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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, September 11, 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: An Tootill, Bonnie Bradley, Jane Ditzler, Susanne Zahinser, Paulette Bufano, Karen Kaser, Members Absent:  Anna Gordon, Mireya Lewin, Julian Trejo, and Susan Szafir.
 
 
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm was absent.
 
Staff:
Amber Britton & Eileen Hemmis Trifts
 
 
Approval of Minutes
Bonnie Bradley motioned to approve the minutes of July 10, 2013.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
 
Bonnie Bradley motioned to approve the minutes of August 14, 2013.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
 
 
Appearances:
There were no appearances.
 
 
Chair Report:
Jane Ditzler, Chair
Jane reported that she attended the MMIP Russian Chamber Orchestra performance held at the Luther Burbank Park amphitheatre on Sunday, August 25 noting that it was a well-attended event. 
 
Jane continued her report, noting that prior to the concert Paulette Bufano, MMIP Chair, and Amber Britton met with the Director of the Russian Chamber Orchestra, Natalya Ageyeva-Traficante. prior to the performance.   However, there seems to have been some miscommunication or misunderstanding regarding the details of the concert.  Due to the fact that this was a free event, Amber indicated that no signed performance contract had been obtained.  However, in light of the misunderstandings, a contract will be obtained for any (free or paid) future performances.
 
It is believed that Natalya is interested in offering a performance again next year.  Jane appointed Suzanne Zahniser as the lead and asked her to convey to Natayla that the Arts Council would like to continue in negotiations for a performance next year, and that MIAC would be able to let Natalya know their decision by February 2014. The MMIP bands will be chosen by February, and the MMIP Committee will be able to determine whether or not they want to go forward with a Russian Chamber Concert at that time. It was noted that if she decided to charge the Arts Council for next year’s performance, it could feasibly be rolled into Mostly Music in the Park. Scheduling the concert at the Amphitheatre, which is Natalya’s preference because of the acoustics, may be difficult. Any concert would have to be worked in around the Shakespeare performance schedule. It is also anticipated that there will be an uptick in weddings being held at the Amphitheatre due to unavailability of Calkins Point next year. It was noted that another venue for holding a concert might be the newly remodeled JCC.  Bonnie indicated she recently spoke with the Matt Grogan, Director of Facilities Operations  at the Jewish Community Center, and he said he would be delighted to work with the Arts Council.  He anticipated that their regular fee will be around $150 an hour, but they will offer a discount for multiple uses. Jane stated that she has a meeting scheduled in the near future with JCC administrative leadership to explore the JCC as a future performance venue.
 
Juried Gallery Show:  Jane indicated that Suzanne Zahinser has agreed to take the lead for the Juried Gallery Show in 2014.  Amber will get information to her.  Jane indicated that she would also like to see the 2014 Gallery Shows scheduled.  Staff member, Eileen Hemmis Trifts, indicated that she and Gallery Chair Linda Iwanyk are currently working on this.
 
October 5th Retreat:
The chair stated that the Arts Council Retreat will be held on October 5 from 8 am until noon at the City Council Chambers.  She asked everyone to attend and bring their ideas to share and discuss.  An Tootill will be unable to attend, but she will prepare written report and have someone else present it.  Paulette suggested that a SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) analysis be undertaken and so it was agreed that the first hour of the meeting be used to perform a SWOT analysis. The second hour of the meeting is slated for discussion of current projects, and the third hour to discuss future and new project ideas.  The final hour could be used to hold the Arts Council regular meeting in lieu of the regularly scheduled October 9 meeting (which will be cancelled).
 
 
Staff Report
Amber Britton
Dragon Project:  Amber reported that the contract has been signed and the artist, Kenton Pies, is busy working on the project. Amber distributed photographs of what the artist has accomplished to date.  He has been very productive  thinks they will be ready to put the dragon on-site at Deane’s Childrens’ Park by the end of September or early October.
Bonnie Bradley volunteered to take the lead on the dragon project.  She will work with Amber.
 
Stan (Dog Sculpture):  Amber indicated the dog sculpture should be installed by the end of October.  The installation will be kept low key per the donor’s request. 
 
Call of the Wild:  Amber reported that Jason Kintner, Parks Superintendent, indicated that parks maintenance can install the sculpture on a pedestal, and can do it for under $1,000.  Installation should take place in mid-October. 
 
Firestation 92 Update:  Amber reported that there have been a lot of things coming up, and things keep changing.  Most recently, the port authority has indicated they will not be able to cut the pieces, and we will be unable to cut it on their property.  It was noted that this was not a consideration in the original budget. The artist is doing some checking through connections that he has to see if he can find a location and someone to make the cuts.  Transportation of the cut pieces has not yet been nailed down, but Amber said she spoke with Ralph Bufano earlier this week and he is checking on the possibility of getting help from Boeing.
 
Topiary Deer:  Amber reported that parks maintenance has sent root and soil samples out to a lab to test for poison.  She stated that the Nursery has agreed to honor their warranty, but the Arts Council would have to pay shipping and installation if the deer are replaced. Amber wasn’t sure how long the vendor will keep the offer open; therefore, she requested that the Arts Council decide at tonight’s meeting whether or not to replace the deer if the lab tests prove to be negative.  An Tootill made a motion that if the warranty is honored and the Arts Council pays only shipping and installation, the Arts Council accept this and move forward. The motion was seconded and passed by a vote of four to two. 
 
Luther Burbank Playground Artwork Project:  Amber gave an update regarding the playground artwork project.  She clarified that because it would be a public art project with a teaching aspect, Jose Orantes and Sandy Glass would be able to be hired as contract instructors.  The unique component in this arrangement is that the entire Arts Council would be able to be a part of the project.  
 
Amber stated that at their initial meeting Jose and Sandy had some great ideas as well as access to materials and classroom time, so they were asked to put together an initial plan to be used as a part of an agenda bill that could be taken to the City Council for approval. It would include cost estimates, materials, how many workshops would be done, and a plan for being at the grand opening.  Unfortunately, because of misunderstandings at last month’s meeting, it is currently on hold.  Amber asked the Arts Council if they want to pursue this further.  If so, she will have a conversation with Jose and Sandy.  If the Arts Council wants them at the grand opening, they will probably need to pay them a nominal fee.  This would need to be incorporated into the proposal.  If the Arts Council wants to disconnect the grand opening from the proposal and the Arts Council is happy with these artists, they can be asked to put together a proposal and cost estimate for the project. It was generally agreed that they do not need to be at the opening, and that they should be asked to put together a proposal. 
 
An Tootill, Public Art Chair, stated that she would be willing to support the contract, but felt that before the artists are actually commissioned, the walls to be included in the project need to be identified.  She will schedule a meeting of the Public Art Committee for this purpose.  An Tootill made a motion:  to commission Sandy Glass and Jose Orantes to put together a formal proposal to include cost, materials, time, and design work for submission to the City Council once we (the Public Art Committee) identify the walls to be covered with a mosaic project, and we agree to pay them for this proposal.  The motion passed unanimously.
 
Warranty on Extraordinary Journey and Thanks Sculptures:
Amber reported that Artech has indicated that they will warranty any work done on these two sculptures for a period of ten years.  The Arts Council indicated that they would like Artech to proceed with the repairs.
 
 
Literary:
Susan Szafir, Chair
No Report.
 
 
Mostly Music in the Park
Paulette Bufano, Chair
Paulette thanked everyone for introducing and making announcements at the Mostly Music in the Park concerts and the Russian Chamber Orchestra performance.  She also wanted to emphasize how important she feels it is to have the Russian Chamber Orchestra back every year.
 
 
Gallery:
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
No Report.  In Linda’s absence, Jane confirmed that members Karen Kaser and Paulette Bufano will handle the artists’ reception on Thursday, September 12. 
 
 
Public Art
An Tootill, Chair
An reported that the Tennis Wall Committee of seven members has met.  They agreed to put out a formal call for artist for a concept in January.  There would be approximately a 30-day submission period, and the committee would then meet again to review submissions and make a selection by Easter. Project completion is anticipated in August or September.
 
 
Community Relations
Chair, Bonnie Bradley
Bonnie proposed that the Arts Council formalize its development program. She and Paulette indicated it would be helpful to have additional revenue information in order to craft a fundraising strategy.  Amber agreed to give a revenue presentation at the retreat.
 
Bonnie asked for confirmation from the members that she should go forward with the 4Culture Facilities Grant request for the additional lights at the Luther Burbank Park amphitheatre.  It was agreed by the members present that she should continue to pursue the grant.  She and Amber will meet to discuss details.
 
 
Announcements
 
Jane announced that City Council Member Jane Brahm has indicated that there is no reason for the Arts Council to get involved with the Youth Theatre Northwest planning for a new building at this time since it is still a couple of years away.  However, if anyone on the Arts Council will like to be involved or be on their planning board, they could do so individually. 
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm
 

 

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