges.
 
Sound Transit, while here to work with the Arts Council, will be looking at how everything will fit together within Eastlink and the entire system. Sound transit began the process by holding a national call for artists to bring on a lead artist. This resulted in the decision to bring on a local team of artists; Meta Arte. Meta Arte is working with sound transit to make recommendations about the art opportunities criteria for artists. Their goal is to have an overall consistency throughout the system, so that the entire system is tied together. Place making is also very important. When you see a piece of art, you know where you are. Finally, they want to provide a shared experience for system users using humor, color and immersion. Pablo Schugurensky indicated that they would like to know how Mercer Island wants the community to be represented and at the same time think about the larger context.
 
The Arts Council indicated that they are interested in a participatory art project – as an example, the topiary deer recently installed on the island. Residents have voiced their pleasure at having a live, whimsical sculpture as well as physically adorned it with various décor and used it as a photo backdrop.
 
Jane stated that the Arts Council has been asked to participate in the planning and choosing of the art. Amber indicated that the process is for the Arts Council representative(s) to meet with the Design Commission acting as the Arts Council liaison. Jane indicated she would like to be the liaison.
 
Pablo indicated that it would be helpful to Meta Arte to have several working sessions with the Arts Council. Also, if the Arts Council is planning to have additional art integrated into the project, it would be helpful to know that as far in advance as possible. Jane indicated that the City has indicated that they would like to see the Arts Council do something at the top of both of the stairways or escalators. Mireya asked if Sound Transit has a deadline for receiving this information. Barbara Leucke indicated that once the artists have been chosen, they will be meeting with the architects, and that would be a good time to introduce ideas for integrating additional art into the design.
 
Additional values that the Arts Council would like to be reflected in the Sound Transit artwork include:
  • A sense of community
  • The importance of education on the island
  • The fact that people return to Mercer Island, and the generations continue here - even those who leave often return
  • A sense of history
  • Love of the outdoors
  • Keeping the environment pristine
  • Family
  • Sports, which are big on the island – Mercer Island athletic fields are second to none
  • Music – the high school band is nationally known
  • Artists in general – there are many artists on the Island
  • Diversification of the population – an accomplished community
The group will keep in touch with Amber to set up future meetings with the Arts Council and/or joint meetings with the Design Commission.
 
Chair Report:
Jane Ditzler, Chair
Jane reported she and Amber attended the most recent City Council meeting, and the Annual Report and Work Plan were approved by the City Council. She stated that Youth Theatre Northwest was also at the City Council meeting seeking monetary support in acquiring real estate on which to build a new performing arts center. Mireya asked if this is something that might come from the 1% fund. Amber responded that City Council did give them $30,000 from the 1% fund in the past so it is a possibility. Amber thought the location might be where “Freshies” is now located. There was some question as to whether they might be interested in partnering in some way. Amber responded that they have a very full schedule. The agreement when YTN received 1% support last time was that the City/Arts Council would be able to use the facility in return for our support. We were just not able to fit anything into their schedule.
 
Jane reported that the VFW has voiced concern over locating the “Call of the Wild” sculpture next to the pergola at Mercerdale Park. They feel it is too silly or whimsical to be located next to the Veteran’s remembrance. An alternate location might be at Luther Burbank Park in the corner of the garden close to the walkway on the way to the playground. If located there, it wouldn’t have to swivel, which would save about $2,000. Jane mentioned that An Tootill, who is absent tonight, has another place in mind as well.
 
Staff Report:
Amber Britton
Amber asked the Council whether it might be better to make the Juried Art Show a biannual rather than an annual event. It was agreed that the Council is not at full capacity and it might be best to skip it this year. Linda Iwanyk and Eileen will work together to fill that spot on the schedule. There are currently a number of good applicants on file.
 
Amber started a conversation about the Summer Celebration! craft booth. Paulette indicated that she has been in touch with Ellen Hochberg and she has agreed to come with a suitable craft. Amber indicated that we are contracting with a magician group and they are currently putting together a proposal.
 
Amber reported that we received a request from Obliteride, bicycle race for cancer, to place orange t-shirts on some of the bronze sculptures, specifically the silhouette stencil people by the sculpture park. She hasn’t seen any t-shirts around yet, but she has seen signs. Mireya indicated that she knows the director and provided some additional information. The ride is supposed to be in August and is for every level of rider. This is their first ride. Every penny raised will go to Fred Hutchinson Center. They are doing a targeted push during the month of April, and by August the Seattle area will be inundated with orange and Obliteride.
 
Amber asked for volunteers to jury Summer Celebration! crafter entries. Eileen indicated that we currently have approximately 30 entries to date. Amber will send out an email with a date and time.
 
Amber gave an update on the art Collection Management project. She has been in touch with Artech. They have been taking photographs and making a list documenting the condition of each piece. There are a couple of pieces that need some work. Artech will highlight those so that we can incorporate them into our maintenance plan. They also organized the two boxes of material that Amber gave to them. They are currently doing the data entry. They are going to create a separate section or marking for pieces the City owns, so that they can set up a maintenance schedule for these items. This resulted from a request from the Parks Department to do some maintenance on the dragon at Dragon Park.
 
Arts Council members wanted to know if the city is receiving applications for the Arts Council. Amber indicated that she is only aware of two inquiries. An application has been received from one and another person that indicated interest and was directed to the online application. Applicants and renewals (An Tootill) are scheduled to go before the City Council at their May meeting for approval.
 
Literary:
Susan Szafir, Chair
Susan reported that the Jonathan Evison event, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, is scheduled for May 7th at Island Books. His book comes out in paperback just before this and Roger will have it available at the event. She indicated that profits from the Tara Conklin were donated back to the event. She also stated that the astronaut from the Cox family, who donated the Orbits & Pieces sculpture, has also written several books. He is willing to do an event. Susan suggested Aljoya may be a good location for this. She hopes to have something on the calendar for August by the next Arts Council meeting.
 
Susan reported that she is working with Roger on 2013/2014 calendar. She indicated that Roger is very happy with the partnership with the Arts Council. Instead of a poetry contest this year, Roger did a short story contest instead.  Susan reported that the film series is doing well. She thanked everyone for their support.
 
MMIP
Paulette Bufano, Chair
The Mostly Music Brochure is going to print tomorrow and will be inserted in upcoming utility bills. Sponsorship is down this year, but Paulette indicated they have some ideas for increasing sponsorship next year.
 
Gallery:
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
Linda reported that the NWWS show is being hung this coming weekend. Due to some scheduling conflicts at the Community Center, we will be hanging on Sunday and Monday. Paulette said that she would ask her husband, Ralph Bufano, to assist on Monday. Ellen Hochberg, past gallery chair, will be helping on Sunday. The reception will be Thursday, April 25, 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Jane Ditzler will be the lead, but will accept assistance from anyone that is able to attend.
 
Public Art
An Tootill, Chair
No report.
 
Collections Management Project
Mireya Lewin
No report.
 
Community Relations
Chair, Bonnie Bradley
Bonnie reported that she attended the 4Culture meeting on March 28 hosted by the Federal Way Arts Commision. It was a well-attended event with more than 25 attendees from various King County cities’ arts councils. Her report highlighted the following items of interest from that meeting:
  • Loop Seattle:  It’s mission is to make Seattle the most hearing accessible city in the country. The goal is to build knowledge about hearing loops, provide information and resources to facilities and users, support certified loop installations and most importantly, make sure residents and visitors alike, can hear and enjoy everything this great region has to offer. A Hearing Loop is a simple and economical technology that provides people with hearing loss the opportunity to hear the world clearly. A hearing loop sends clear pure sound to a person’s t-coil equipped hearing aid. Bonnie indicated that if Mercer Island were to build a new performing arts center that hearing loop technology should be considered for installation.
  • Art Hazards Project: The objective of the Art Hazards Project, a project of the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, is to protect artists’ health and the natural environment in King County from the risks posed by hazardous chemicals in art supplies. The Art Hazards Project helps identify potentially hazardous chemicals in art supplies and provides information on ways to reduce risks from these chemicals to artists, museum and gallery staff, art educators, and art suppliers through seminars and trainings. It was suggested that this information be sent to MIVAL and Bonnie indicated that she would do that.
Bonnie continued her report with an update regarding current 4Culture grants for which the MI Arts Council is eligible to apply including:
  • A Facilities Equipment grant for up to $15,000. Jane wondered if MIAC received the grant whether or not it could be given to someone else – Wooden O for instance. Amber thought it would depend on the grant guidelines. The submission deadline is April 24th.
  • An Interagency Collaborative Project grant. The deadline for application submission is May 31. Eligible projects may include performances or exhibitions; community events, festivals or celebrations; workshops; and artists residencies. Possible collaborators would need to be underserved communities. One suggested underserved constituency the island’s preschoolers, and MIAC could collaborate with either the Pre-school Association and/or VOICE (Youth and Family Services). One proposed idea was a child interactive artwork project such as a tile wall for the new Luther Burbank Park playground. There are two possible blank walls (one large and one small) that would work well for a tile wall. The Council agreed to have Bonnie pursue this possible collaboration further.
Next, Bonnie noted that she is planning to attend one day of the 3-day Cultural Congress being held April 22-24 at the Seattle Center. Also, that the MIAC has been asked to host a future 4Culture meeting. The proposed date is December 5th from 9:30 to noon. Amber said she will check into reserving space at the Community Center.
 
Finally, Paulette announced that Bonnie secured a $900 donation from management at The Mercer Apartments towards the 2013 Mostly Music in the Park series.
 
Announcements
There were no announcements.
 
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm
 

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