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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:37 pm by Chair, An Tootill.

Roll Call
Members Present: An Tootill, Linda Iwanyk, Erin Vivion, Allie Roodman, Rene Stratton, Joy Langley, and Joy Liechty.  Absent: Paulette Bufano, Karen Kaser, and Suzanne Zahniser

City Council:
Council Member Jeff Sanderson was absent.

Amber Britton and Eileen Hemmis Trifts

MIVAL Liaison:
Bob Still

Naomi Schwiethale, Dance for Parkinson’s through the Seattle Theatre Group
Naomi stated that she believes there is a demand for this type of a program on Mercer Island. She feels it will enrich offerings the Island has for its seniors.  She and Arts Council member, Erin Vivion, are looking for Arts Council funding and possibly a donation from the City of space at the Community Center.  Erin has written a proposal which she will email after tonight’s presentation. The program would normally consist of four 8-week sessions a year.  However, there is a possibility of starting slow and doing 4 master classes. Participants meet once a week for about an hour and a half.  It would allow people with Parkinson’s to explore dance as an art form.  Amber noted that the postcard distributed by Naomi and Erin shows Seattle Parks Department as a partner with the Seattle Theatre Group. She would like to know more about their involvement to see if it sets a precedent for gift of public funds.

Approval of Minutes:
Joy Langley motioned to approve the regular Arts Council minutes of January 13, 2016.   The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Chair Report:
An Tootill, Chair

Retreat: An stated that there has been some difficulty in rescheduling the Arts Council retreat.  Amber Britton explained that the original facilitator was not able to reschedule after the earlier retreat date was cancelled.  She said that Kirsten Taylor, Assistant City Manager, is experienced as a facilitator and would be available to facilitate for the Arts Council Retreat on February 27 or March 5. She asked everyone to get back to her quickly with their availability for these dates.

An reported that Jeff Sanderson has agreed to be the regional administrator to go forward on the West Mercer Wall project.  Amber and An will meet to determine the next steps for this project.

In response to an inquiry from the chair on the status of the temporary outdoor gallery signs, Amber reported that new temporary laminated signs with QR codes are being put in the outdoor gallery by the parks maintenance crew. This was already done once, but vandals pulled them out, so the replacements will be attached to deep stakes that will be driven into the ground. Hopefully this will make them more difficult to remove.

Resignation:  An advised that Arts Council member Jack Emick has submitted his resignation.

Mostly Music in the Park
Karen Kaser, Chair
In Karen’s absence, MMIP Committee members reported that the following bands have been chosen to perform at MMIP concerts this summer:

Thursday, July 21: Ben Rice Trio - Roots - Rock & Soul Blend
Thursday, July 28: Coco Loco - Latin
Thursday, August 4: Maya Soleil - Afro-World Fusion
Thursday, August 11: Jazz Underground - Contemporary Big Band Jazz
Thursday, August 18: Swamp Soul - Cajun/Zydeco

In response to the question of having food trucks at the concerts, Amber indicated that we have tried it before, and they didn’t do very well.  She thinks it is because it starts a little later in the evening and most folks have already eaten by the time they get there.  It doesn’t mean we can’t try it again, but she wanted to be clear that they haven’t been successful in the past.  

Bob Still reported that he will bring three pieces of art to the March meeting for consideration for the MMIP posters and utility inserts.

Community Relations
Joy Langley, Chair
Joy reported on her attendance at the 4Culture LAA meeting which was held in Redmond in January.  She will email a copy of her report following today’s meeting.  Meanwhile, she suggested Arts Council members visit the website to see what they have to offer.

The biggest news is that Mercer Island Arts Council will be hosting the next meeting.  It is scheduled for Thursday, March 24, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Community Center.  Amber mentioned that as the host, the Arts Council can decide a topic of interest.  The Arts Council will welcome everyone and give an overview of their plans, projects or activities.  It would be good to include the mosaic that is being worked on, including the blog that Sandy Glass is writing.  It could also be a good opportunity to pump the outdoor gallery and STQRY.
The Arts Council will provide coffee and snacks.  

Indoor Gallery:
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
Linda reported a new exhibit, Lost Edges, is scheduled to be hung on Saturday, February 27.  She asked for assistance.  Joy Leichty, as the newly appointed Gallery Associate, agreed to help with the hanging.

At this time it was determined that the gallery hanging date is in conflict with the retreat date options, and the retreat date would be scheduled for March 5th.

Public Art:
Erin Vivion, Chair
Amber reported that STQRY has been updated to include two banners, one for the public art collection and another for the I-90 Outdoor Gallery.  The two new sculptures have been added to the I-90 Outdoor Gallery banner, and staff is in the process of adding more stories to both banners.  

Erin spoke about Collector System site. There was some sort of a glitch on the backend that was causing problems, but it is now up and she is now able to view it.  An mentioned that she thought there are some pieces missing that were on the Artec Site.  Amber said if she could tell her which pieces she thinks is missing she can check on it.  It was determined that two pieces that do not seem to be showing up are Totem and Handsome Bollards.  Amber will check into this.  

Erin reported that getting all of the art onto STQRY is an ongoing process, but progress is being made.

Paulette Bufano, Chair
Joy Langley reported that she has been in conversation with Island Books and is pleased to announce that they are receptive to co-hosting either the current or a past Poet laureate.  

Staff Report:
Amber Britton
Twin Foxes installation:  The twin foxes are scheduled to be installed at city hall the week of February 22.  The Sister City is interested in having a ribbon cutting or reception.  Amber suggested that we have a small reception immediately following the retreat on March 5.  

An Tootill made a motion to hold an unveiling for Twin Foxes at City Hall following the Arts Council retreat.  The motion was seconded and passed.

Amber said she will coordinate the reception and refreshments with the Sister City.  Amber and Joy will design a poster.  The Mercer Island Reporter will be invited to cover the unveiling and hopefully will send a photographer.

Repair of “Thanks”: Amber reported that “Thanks”, which is one of pieces of art in the outdoor gallery, is going to need repair.  The company that came to fix the wall following the car accident, noticed and told us that the piece is leaning and may pose a risk as it could fall.  They provided an estimate for repair of $10,000 which is about the budget for the entire year for cleaning and maintenance.  She could go to City Council to request money from the 1% for the Arts Fund to pay for repair.  The discussion centered on whether the piece should be repaired, moved or removed.  Amber voiced concern that now that we have been put on notice that it is a hazard, we need to do something as soon as possible. The Council didn’t feel they could make a decision until they have more information on the options available. Amber will do some additional research and talk to the city attorney.

Summer Celebration: Amber asked what the Arts Council would like to do for Summer Celebration this year.  This year’s theme is “Symphony of Summer”. In the past the Arts Council has hosted a booth, sponsored puppet shows, had an arts and crafts booth, and sponsored other activities.  Some options to consider this year are sponsoring “Junk Chimes”, the big piano keyboard, or some other form of music.

Rene Stratton motioned to sponsor one of the activities that Amber outlined for Summer Celebration.  The motion was seconded and passed.

Amber will send links of options to Arts Council members, and a decision can be made at the March meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 8:37 pm


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