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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Call to Order
The meeting started at 6:30 pm with appearances, but a quorum was not reached until 7:00 pm, at which time the meeting was called to order by Chair, An Tootill.
 
Roll Call
Members Present: An Tootill, Rene Stratton, Paulette Bufano, Linda Iwanyk, Joy Langley, and Erin Vivion.  Absent: Karen Kaser, Joy Liechty, Allie Roodman and Suzanne Zahniser
 
City Council:
Council Member Jeff Sanderson was absent
 
Staff:
Amber Britton and Eileen Hemmis Trifts
 
MIVAL Liaison:
Bob Still
 
Appearances:
Pat Howie, MIVAL Artist
2836 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA  98040
Pat Howie’s painting was chosen by the Arts Council to be used on the 2016 Mostly Music in the Park poster and brochure.  Pat appeared this evening to thank the Arts Council for choosing her artwork and to give a brief presentation that included a brief biography and what led her to create this painting.
 
Bob Still relayed MIVAL’s appreciation for the selection committee’s work.
 
Suzanne Zahr, Mercer Island business owner and resident.
2441 76th Ave SE, #160, Mercer Island, WA 98040.
Suzanne appeared this evening to suggest exploring a partnership with the Arts Council for an art walk.  She will be partnering with the Islander Wine Club for first Thursday events, and would like to expand it to an art walk.  She will be opening the doors again on May 5th and would be interested in partnering with the Arts Council to offer a one-time or ongoing art walk.
 
An Tootill stated that there are several events planned this summer that she could utilize by teaming up and staying open late on these days. She also suggested putting the Arts Council on her email list to keep them up to date on any events she may have.
 
Suzanne thanked the Arts Council for their time and before she left the meeting, offered the Arts Council the use of a small table in front of her gallery for any events the Arts Council wishes to promote.
 
Approval of Minutes:
Joy Langley motioned to approve the regular Arts Council minutes of March 9, 2016.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
 
An Tootill motioned to approve the March 5, 2016 Arts Council Retreat minutes with the following amendment.  Under the roll call, add Alli Roodman as having attended the retreat.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
 
Chair Report:
An Tootill, Chair
An distributed Arts Council business cards to members for their use.
 
An reported that she and Karen Kaser met with regard to the dance project and would like some input on what kind of dance to offer.  Members discussed what kinds of social dancing could be taught in under 35 minutes and what might be most compatible for Mercer Island.  It was determined that Country Western, Salsa or Bollywood styles were the best choices.  The biggest considerations in choosing a band and dance style would be to make it simple and fun to do, and to keep it at a PG level.  An pointed out that the Arts Council previously determined that this should be an adult event
 
New Projects:
Rene Stratton
Artist DirectoryRene reported that Amber provided her with a historical copy of the Artist Directory.  MICA is interested in the idea, and she will be meeting with them soon.  One question that remains is how we will get the word out to let artists know we will be publishing a directory.  It was agreed that Next Door and flyers would be two good ways to get the word out. Another question is what categories will be included.  Rene agreed to report back in May on her meeting with MICA and to have a list of categories for the directory.
 
Banners: 
Rene asked if there was a specific age group for the banner project.  Amber thought the first one specified that it was ages 18 and over, but has been a few years so she will need to look at the project files to be sure.  Amber stated that the Arts Council would put out a call for artist for the banners with the parameters for entries – size, theme, etc.  In response to a question about making the banners longer than the last ones, Amber thought we might be able to make them a little longer, but will need to meet all of the city ordinances and get approval.  She felt it would be easier to replace what we have.  Rene and Amber will meet regarding the specifics for the banners.  
 
COMMITTEE REPORTS
 
Mostly Music in the Park
Karen Kaser, Chair
In Karen’s absence, An stated that Karen would like to have a subcommittee meeting to streamline the selection process for next year.  She would like to have procedures in place so that when her term ends, she will be able to seamlessly pass off the MMIP Chair position to her successor.
 
Community Relations
Joy Langley, Chair
Poet Laureate Proposal:  Copies of the proposal were distributed to Arts Council members. The current Washington State Poet Laureate is Todd Marshall. Joy reported that she approached him with a request from the Arts Council for a workshop, book signing and reading event. He is interested. The estimated cost is $700.  Funding will be sought through 4Culture’s “Open 4 Culture” grants, which are awarded to projects providing a public benefit up to $1,500.  The Arts Council is not eligible for the grant, but Island Books would be eligible, and Joy would write the grant request for them. Should a grant not be obtained, the Arts Council will split the cost with Island Books at $350 each.  All three events would take place Thursday, June 2, 2016.  The book signing at Island Books.  The workshop and reading at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center.  Amber will check on room availability at the Community Center for June 2.  In an effort to help gauge how many people to expect, Amber said that it could be set it up as a program asking people to RSVP to the community center. 
 
Rene Stratton motioned to accept the proposal as submitted.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
 
4Culture Meeting Report:  Joy reported that the meeting was well-attended and went well.  Joy put together a power point which An talked through at the meeting. The former executive director of Arts Ed WA, led a problem reversal exercise during the meeting.  The exercise was an interesting thought process to help arrive at solutions to a given problem.  Deb Twersky distributed an informational pamphlet on 4Culture grants. The next meeting is scheduled to be held at Renton’s new library.  Joy thanked Arts Council members for their assistance and participation.
 
Indoor Gallery:
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
Linda reported that the hanging has been moved to Sunday, April 17th.  Paulette said she would check with Ralph to see if he is available to help.  Linda and Eileen will be there, and NWWS will have staff there to assist with the hanging.  Linda said that she will not be able to attend the reception on the 28th and asked anyone that can help out let her know.
 
An stated that there will be a brief tutorial on the hanging system in the gallery during the June 4th hanging at noon.  She suggested anyone that will be in charge of a hanging during the remainder of the year, stop by for the tutorial.  Eileen mentioned that she will not be at the June hanging, but will have someone from the Community Center there to give the tutorial.
 
Public Art:
Erin Vivion, Chair
Erin reported that Dance PD is now nationally certified which changes the game as far as making decisions going forward.  Everything now has to go to the national level for approval.  In her most recent conversation with Naomi Schwiethale, Naomi said they would want a guarantee of a minimum of 20 attendees for four sessions at $2,600 a session or $10,000 a year. This program is free for participants so the funding would have to come from the Arts Council or through a grant.
 
Amber pointed out that her experience with recreation programs has been that guaranteeing 20 attendees is a lot when just starting out.  If there isn’t a program in Bellevue and we could draw from that area, Mercer Island might be a good location, but she didn’t see how we could guarantee it. 
Joy Langley said she thought it would be possible to find grant money to help pay for it.  There is a grant available through 4Culture for art for a public good.  Joy felt this program could qualify. The Arts Council is not eligible for the grant, but there are a number of assisted living facilities on Mercer Island, and they would be eligible.  If we got four or five of them at $1,500 each, that could offset the cost.  Additionally, would the Mercer Island population be enough to meet the attendance requirement?  Joy volunteered to assist with further research. 
 
Erin agreed to go back to Dance PD to find out how much they are willing to work with us.  She will ask what they have done to support the programs that are already running and what resources they can provide to help fill classes. She will also find out if they have the ability to modify the requirements for the program (fewer sessions) to bring the cost down.
 
Outdoor Sculpture Garden:  Erin Vivion requested an update on the signs for the outdoor sculpture garden. Amber stated that the permanent plaques were approved, but then the Arts Council decided to rename the gallery, so temporary signs have been installed. An felt it was redundant to have the name of the gallery on the plaques and suggested removing it.  Amber said that could be done, but because it is a part of the Arts Council’s work plan, it will need to go back for approval of the change.  Amber also said that even if the signs could be ordered today, there will still be a delay until the Parks Maintenance crew can schedule them for install.  Following a discussion as to whether the plaques need to include the name of the outdoor sculpture garden, it was agreed that they do not.  An stated that the plaques are separate from renaming the outdoor garden and installing a prominent sign with that name.
 
An made a motion that the Arts Council reconsider the design of the new plaques for the outdoor garden and public art at the next meeting.  The motion was seconded and passed.
 
The temporary signs will be brought to the next meeting to assist with the redesign.
 
Literary
Paulette Bufano, Chair
No Report
 
Staff Report:
Amber Britton
Amber reported that staff has reached out to the artist of “Thanks”, and determined that working with him is not going to be feasible.  The Parks Maintenance crew evaluated the problem with the leaning sculpture.  After inspection, they did not feel it is in danger of falling, so with approval of the City Attorney, the caution tape was removed.  The Parks Crew believes they can repair it.  It will still be an expense to the Arts Council to cover the staff and materials costs, but it should be far less than $10,000.  Amber is hopeful that, depending on the cost, she will be able to take it out of the existing public art maintenance budget. 
 
Eileen Hemmis Trifts
Eileen asked for volunteers to jury Summer Celebration Craft Vendor applications.  An Tootill, Joy Langley and Rene Stratton volunteered.  It was agreed to meet on Monday, May 2 at 10:00 am.  Eileen will send out a meeting reminder with the location.
 
Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm
 

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