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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Appearances:
In the absence of a quorum and in the interest of starting the meeting, the appearance of Nancy Stewart, 6505 SE 28th St, Mercer Island, WA 98040, was moved to the top of the agenda.  Nancy shared her project, “Sing with Our Kids” with a short presentation. 
 
Nancy currently is running a pilot project on Mercer Island to promote early learning through community singing and a free resource website. Her purpose for making this presentation was not to ask for funding, but rather to look for other ways that the Arts Council might be able to support the project.  (More information about this project can be found on their website www.singwithourkids.com.)
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The project goals are
 
  • To educate all community members who interact with children from birth to five about the benefits of singing in all areas of early learning, with an emphasis on language development and early literacy.
  • To make singing together a daily habit of adults who interact with young children
  • by providing songs and community-wide opportunities for singing
  • To create a community model that can replicated anywhere
  • To promote free website and its use nationally and internationally
  • To educate parents about using technology to enhance and not impede early learning
 
Ms. Stewart left the meeting following her presentation.  The Arts Council will discuss later during this meeting.
 
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:45 pm by Chair Jane Ditzler at the home of Arts Council member Paulette Bufano, Mercer Island, WA  98040
 
 
Roll Call
Members Present: Paulette Bufano, Jane Ditzler, Anna Gordon, Linda Iwanyk, An Tootill and Susanne Zahniser., Members Absent: Mireya Lewin, Susan Szafir Karen Kaser, Bonnie Bradley, and Julian Trejo.
 
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm.
 
Staff:
Amber Britton & Eileen Hemmis Trifts
 
 
Approval of Minutes
Linda Iwanyk motioned for approval of the November 13, 2013 regular meeting minutes.  Motion was seconded and passed.
 
 
Chair Report:
Jane Ditzler, Chair
Jane led a discussion on ways the Arts Council could show support for Nancy Stewart and “Sing with Our Kids”.  An suggested a sing-along be added to the Mostly Music in the Park roster.  It was noted that Nancy owns her own sound system, so that would not be an expense.  It was agreed that it would be added as a Sunday program.
 
Jane reported that she, Karen, An, Linda and Bonnie attended the 4Culture meeting that the Arts Council hosted on December 4th.  Jane gave a presentation on the history of Mercer Island, using Amber’s slide show information, and the attendees were very impressed. 
The Arts Ed WA speaker, who was also at the 4Culture meeting, indicated that she would like to come to the Arts Council to give a presentation.  Jane suggested she be invited to the February meeting.  They would like to give a presentation showing how Arts Councils have been very effective in other communities in getting their schools to put more attention on an arts coordinator.  They would like the Mercer Island Arts Council to go in front of the school board and see what we can do about putting a little bit of oomph in the Mercer Island Schools Art Program.  Anna suggested someone affiliated with the schools and who is knowledgeable about art in schools should attend the same meeting. An suggested someone from the legislative council for the PTA.  She will check into it.
 
Jane indicated that Arts Day in Olympia is coming up in February.  She will email the exact dates.  She encouraged everyone to consider attending to take advantage of the opportunity to participate.
 
Jane reported that Dale Coxes wife, Darcy, recently passed away.  He is interested in donating a bench in her honor and having it placed at the Community Center.  Amber indicated that there is a bench program in place for making donations and asked Jane to put him in touch with Diane Mortenson.
 
Staff Report
Amber Britton
Chair and Vice Chair Elections: 
Amber asked for nominations from the floor for the Chair position for 2014.  There were no nominations forthcoming.  Jane Ditzler volunteered to continue in this position for another year. An Tootill nominated Jane for the Chair position. The nomination was seconded, and passed unanimously by a show of hands.  Amber then asked for nominations for the Vice Chair position.  Jane Ditzler nominated Paulette Bufano.  Paulette agreed to continue in the position of Vice Chair for another term.  The nomination was seconded and passed unanimously.
 
Stqry update.  Amber reported that Mireya Lewin and Eileen Hemmis Trifts met with the Stqry representative, Jennifer Smith, about utilizing the Stqry website to provide an online presence for Mercer Island public art and Arts Council programs and events.  Amber stated that there is quite a bit of data that will have to be uploaded at the beginning, but after that it should be minimal.  The cost is $1,000 per year, but Stqry has offered a 20% discount and will delay billing until January if the Arts Council commits before the end of the year.  Mireya was not able to attend tonight, but would like to respond to Stqry’s proposal next week.  A handout from Stqry was distributed.
 
Discussion of the Stqry proposal revealed that Arts Council members were not comfortable granting approval without more information.  They would like a better visual of what the site will look like.  They would also like to take the time to meet and lay out exactly what they want the site to include.
 
Amber reminded the council that all of the public art is available on the Artech site right now. However, there is some additional work that needs to be done by staff before it can be released to the public.  The next step has been identified as mapping the location of the art.  The Stqry site would provide this.
 
Suzanne Zahnister made a motion to approve and engage Stqry to provide an online presence of our public art and to publicize Arts Council events.  The motion was seconded, but failed. 
 
It was agreed that an ad hoc committee will get together between now and the Arts Council January meeting to determine the content they want on the website. A request will be made to Mireya to be at the meeting and to provide Stqry links to sites similar to the one that is being proposed prior to the meeting.  In the interim Arts Council members are asked to email Jane their suggestions for content and to let her know if they would like to be on the ad hoc committee.
 
 
Gallery:
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
Linda distributed copies of the 2014/2015 Gallery Show line-up to Arts Council members.  She reported that the MIVAL show will end on December 20th and that there has been $4,200 in sales.  The Arts Council will get 25% of total sales.
 
Suzanne Zahnister reported that she met with former Arts Council member, Sandy Glass, who was on the committee for the first Arts Council Juried Art Show.  She has agreed to assist with a 2014 juried art show.
 
 
Literary:
Susan Szafir, Chair
In Susan’s absence, Jane reported that there will be a “Meet the Author” event at Island Books on March 13 at 7:30 pm. The author is Robin Oliviera, and the book is titled “I Always Loved You.  It is a historical novel of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas’s great romance.
 
 
Mostly Music in the Park
Paulette Bufano, Chair
Paulette reported that dates have set for Mostly Music in the Park.  The Thursday dates are July 24 & 31, August 7, 14, & 21.  In addition, there will be two Sunday concerts; the Russian Chamber Orchestra will perform at Luther Burbank Park on August 16, and “Let’s Sing” at Mercerdale at a date to be determined.  Sponsor requests will be sent out in January.
 
Paulette reported that Amber Britton and Ralph Bufano have been working on the artwork for the new fire station.   The problem has been getting the beam cut and transported from New York to Seattle.  Ralph contacted the Vice President of Paccar to see if they could help accomplish this, and he is very interested.  He sent a packet for Ralph and Amber to complete, and he will present it to their foundation for consideration. 
    
 
Community Relations
Chair, Bonnie Bradley
No Report
 
 
Public Art
An Tootill, Chair
An reported that the “Call of the Wild” and “Stan” the dog sculptures have been installed.  These items will be added to the Collections Management catalog.
 
An reported that there was a presentation at the 4Culture meeting by Sound Transit about the existing artwork at stations in the South.  Though the Arts Council can’t dictate what kind of art we want at the Mercer Island station, we can make requests.  The presentation showed that these stations become beautiful park-like plazas and it will be a great opportunity for us to do something distinctive for Mercer Island.  An asked that anyone interested take a field trip with her to look at some of the existing stations let her know.
 
Amber stated that the city will have the final say on the station.  The City Manager’s office will be working with Sound Transit and the lead artist and will probably want someone from the Design Commission as well as the Arts Council on that committee.
 
 
Collection Management
Mireya Lewin, Lead
No Report. 
 
 
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 7:50 pm
 
 

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