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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Call To Order:

Chair Susan Landon called the meeting to order at 7:40 pm in Room A-4 at the Community Center at Mercerview, 8236 SE 24th Street, Bldg B, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call:

Members Beth Brennen, James Dugan, Susan Edelheit, Judith Powers Leithe, Philip King, Barry Massoudi, Margaret Minnick, Heidi O’Brien, and Chair Susan Landon were present. Member Erin Curtiss and Council Member Steve Litzow were absent.

Recreation Supervisor Jennifer Berner and Administrative Assistant Eileen Trifts were present.




It was moved by Member Barry Massoudi to amend the regular meeting minutes of February 11, 2004 as follows:


Page 2, PERFORMANCE ARTS following item 5, add the following 4 items:


  1. Barry submitted two programs to the Arts Council for consideration: An international film festival and a fundraising event which included detailed activity list and initial cost estimates.

  1.  As money will be getting tighter for local arts agencies in the future years, we are faced with a dilemma. We either have to accept our shrinking resources or we have to look for new and innovative ways to raise money from our communities and public sources. There are many groups that regularly raise funds from public sources and there are many models for us to learn from. Some other cities have no Arts Agency budgets and operate solely through fundraising. We are very lucky to have the support of the City of Mercer Island.

  1. Increasing the number of programs offered to the public will make the Arts Council better known and will make fundraising easier since people will see more reasons to contribute to our fundraising efforts.

  1. The advantages of holding a fundraising event are that we can reach into the Mercer Island community and residents and not just the businesses. Additionally, fundraising events raise the group’s profile, increase our name recognition with the public, will increase participation in our programs, and will facilitate future fundraising efforts. Groups that conduct regular fundraising events get better at it over time.

Following discussion, James Dugan seconded the motion and asked the chair to call for a vote.  She asked for a show of hands.  Ayes were Arts Council members James Dugan, Margaret Minnick, Barry Massoudi, Phil King, Susan Edelheit and Beth Brennan.  Nays were Susan Landon, Heidi O’Brien, and Judith Powers Leithe.  The motion passed.



Treasurer’s Report:

No Report due to the fact that city computer system was down today.



Secretary’s Report:

No Report.



Chair’s Report:

Susan Landon reported that Richard Frombach, the artist for the Veteran’s Project, has submitted a request to city hall for his permit.  The fast track is one month.  He is on target.


Susan also reported that Judy Leithe has been in touch with the Mercer Island Fund.  They have given the Arts Council a $2,500 grant for a canopy for the Pergola (Veteran’s Project).  The manufacturer has been contacted and they have indicated that they can and will make the canopy for that amount.


Phil King suggested the Arts Council send a note of appreciation to the Mercer Island Fund.



Performance Arts:

Beth Brennan reported that the Mostly Music in the Park Committee has chosen nine musical groups to perform this year.  All of the bands chosen have a little added entertainment value.


The nine groups that have been chosen to perform are:

            Seattle Women’s Orchestra

            Yerba Buena

            Lost in the Fog (bluegrass)

            My Salille

            Pearl Jango

            King B’s of the Bayou

            Dr. Funk

            Nowhere Men

            Sabiere String Quartet




Heidi O’Brien reminded everyone to turn in their time sheets. Heidi requested that all Arts Councils members send her an email naming at least one person for consideration in filling upcoming Arts Council vacancies.




Judy Leithe reported that the All Island Book Club is in the middle of their winter program and that the Literary Committee is working on the Spring/Summer schedule.  The theme is “Classics on Film”.  Scheduled films include “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, “Julias Caesar”, and “Looking for Richard”.  Additionally, play interpretations of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” and “Julias Caesar”; a special presentation, Shakespeare-An Authorship Debate; and live performances of “From the Streets of Rome to the Provinces of an Empire” and “Life in Medieval Village and Jousting Tournament Demonstration”.


Judy will be sending out an evaluation letter to over 100 program participants in the near future.  At the request of Arts Council members, she will start an email campaign to Arts Council Members reminding them of upcoming All Island Book Club scheduled events.




With regard to the upcoming Arts Council Retreat, Phil King brought up several ideas for consideration. 

  • Training in parliamentary procedure.  He has a recommendation for a good speaker.
  • Meetings with the City Planner or City Manager focusing on an overall view of what the city is doing and how the Arts Council can play a role.  Also consider the Planning Commission or other departments/groups.
  • Look outside our own community and bring in other Arts Councils – state, county, or other cities. 


There was some discussion as to when the retreat should be held.  Though it is usually held in May or June, Margaret Minnick suggested that since there are three people whose terms are up on May 31, perhaps it would be more beneficial to wait until July.


James Dugan asked if the city is still contemplating a training session on parliamentary procedure for all of its boards, councils and commissions.  Jen Berner responded that the training is still planned, probably sometime this summer after May 31. (The date terms end for many members on all of the boards, commissions and councils and new members will be coming on board.)  Susan Landon suggested that if nothing materializes by July, the Arts Council might want to take the initiative and schedule this for themselves.  Jen will check on the status of the city training with the city clerk.


Phil wrapped up by asking for Arts Council members to contact him if they had any additional ideas for the retreat.


Public Art:

Margaret Minnick reported that the Totem Pole, currently located at the Community Center, is being relocated to Roanoke Park provided there are no utility issues.  It is being done in house. 


Margaret gave an update on the status of the appraisal to be done on existing city owned artwork.  She needs to find out what method of coverage the city wants to use – market value, replacement value or resale value.  Jen Berner indicated that she has been advised by the City Attorney that they would want replacement value. 


Margaret has presented a proposal that will be evaluated by the City Attorney and staff for appraisal of public art.  The proposal states that she is willing to offer her services at one third of her standard rate for the first 40 hours and then at no charge after that. However, the city is free to hire anyone they choose.


It was determined that additional discussion is needed between Margaret, staff, and the city attorney.  Margaret will return with more information once this has taken place.


With regard to integrating art into the new Community Center, Margaret reported that the Call for Artists (with minor modifications from the draft submitted to the Arts Council in March) is going to the City Council for approval on March 15.  She was in Walla Walla this past weekend and visited one of the Artists on the call mailing list. He said that if an artist is expected to work up a design for free, because of the expense involved in doing so, they may well ignore the call.  To help eliminate this possibility, it has been determined that there will be a cover letter to 12 to 13 artists requesting that they send us slides of some of their work.  From the submissions, five artists will be chosen to work up a design and a $200 stipend will be paid when it is received.



James Dugan reported that he has been to look at the John Geise art pieces.  When they are relocated to Mercer Island, they will need to be anchored. (Though large, they are very light weight.)  He received an estimate from Art Tech Installation of $2,500 for a concrete pad for both pieces plus an additional $6-800 for installation.  Our standard contract pays $200.  James will research less expensive alternatives.  He asked that anyone with recommendations email him.  It was determined that the Parks Maintenance crew does not have the expertise to install this artwork.


In a report on the current gallery show, James reported that seven pieces have sold to date.  It has been a very good show.



Community Arts:

No Report.



Staff Report:

Jennifer Berner reported that the 2004 Work Plan and Annual Report are going to the City Council on April 19.  In preparation for the 2005/2006 work plans, Jen will send out some planning documents prior to the April Arts Council meeting. 


Jen advised that Erin Curtiss, Phil King and Heidi O’Brien will be ending their current terms on May 31 of this year.  The City Clerk will be contacting them to find out whether or not they are interested in continuing for an additional term.  A public notice will also go out. June Mulcahy has resigned from the Arts Council.  Katalin Pearman will be appointed to fill that position by the City Council at their March 15 meeting.


As an information item, Jen advised the Arts Council that she will not be at the April meeting.  Diane Mortenson will be attending in her place.


With regard to sound and audio/visual capabilities for the new Community Center, the I.T. & A/V layout has been devised to provide the maximum flexibility to users of the new facility.  While we aren’t able to “run wire” to every control panel and identified LCD projector location with the allotted budget, we have called for conduit pathways to be installed for future wire to be installed throughout the facility.  Numerous voice/data connections have been identified in every room, with only select connections to be active initially. The limited A/V budgetary resources are focused on the multi-purpose room and getting future capability (conduit) secured.  The multi-purpose room will be conducive to small and large gatherings with or without digital projection needs.  A sound amplification system and several microphone jacks have been included in the design, with flexibility for use in front or in the rear of the room.  Permanent mounts of equipment (projectors/screens/sound & amplification equipment) have been identified for the multi-purpose room, while a more “portable” approach will be taken in the program/meeting rooms (portable projectors/sound amplification to be used if needed).  Flexible lighting controls in each room will allow independent dimming capability that will certainly be idea for creating the right speaker/lecturer “ambience” should the Arts Council sponsor a reading or lecture.


Tonight is election night for Board Member positions.  Ballots were distributed.  James Dugan clarified that the bylaws say no officer may serve more than two consecutive years.  Therefore, Susan Landon is not eligible to run for the Chair position this year.  Susan withdrew her name from the ballot and nominated Phil King for the Chair position.  Jennifer Berner advised the council that the Secretary and Treasurer positions may be eliminated by the City Council this year.  Judy Leithe withdrew as a nominee for Vice Chair and nominated Susan Landon for that position.  Beth Brennan withdrew as a nominee for Secretary.  James Dugan and Judy Leithe were nominated for that position.  Margaret Minnick was nominated for Treasurer.


Written ballots were counted by staff.  Following are the new Board Members for 2004.

  • Chair:  Barry Massoudi
  • Vice Chair:  Susan Landon
  • Secretary:  Judy Leithe
  • Treasurer:  Phil King


2004 Committee Chairs are as follows:

  • Community Arts Chair:  Erin Curtiss
  • Funding Chair:  Susan Edelheit
  • Gallery Chair:  Susan Landon
  • Literary Chair:  Judy Leithe
  • Marketing Chair:  James Dugan
  • Performing Arts MMIP:  Beth Brennan
  • Performing Arts Movies/Other:  Open
  • Personnel Chair:  Heidi Hilf O’Brien
  • Planning Chair:  Phil King
  • Public Art Chair:  Margaret Minnick



City Council Report:

No Report.



Adjournment:                 10:20 pm



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