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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 6:15 pm by Chair, Paulette Bufano at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center.
Roll Call
Members Present: Paulette Bufano, Anna Gordon, Linda Iwanyk, Mireya Lewin, An Tootill and Suzanne Zahniser.  Absent: Karen Kaser.
City Council:
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm.
Amber Britton, Staff Liaison
Eileen Hemmis Trifts
There were no appearances
Approval of Minutes
An Tootill requested an amendment to the September 10 regular meeting minutes:
Page 3, Public Art Report, Paragraph 3. 
Amend to: “An stated that the outdoor gallery has several sites available and she plans to bring information on pieces and artists to the Arts Council for consideration.”
Paulette motioned for acceptance of the minutes as amended.  The motion was seconded and passed.
Chair Report:
Chair, Paulette Bufano
Mireya, An and Paulette have completed stories for STQRY.  Paulette reminded everyone to complete their stories and bring them to the November Arts Council meeting along with the information files. She requested that Amber bring additional files to hand out for stories that need to be written to next month’s meeting.
Anna Gordon, Chair
No Report
Mostly Music in the Park (MMIP)
Karen Kaser, Chair
Suzanne Zahniser said that she is working on getting the Russian Chamber Orchestra back as part of Mostly Music in the Park next year.  She hasn’t called them yet; as we haven’t determined the amount we will be able to pay them for 2015.  Amber indicated that it came out of the Mostly Music in the Park Budget last year.  She said it would just depend on what portion of the 2015 budget is allocated for payment to each band, including the Russian Chamber Orchestra.  Suzanne indicated that they were hoping to pay more this year.  Amber suggested Suzanne give the MMIP Chair, Karen Kaser, a proposal indicating the amount so she can consider working it into the MMIP Budget.
The Russian Chamber Orchestra would like to perform in the amphitheatre in August.  Amber will find out what dates are available and let Suzanne know.
Indoor Gallery:
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
Linda reported that the MIVAL Holiday exhibit will be hung on Saturday, November 1.  She is looking for volunteers to assist.  Suzanne suggested making a change to the online Recreation Guide as the artists’ reception date has been moved forward a week to Thursday, November 13.  It was agreed that the Arts Council will pay the $20 fee for making the change.
Public Art
An Tootill, Chair
An reported that the tennis mural, titled “Grace & Beauty”, is complete. Amber indicated that the feedback has been very positive. It was agreed that the tennis mural information will be added to STQRY as soon as possible.  Amber indicated that Eileen will be working on adding stories to the site.  Amber stated that the artist created a time lapse video while working on the mural, and she will be sharing it with the Arts Council as well as making a shorter version for use on STQRY. 
Light Rail Update:   An reported that she was concerned that she has not seen an announcement of an artist selection for the light rail project.  She reached out to the arts coordinator and project coordinator, but has not received a response. The next meeting will not be until later this month and they had expected to be 90% done by that time, so she would have thought they would announce it by now.
Outdoor Gallery:  An reported that she has reached out to some local arts organizations as part of an attempt to revive the outdoor gallery, and she did get some interest.  She stated that she, Amber and Eileen are going to meet about updating the application process.  An and Amber are working with the city to set up a dedicated email address for the outdoor gallery. An email site will allow for initial selection without requiring artists to fill out all of the forms.  Once accepted as viable artists, they can then go through the process of sending in print material and signing contracts.  An reported that she is hoping to start moving some of the existing pieces out and getting two new artists bringing new pieces in over the course of next year.  She hopes to start in December with David Haslet.  In the future An would like to expand the call for artists in hopes of getting more activity.
Amber and Eileen are researching new plaques for the outdoor gallery that will allow the addition of QR codes and make it more economical to switch out info as pieces rotate in and out of the gallery. They will also be looking at the cost compared to the current brass plaques as well as coordinating the Parks Maintenance as they are the ones that do the installation.  Information and templates will be brought to the Arts Council for approval prior to ordering plaques.
An asked if the new signage will be available for December implementation.  Amber stated that since we just started researching, we don’t know.  One of the hurdles has been identifying what is available.  Paulette said she would check with her resources to see if she can help.
An reminded members about the discussion at September’s meeting regarding raising the stipend to artists for installation of their work in the outdoor gallery from $300 to $400.  It was agreed that an increase is long overdue.
An motioned that the amount paid to sculptors to install work in the Outdoor Gallery be increased from $300 to $400 per piece.  Suzanne seconded the motion.  The motion passed with one opposed.
An stated that she would like to install two pieces in December for $400 each.  She would also like to see two additional artists with up to two pieces each installed in 2015; four pieces at $400 each for a total of $1600.  Amber stated that she will find out from Bruce where we are in the budget process to see if can make a change to increase the amount before it goes to the City Council for approval.
Community Relations:
Chair, Vacant
No Report
Staff Report
Community Center Art Room Update:  Amber Britton reported after his last meeting with the Arts Council on this matter, Bruce Fletcher then took it to the Parks & Rec Subcommittee, reporting to the subcommittee that the Arts Council had approved use of 1% funds to go toward the Art Room. The subcommittee recommended further study to identify the best options for additional arts classes and events at the community center.  They want to include it in the Community Center 2015 Master Plan.  They are going to take a look at the best options for room remodels or even the possibility of adding a whole new arts center room. While working on the Master Plan they will reach back out to the Arts Council and art groups to include them in the planning process.  Amber noted that having it in the master plan means some of the funding will come from the city general fund, and they may not need to ask for additional funding from the Arts Council.
Suzanne Zahniser asked what this will do to the schedule for getting a room.  Amber said that if it is in the 2015 Master Plan the work will start in 2015, but without knowing what they decide to do, it is difficult to know how long it will take to complete.  Jane Brahm felt that the arts community may be more amenable to a temporary location change knowing that there is something in the works.
Anna Gordon stated that she would like the response to the subcommittee to be that the Arts Council  appreciates that they would like it to go into the Master Plan, but would like to know the possible outcomes and timeframe for a decision.  Amber will make inquiries. Arts Council members agreed that they would like to keep updates of this item on the agenda including where artists are temporarily being accommodated.
Fire Station Update:  Amber reported that there have been several construction delays, but everything from the artists’ standpoint is on track.   
Amber reported that as a result of the ongoing effort to find and offer fine arts classes at the Community Center a two day workshop, “Big, Bold, Quick Figure Drawing”, is being offered in November.  Additional ideas for fine arts classes should be forwarded to Amber.
Amber reported that the Recreation Superintendent, Diane Mortenson, recently learned about a nationwide art project called “Gratitude Graffiti”.  It is defined as a forty day practice of purposeful appreciation of one’s life through interactive art. This is a project that is gaining momentum in communities across the nation. The concept is simple.  Several dedicated locations, (e.g., business windows or concrete walls) are identified and for or a short period of time everyone is invited to write what they are thankful for on it.  Diane wants to do it as a Parks & Recreation program and would like to know if the Arts Council is interested in being involved. She is thinking that this would be a good project around Thanksgiving.
Suzanne felt that the Arts Council should support the “Gratitude Graffiti” project. It was agreed that a liaison should be identified to attend a meeting and help identify a site or sites. They could then determine if they might want take it further and support the idea of finding a graffiti artist to spearhead the project.  Mireya said that she might be able to help identify someone.
Dine Local:  Amber reported that the City has initiated a campaign to eat on Mercer Island to support local area restaurants that were closed due to the e-coli in the water outbreak.  Assistant City Manager, Kirstin Taylor is leading the campaign.  She wants to hear the Arts Council’s ideas.  Suzanne Zahniser suggested small art exhibits in some of the restaurants might help draw customers in.  Amber will pass this suggestion along.  Any other ideas should be forwarded to Amber and she will forward them on to Kirstin.
General Business:
Art Uncorked Event:  An felt the event was very successful; less successful was the indication that the Arts Council had anything to do with it.  Amber stated that she was unable to attend the event, so she prepared a marked box of supplies along with the banner for use in the tent.  The box and banner were intended to be delivered to the tent by Parks Maintenance, but it evidently disappeared.  She is looking into it to find out what might have happened.  It was agreed that in the future an Arts Council member will be responsible for picking up special event materials to be sure they make it to the venue.  An would also like to have seen signs indicating that music was provided courtesy of the Arts Council and suggested this be included for future events. 
Jane Meyer Brahm said that on behalf of the Chamber, she felt the Art Uncorked event was a huge success.  There were some small glitches, but for a first time event, it went smoothly.
She commented that the music was great.  Suzanne said the one comment she heard most often was that attendees wished it had been held earlier in the summer. 
The meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm

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