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Arts Council - Minutes     
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:37 pm by Chair Jane Ditzler at the Mercer Island Community & Event
Center.
 
 
Roll Call
Members Present: Paulette Bufano, Jane Ditzler, Mireya Lewin, Susan Szafir, An Tootill and Susanne Zahniser. Members Absent: Linda Iwanyk, Anna Gordon and Karen Kaser.
 
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm was not in attendance.
 
Staff:
Amber Britton, Diane Mortenson & Eileen Hemmis Trifts
 
Appearances:
MIVAL (Mercer Island Visual Arts League) Liason, Robert (Bob) Still. 
Bob Still was introduced as the new MIVAL liaison to the Arts Council. 
 
Approval of Minutes
Suzanne Zahinister motioned for approval of the January 8, 2014 regular meeting minutes. Motion was seconded and passed.
 
Chair Report:
Jane Ditzler, Chair
Jane reported to the Arts Council that she is resigning from the Arts Council in June. She will not be in attendance at the May meeting and the June meeting will be her last.  Vice Chair, Paulette Bufano, was asked to assume the chair position until elections.  Paulette agreed to do so. As general chair, she will relinquish her position as Chair of Mostly Music in the Park, and will reach out to Karen Kaser to see if she will consider taking that position.
 
Jane commented that she would like to see improved communication between Arts Council members and staff.  She suggested that in the future committee chairs and the general chair be copied on emails, and suggested that new ideas be brought to the general chair by committee chairs to present to the council at large.  She reminded committee chairs of the importance of presenting a report at each meeting. She also reminded committee chairs to reach out when they need assistance.
 
Jane stated that Sound Transit has requested several Arts Council members attend a new Design Group that will be meeting short term in April and May.  An and Suzanne both indicated they are interested attending.
 
Jane reported that the Chamber of Commerce is planning a wine tasting fund raiser.  They would like the Arts Council to partner with them. Their suggested date is September 5.  It was generally agreed that the Arts Council would be interested.  However, preliminary discussion suggested an alternate date since that is Friday of the first week of school.  Diane Mortenson suggested that Terry Moreman from the Chamber of Commerce be invited to make a proposal to the Arts Council.  It was agreed that she will be asked to attend the next Arts Council meeting on May 14. City Councilman Jane Brahm is researching the rules regarding alcohol on a street end.  The favored location at this time is the same area where the 25th Anniversary celebration was held a few years ago. It is a street-end across of the Sculpture Park.
 
Literary:
Susan Szafir, Chair
Susan reported that both recent literary events went well.  The event on February 26 featured author, Margaret Wrinkle with “Wash”; a debut novel about slave breeding during the post civil war slave era. On March 13, Robin Oliveira, a local author was featured. Her book is a historical fiction entitled “I Always Loved You”, a novel of Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas’s great romance.  Susan indicated that the feedback from authors participating in these events has been very positive.  It was noted that so far the Arts Council and/or Island Books have not featured an author that charges a fee for appearance.  Many authors charge a fee - generally around $500.  Amber indicated that the Arts Council will be able to take a look at the overall budget amount for 2015 & 2016 and make a decision as to whether this is something for which they would like to allocate funds at that time.
 
Susan indicated that Lance Rhoades, who has been leading discussions for films, has indicated that he would like to offer some additional programs beyond the film series that are shown at Aljoya. Amber Britton suggested that Susan request that Lance submit a proposal including costs as staff will be working on the budget for the next biennium in June and July.
 
Mostly Music in the Park (MMIP)
Paulette Bufano, Chair
Paulette reported the following bands have been chosen and scheduled for this summer’s performances:
July 24: Coco Loco ~ Latin music
July 31: Spirit of Ojah ~ African Dance music
August 7: Mark Whitman Band ~ American Rhythm & Blues
August 14: Rouge ~ French Café music
August 21: En Canto ~ Brazilian Orchestra music
Bonus Show - Sing along with Nancy Stewart
 
It was noted that the Russian Chamber Orchestra performance at Luther Burbank Park on August 16th is not a part of MMIP, but will be included in the utility billing flyer and on the poster.
 
Paulette proposed a change in the procedure for choosing bands.  Previously all entries have been kept through the years and each year the committee goes through all of the CD’s prior to choosing bands.  It is very time-consuming and, unfortunately, many of the bands that submitted CD’s in prior years are no longer together.  Paulette will write up a proposed policy for handling future MMIP submissions.  It was agreed that each year will start fresh with all new submissions and to broaden the accepted format to include digital submissions.
 
Gallery:
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
No report.
 
Public Art
An Tootill, Chair
An reported that Natalie Oswald has been chosen as the artist to paint the new Luther Burbank Park tennis wall mural.  Painting is anticipated to start in August.
 
An reported that she and Sandy Glass will be meeting onsite tomorrow to clarify the areas to be included in the mosaic art project at the Luther Burbank Park playground.  Sandy and Jose Orantes will be invited to come to the Arts Council’s June meeting to give a presentation of their proposal.  Amber indicated they are on the City Council’s July 21 agenda.
 
An reported that she and Karen Kaser met to review the outdoor gallery.  They determined that changing two pieces of art at a time would be a reasonable rate.  They also felt that the $200 stipend currently offered to artists for installation should be revisited and possibly adjusted.  Karen is looking at venues for artists, however since Karen may be moving on to chair Most Music in the Park, it was noted that Anna Gordon is very interested in the outdoor gallery and is looking for a project, so she might be willing to take the lead on updating the outdoor gallery.
 
Paulette reported that she is working on a formal policy for acceptance of art given to the city.  It was agreed that the Arts Council policy should conform to parks policy and should not include language indicating that a piece is a memoriam.  An also felt that the policy should state that once a piece of art is accepted by the city, the donor relinquishes the right to further ownership or stipulations on placement, purpose, etc. 
 
Community Relations:
Chair, Vacant
 
The following report was added by Chair, Jane Ditzler, as an amendment to tonight’s agenda
 
Collection Management subcommittee:
Mireya Lewin, Lead
Mireya reported that Stqry has been engaged.  They have generously written our first stories, which are in the process of being approved.  They researched and wrote these stories at no cost to the Arts Council.  The stories should be available for viewing on the site soon.  Committee Chairs can use these stories as templates for writing additional stories for the site.  Suzanne suggested that the Council consider getting high-school English class students involved in writing the stories. There was general agreement that this was a good idea and resulted in a suggestion that it could be approached as a contest.
An asked about posting the 66 pieces of art in the cities public art collection to Stqry.  Mireya felt that pieces with stories behind them could be featured. For instance, Kenton’s Dragon is one of the stories that have already been written.  In the future all of the public art pieces will be added to the site and information will be accessible by QR codes. These can be added over time.
 
Staff Report
Amber Britton
Amber asked Suzanne for an update on the 2014 juried art show. Suzanne reported that Sandy Glass is creating the flyers. She is awaiting confirmation of the juror, Paula Stokes, before finalizing them. Paulette indicated that she is friends with Paula and volunteered to contact her.  The dates for the juried art show are July 28 through September 12, 2014.  The artists’ reception and awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, August 7 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  The submission deadline is June 30.  This will give artists 45-60 days to submit their work.
 
Suzanne stated that she will be out of town for the hanging of the show on July 26, and that assistance will be needed to hang the show.  Paulette indicated that she has some friends who might be able to help, and Jane said she would be available as well.
 
An asked Amber for an update on the Fire Station project.  Amber reported that there have been some obstacles, but it is continuing to move forward.  The overall design of the artwork has changed somewhat and it has been set back from the sidewalk in order to allow for utility access.  There are some conflicts with the lighting bollards, so alternate lighting will be installed in order not to compete with the artwork.  The Port has changed the estimated delivery from April to September which will be too late.  The city is working to resolve this issue.
 
Amber advised the Arts Council that the new City Manager, Noel Treat, would like to come to a meeting sometime in the next few months and introduce himself.  He has been the City Manager since January of this year.
 
 
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm
 
 
 

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