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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm by Chair, Paulette Bufano.
Roll Call
Members Present: Paulette Bufano, Anna Gordon, Joy Langley, Joy Liechty, Rene Stratton, and Suzanne Zahniser. Absent: Jack Emick, Karen Kaser, Linda Iwanyk, An Tootill and Erin Vivion
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm
MIVAL Liaison
Bob Still
Amber Britton and Eileen Hemmis Trifts
Sally Stroud, Mercer Island Resident
Approval of Minutes
Joy Langley motioned to approve the regular Arts Council minutes of March 11, 2015 as presented.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Chair Report:
Paulette Bufano, Chair
Paulette welcomed new Arts Council member, Joy Langley and Rene Stratton.
Paulette reviewed the SWOT analysis results from the Arts Councilís December retreat, specifically the weaknesses or areas with room for improvement as well as opportunities available to the Arts Council.
Paulette reported that some progress has been made. 

  • The Arts Council member that previously handled the bulk of public relations, including 4Culture, is no longer a member of the Arts Council.    Joy Langley stated that she is acquainted with 4Culture and would be happy to take this on.  Paulette related that Joy Liechty indicated that she would be interested in doing some PR as well.
  • In an attempt to strengthen the budget process, staff will provide a budget-update at each Arts Council Meeting.  Paulette asked Amber if she had a budget update for this meeting.  Amber indicated that the Arts Council hasnít spent any money since the last meeting so there is no change from what was distributed at last monthís meeting.  Money is allocated for some programs, but has not been spent.
  • With regard to revamping the website, An Tootill and Eileen Hemmis Trifts are in the beginning stages of developing a map for the website that will identify the location of public art on the island.  They are hoping to include hiking and biking trails on the map.  It was noted that the Cityís website is somewhat limited so we will have to work within those limitations.  Amber indicated that more information from the Arts Council as to what they want from the website that isnít included now is needed.  Suggestions would be most helpful.
  • The Arts Council has reached its membership capacity.  There are now 11 Arts Council members.   
  • Paulette stated that some of the committees need volunteer help from time to time.  She encouraged members to volunteer to help one another. Recruiting high school students (maybe the Key Club) was brought forth as a possible volunteer resource.
  • With regard to identifying opportunities for bringing art to the schools.  It was determined that there is already a rich art program at the high school level with a strong volunteer level of support.  The opportunity for the Arts Council might be more one of providing assistance or enhancement to something they are already doing.  Paulette reported that the Gratitude Graffiti project, which the Arts Council will be doing with Diane Mortenson, Recreation Superintendent, may present an opportunity for involving kids.
  • Rene stated that she would be interested in working with An Tootill, Public Art Chair, on directional signs.  City Council member Jane Brahm stated that this should be coordinated with the City as they are working on a project for new signage, including directional signs, in the downtown area. Amber would be the Arts Council liaison with the city.
Paulette reported that member Erin Vivion has taken a short break from adding public art pieces to the STQRY website, but plans to resume soon. 
Anna Gordon, Chair
Anna reported that attendance at the films at Aljoya has been very good with between 30 and 47 attendees at each event.  She felt that some consideration should be given to the fact that the space may not be large enough and what will be done if the space is outgrown.  One suggestion was to offer more than one showing.  Anna suggested that she and Amber will discuss this further before she contacts Lance Rhoades.  Anna and Lance Rhoades can then contact Aljoya for their input. 
Amber stated that there are two outdoor films planned for later in the summer.  These are Parks & Recreation programs so will not be an expense to the Arts Council.
Anna reported that Susan Szafir is working with Roger at Island Books to bring in several authors.  The two authors she is targeting are Erik Larson and Sherman Alexi.  Nothing has been finalized at this date.  Joy Langley volunteered that she has some connections to Blue Begonia Press and said she would be happy to contact them as a fall back.  
Amber reminded Anna to get her the information once authors and dates are firmed up.  It is needed by early July in order to get it into the next recreation guide. 
Mostly Music in the Park (MMIP)
Karen Kaser, Chair
No Report.
Indoor Gallery:
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
No Report.  
Public Art
An Tootill, Chair
No Report.
Staff Report:
Amber Britton
Orbits and Pieces:  Amber reported that the landscape architect and the Community Center have advised that they will not need to relocate the Orbits and Pieces public art as originally considered.
Summer Celebration Juried Art:  Amber advised that staff will soon be requesting Arts Council assistance in jurying the craft vendors for Summer Celebration.  She reported that we are very low on numbers this year and asked Arts Council Members to reach out to artists or groups they know if that might be interested and to share any websites they are aware of that we can use to promote it.  She stated that multiple artists are allowed to share a booth.  The booth cost is $200. The numbers of crafters have been dwindling in past years and Amber is hoping to get a committee together to refine and redefine the craft and related vendors of Summer Celebration beginning next year.  She hopes to get input from other groups and artists on the Island as possible.
Amber will find out if a discount can be offered to MIVAL members that would like to have or share a booth.
Summer Celebration Booth:  Amber reported that the Arts Council usually hosts a childrenís arts and crafts booth at Summer Celebration.  It is a pirate theme this year.  Amber will bring craft ideas to next monthís meeting. She asked council members to email her with their ideas.
Some years, the Arts Council has, in addition to the arts and crafts booth, sponsored a specialty artistic event.  Events from years past included the large community mural, Junk Chimes, and the Carter Family Marionettes.  Both Junk Chimes and the puppet show were very popular and fun events.  Amber stated that if the Arts Council would like to bring one of them back this year, it would probably cost more than the $1,500 allocated in their budget for Summer Celebration, but she thought she could find the difference elsewhere in the Summer Celebration budget. She indicated that if they have other ideas she will need to know really soon.  Suzanne Zahniser suggested the Arts Council create their own variation of Junk Chimes, inviting members of the community to contribute.   She suggested asking the Junk Chimes man  if he would consider building something that could be added to.  Jane Brahm stated that someone from the Arts Council would need to take the lead on this if they wanted to pursue it. Paulette volunteered to call to take this on and will call the Junk Chimes man. Amber will forward his contact information to her.
Amber felt the Parks Director will also want to know the plan for disposal or storage after Summer Celebration. 
Luther Burbank Playground Mural Ė Amber is meeting with Sandy Glass on April 22 to finalize the contract.  She will report back with the timeline and additional information for the project. 
MMIP Brochure & Poster Ė Amber reported that Nancy Abel was the artist (chosen at last monthís meeting) for this yearís poster.  The art has been sent to the poster/brochure designer.  Shakespeare, the Russian Chamber Music concert and the outdoor movies will also be included in the brochure. Suzanne Zahniser requested that Amber send a digital version of the poster to Louise Kincaid at the Mercer Island Center for the Arts so that they can promote it as well.
Outdoor Films:  Amber reported that the outdoor films will return this year.  The Parks & Recreation Department will be sponsoring two outdoor films at Mercerdale Park in late August.  Titles havenít been confirmed yet.  They will be family films.
Gateway Update:  Amber reported that the repairs are ready to begin.  The repairs are being paid for by the insurance company representing the driver.  It will cost about $15,000.
Update on South Fire Station:  Amber reported that there have been some minor delays, but that the Fire Department has not changed their targeted dedication date. 
The meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm

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