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Arts Council - Minutes     
Saturday, March 05, 2016

Call to Order
The retreat was called to order at 9:00 am by Chair, An Tootill at Mercer Island City Hall Council Chambers, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA  98040

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

City Council:
Council Member Jeff Sanderson was absent.

Amber Britton, Staff Liaison
Eileen Hemmis Trifts

Facilitator:  Kirsten Taylor, Assistant City Manager, City of Mercer Island.

A welcome to those present, an outline of the retreat, and introductions was followed by a short icebreaker.

History of the Arts Council: 
Amber Britton gave a power point presentation of the history of the Arts Council from its inception to the present.  She also distributed information on documented past ideas of programs and projects Arts Council members have been interested in

Amber distributed expense and revenue statements of the current budget. She explained that revenue is the projected income from gallery sales, shows, programs, etc.  The Arts Council has to try to meet these goals. Expenses are the amounts allocated to the Arts Council by the City Council.  This amount, $37,720, was the same for 2015 and 2016.

Work Plan: 
There are expenses associated with what you want to do. The work plan should reflect this. It goes to the City Council for their approval.  Once approved, any large changes or deviations have to go back to the City Council via an agenda bill for approval.

Today’s goal is to come up with a work plan to tell the city council what the Arts Council is going to do this year.

Facilitator Kirsten Taylor commented that it is amazing what the Arts Council is able to accomplish each year.  Past Arts Council members have had a particular interest or passion and they were able to take the lead on projects or programs they that matched their passion or interest and make it happen.  She then asked members present what are their passions and interests.  
  • Support local artists
  • Public service – experienced the arts growing on Mercer Island
  • Artsy person
  • Music – channel community’s interest
  • Passion – dance.  Support all forms of art
  • Musician – Dance Music
  • Visual Arts
  • Facilitate bringing arts to Mercer Island
  • Connecting adults with the arts
Review of Current Programs:
A review of current programs and whether or not Arts Council members want to continue them into next year.
  • Mostly Music in the Park - continue
  • Shakespeare in the Park - continue
  • Gallery Exhibits - continue
  • Classics on Film – continue at Aljoya (no good alternate location on the Island + free of charge)
  • Summer Celebration – don’t necessarily want or need a booth.  A presence is what is important.  
  • Literary Program – revive and continue relationship with Island Books.  Continue with meet the author events.
  • Current Public Art Projects:  Trail map of art, mural at W. Mercer Way, mosaic at Luther Burbank Park – continue support.
What do individual Arts Council members want to do in 2016? Each Arts Council member gave two or more programs that they would like to see the Arts Council enhance or start in 2016.
Members voted for their top three items from this list.

An Tootill:  
•    Enhance the Orbits and Pieces display in front of the Community Center
•    Dedicate the outdoor art gallery – define with a name.
Joy Langley:
•    Visiting Author (in progress)
•    Coordinate events (SAM, MIPA, Seattle author)
Rene Stratton:
•    Toddler Art Critics
•    Banner Contest to replace banners in parks and in town center.
•    Revive the Artist Directory
•    Publicity
Karen Kaser:
•    Community involvement in choosing MMIP bands
•    Community Social Dance for adults
Erin Vivion:
•    Partnerships
•    Bring more dance to the Island – Parkinson’s Dance Program
Joy Liechty:
•    Showcase local talent in the town center
•    Showcase young people in downstairs gallery space at MICEC – contest?
Linda Iwanyk:
•    Scholarships for high school artists
•    Dance
Allie Roodman:
•    Support role – Orbits and Pieces, Poetry Pole, Dance
Suzanne Zahniser:
•    Mural at Summer Celebration
•    Community Arts Committee – grants, scholarships

The following three programs were chosen as additions for the 2016 Work Plan.  Each will require significant time as well as budget.  
  • Revive the Artist Directory
  • Community Social dance
  • Parkinson’s Dance program
Rene Stratton will take the lead on Reviving the Artist Directory.  Karen Kaser will be the lead for the Community Dance.  Erin Vivion will take the lead for Parkinson’s Dance

Two additional programs, which do not have a significant budget need, but will require a significant time commitment, were also chosen for inclusion in the 2016 work plan.
  • Enhance the Orbits and Pieces display in front of the Community Center
  • Banner Contest to replace banners in parks and in town center
An Tootill will take the lead on Orbits and Pieces. Rene Stratton and Joy Langley will take the lead on the Banner Contest.

It was determined that the following programs are of interest, but will require more research.  They were identified as programs that may be reconsidered for inclusion in the 2017 work plan:
  • Dedicate the outdoor art gallery – define it with a name
  • Toddler Art Critics
  • Working with local businesses, showcase local talent in the town center
  • Provide scholarships for high school artists
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm

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