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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Call to Order
The retreat was called to order at 8:15 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
S.W.O.T  Exercise
Chair, Paulette Bufano, led a S.W.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis) exercise.
The following were identified in each category.
What do you do well?
What unique resources can you draw on?
What do others see as your strengths?
  • < >< >Indoor Gallery
  • Public Art/Sculptures
  • Classics on Film
  • Summer Celebration
  • < >Collection Management
  • Association with the City
  • Who we serve - Community
  • Council Members, Staff and Liaisons
  • Advocacy for the Arts
  • Enhances entire community
What could you improve?
Where do you have fewer resources than others?
What are others likely to see as weaknesses?
  • Evaluate Public Relations for core programs
  • Public Relations
  • Budgeting Process
  • Revamp Website to attract more audiences for core programming & special events
  • Need more members - recruitment
  • More diversity in membership
  • Members need more volunteers to help
  • Better relationship with Island businesses
  • Need a high school representative
What opportunities are open to you?
What trends could you take advantage of?
How can you turn your strengths into opportunities?
  • Going into schools - bring art to schools
  • MIAC sponsor Fine Arts Showcase - to set up in businesses
  • The Gratitude Graffiti Project
  • Incorporate art & bring to cities, schools
  • Online map with trails & art > Put together a proposal - $
  • Change/Update Website
  • PR plan in place - structure
  • Directional signs needed to outdoor art
What threats could harm you?
What is your competition doing?
What threats do your weaknesses expose you to?
  • Do we have a future?
  • Are we sponsoring the right programs?
An stated that she is concerned about the future of the Arts Council if they donít attract more volunteers and add some diversity to the Arts Council.  Suzanne suggested considering the addition of some teens onto the Council.  An suggested that the Arts Council should consider offering something more contemporary than Shakespeare to attract a younger audience.  Mireya commented that there is a potential to engage with the schools, and in doing so to engage with younger parents. 
Action Items:
Suzanne commented that she felt the budgeting process is weak. We need to know how much we have spent and how much we have available.  An update from staff at regular monthly meetings was requested.
Identify ways the Arts Council can sponsor and bring art to the schools.
Suzanne stated that the Arts Council needs more members as well as a better diversity of members.
Because MIAC is different from other boards and commissions. It was agreed that more needs to be done to recruit members beyond the cities announcement members are needed for boards and commissions.
Members agreed that they liked the Gratitude Graffiti project idea for an opportunity.  Suzanne shared an idea for a graffiti festival which would result in something more permanent. Suzanne suggested that if the Arts Council was to go forward on a Graffiti Festival and that piece was to become a permanent piece of art, perhaps they could use some of the 1% to sponsor the festival.  She suggested the festival could be the audition or the method by which the art is obtained; like a call for artist. Amber said she would run this idea by the City Clerk.  Suzanne stated that she could work with the City Clerk on this.  It would be an event that hopefully would attract participation by a younger audience.  Suzanne will work with Paulette to put together a proposal.
Mireya felt that a better website is needed.  A good landing page that tells viewers what is going on in the city art-wise.  Viewers have to really want to engage with the arts to find these things on the cityís website.  It was agreed that this would require putting together a proposal and getting outside assistance.  Mireya felt that before the website can be tackled, an overall public relations plan should be in place.  She felt it is important for the future of the Arts Council to have a PR plan. It was agreed that a PR plan should be a top priority.
Paulette closed the retreat by indicating that she will make the opportunities and weaknesses identified tonight her priority for the coming year.  She stated that she will be contacting individual council members for their continuing input.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm

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