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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:32 pm by Chair, Paulette Bufano at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center.
Roll Call
Members Present: Paulette Bufano, Anna Gordon, Karen Kaser, Mireya Lewin, An Tootill and Suzanne Zahniser.  Absent: Linda Iwanyk.
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm.
Bruce Fletcher, Director, Parks & Recreation Department
Eileen Hemmis Trifts
Louise Kincaid, Executive Director, Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA)
The purpose of Ms. Kincaidís visit was to introduce herself to Arts Council members and give an update on the new 33,500 square foot, three story facility to be built at the old recycling center next to Mercerdale Park.   
MICA has raised $4,200,000 to date toward a budget of $20,000,000. They are hoping to break ground in 2016 with completion scheduled for 2017. The facility will house Youth Theatre Northwest and include a main stage theatre, black box theater, recital hall, art studios and exhibition space, public gathering space, classrooms for art, music theatre and dance as well as support facilities for the Farmerís Market and outdoor events.
Suzanne Zahniser what MICA would like from the Arts Council.  Ms. Kincaid indicated that they would like the Arts Councilís help to build information, enthusiasm and support for the project.  She asked if the Arts Council would share their mailing list.  It was noted that the Arts Council does not currently have a general mailing list, but they do have a small gallery emailing list which could be shared.  Paulette indicated that the Arts Council will be sharing their booth at the ĎArt Uncorkedí event with MICA.  Ms. Kincaid said that they will bring the architectural model for the new MICA Center to the booth to share with the public.
Suzanne asked if a link to MICA could be added to the Mercer Island Arts Council webpage. Eileen indicated that a link was recently added.
Approval of Minutes
Mireya Lewin motioned for approval of the August 13, 2014 regular meeting minutes. Motion was seconded and passed.
Chair Report:
Chair, Paulette Bufano
~ Art Uncorked
Paulette reminded Arts Council members that the booth at Art Uncorked is for the purpose of promoting the Arts Council, including STQRY, and to recruit new Arts Council members. 
~ Policies & Procedures for MMIP and Acceptance of Donated Art
  • Paulette reported that she and Amber are working on rewriting the MMIP procedures, to include timelines for when things need to get done.She stated that they will continue to collect CDís from MMIP bands, but will dispose of them after one year.
  • Paulette reported that she and An are working on a procedure for accepting donated art.The new procedure will include more detail on acceptance of memorials as well as conditions that will exclude them automatically. And, once accepted by the Arts Council and City, the owners lose all proprietary rights to the piece, including location, what it stands next to, etc.
~ Retreat
Paulette suggested holding a mini-retreat in place of a full retreat this year.  She suggested holding it in conjunction with the regular October meeting starting a half hour earlier; devoting the first 45 minutes to the retreat and the remaining 45 minutes to the regular meeting.  Arts Council members agreed.
~ Budget
Arts Council members agreed that they would like to have information on the budget from Amber regarding what has been spent to date and what is still available.  They felt a regular report would be helpful for planning purposes.
Anna Gordon, Chair
Anna said she received a request from an author who said he was a former Mercer Island Arts Council member to sponsor his book at one of the bookstore events.  She met with Roger to see if this was a possibility, and he declined.  The bookstore is heavily scheduled this time of year so his reluctance may have been due to the fact that the timing was just off.  She responded to the request indicating Rogerís reticence, but told him the Arts Council might be interested in co-sponsoring at the Mercer Island Library.  He responded that he was disappointed that the Arts Council would not co-sponsor his book at the bookstore.  After some discussion, it was determined that she would follow-up with Susan to find out if a better time might be arranged or if Roger just wasnít interested in sponsoring this particular book.
Mostly Music in the Park (MMIP)
Karen Kaser, Chair
Karen reported that she will be meeting with Amber to clarify the timeline and procedures before she is ready to proceed with MMIP planning for 2015.
Russian Chamber Music 2015
Paulette reported that attendance for this yearís Russian Chamber Music concert at Luther Burbank Amphitheatre was quite high; around 300  (counted by the Russian Chamber director).   Suzanne stated that the Russian Chamber has  indicated that they would like to perform again next year.  This year the Arts Council gave them $600 to help pay their expenses.  In addition, they took donations at the concert, but they ended up about $200 short.  It was noted that the concert lasted several hours.  It was agreed that an hour and a half should be the maximum next year.
Suzanne Zahniser motioned to invite the Russian Chamber Orchestra back next year.  The motion was seconded and passed. 
Suzanne will let the director, Natalya Ageyeva-Traficante, know that the Arts Council has approved a concert for next year, and that we are looking into how much we will be able to pay them. 
There was discussion of the Nancy Stewart concert.  Karen said it was well-received, but there were only 40-50 people in attendance.  She felt the Arts Council could have done more to advertise the program.  The Arts Council agreed that if she performs next year, the promotion should be the same as for MMIP.
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
In Lindaís absence, Paulette requested assistance with the gallery hanging scheduled for next Saturday.  Karen Kaser indicated that she will be able to help.  Paulette confirmed that Ralph Bufano will also be able to assist.    
Public Art
An Tootill, Chair
An reported that the mural (Luther Burbank tennis wall) is going well. When finished, a top coat will be applied.  It should be completed within a week, weather dependent.
Anna Gordon raised the question as to the status of removing art that has been in the sculpture park and getting new artwork into the Outdoor Gallery.  An Tootill agreed to include the refurbishing of the Outdoor Sculpture Garden under the umbrella of the Public Art Committee. She stated that she felt the installation stipend is too low and suggested bringing it up from $300 to $400.  She also felt that the Parks & Recreation staff should be responsible for notifying artists to come and pick up their work.  Anna suggested it would be helpful to schedule or calendar rotation of pieces in the outdoor sculpture garden.
An will talk to Amber to find out whether or not the stipend amount can be increased.
An stated that the outdoor gallery has several available sites, and asked Arts Council members to bring information on pieces or artists they have found and would like to have in the gallery to the Arts Council meetings for consideration.
Community Relations:
Chair, Vacant
No Report
Staff Report
Bruce Fletcher
Bruce reported that he is here today to talk about the arts programs that have been displaced at the Community Center.  He stated that the Parks Department has looked at as many as 19 possible locations to relocate the arts group, none of which worked.  He said they have also been looking at ways to convert an existing room at the Community Center to an ďartĒ room.  Dan Grausz, past City Council Member and liaison to the Arts Council, now on the MICA Board, suggested to Bruce that he approach the Arts Council to see if they would be interested in helping fund a new art room.  Bruce reported that the architect that converted the old art room to daycare space has provided a mock up of what could be done to convert an existing room to a new art room.  The initial estimate for this was about $35,000. Bruce said the two rooms they have looked at include 101 and the Slater Room.
It was pointed out that Art classes will not only require storage spaces, but will also need a good amount of space to allow wet or sticky artwork to dry. With regard to the loss of revenue to the Community Center, Suzanne pointed out during the course of interviews for a new MICA Director she found that there are many adult art classes out there that are looking for studio space and they are willing to pay for it. She felt it could be rented out to some of these groups during the day.
Suzanne stated that the Arts Council has discussed and considered allocating money for art space in the past, but it was their understanding that the 1% for the Arts fund could not be used for anything other than public art.  Jane Meyer Brahm said that while that was true, the City Council can vote to make an exception, much like it did for the funding that went to Youth Theatre Northwest from the 1% for the Arts.  Suzanne said she felt this would be consistent with the mission of the Arts Council.
Suzanne Zahniser made a motion to approve using whatever is the required amount from 1% of the Arts to refurbish a room at the Community Center into a messy art room.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Bruce will take it to the Parks & Recreation Subcommittee.  If they approve, he will report back to the Arts Council.  The next step would be to take it to the City Council for approval.
Paulette will contact Pratt (Art School) to see if they might be interested in renting this new space for some of their overflow.  There was also Arts Council support for including a kiln if outdoor space is available. 
General Business:
Mireya Lewin:  STQRY
Mireya distributed files of artwork that still need stories written for the STQRY site to Arts Council Members.  She provided samples and templates for inspiration and asked that each member write one story. The intent is to get a few more stories about public art on Mercer Island onto the site.  It was noted that these are the original files, and should all be returned to Amber.  They can be dropped off at the Community Center to Amberís attention.  The deadline for completion is the October 8 meeting.
Mireya gave a brief explanation on how to access the STQRY site on iphones or androids via QR codes, and suggested that everyone do a trial run prior to Fridayís ĎArt Uncorkedí event.  There was some question as to whether there will be QR codes available for individual pieces in the sculpture garden.  Eileen agreed to check with Amber and will let Mireya know.
The meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm
          Louise Kincaid, Executive Director, Mercer Island
                    Center for the Arts
Approval of Minutes
          August 13, 2014
STAFF REPORT                                                           6:45 PM
          Bruce Fletcher
          ~ Art Room at MICEC
Chair Report                                                              7:05 pm
          ~ Uncorked
          ~ Policies & Procedures for MMIP and acceptance
                    of donated art
          ~ Retreat
          ~ Budget

PROGRAM REPORTS                                                    7:20 PM
          Mostly Music in the Park, Karen kaser, Chair
          ~ Russian Chamber Music in the Park Concert in 2015
          Indoor Gallery, Linda Iwanyk, Chair
          ~ Clothed Model & Sculpture Programs Show
          Public Art & Outdoor Gallery, An Tootill, Chair
          ~ Mural Update
          Literary, Anna Gordon Chair
          ~ No Report
OTHER BUSINESS                                                       8:15 PM
ADJOURN                                                                   8:30 pm

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