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Minutes - Arts Commission - 09/18/2002Approved 10/18/02 Boulder Arts Commission September 18, 2002 Boulder Public Library Members Present: Don Berlin Patti Bruck Erich Hill Ginger Zukowski Also Present: Donna Gartenmann Joan Bell Richard Bell Cory Papstathis Member Absent: Ann Moss The meeting was called to order at 5:40 p.m. Minutes of the August 21, 2002 minutes were approved as received. Approval of final reports: Reports for Sound Circle and Colorado Mahlerfest were approved as received. Economic Subcommittee: City Council Economic Sustainability subcommittee has invited the Commission to make a presentation to the group on October 23. Hill, Moss and Gartenmann will attend. Board Representation: Effective January 1, 2003, Virginia Zukowski will be the BAC representative to the BMoCA board. The Commission will revisit Dairy representation at the October meeting. BCAA workshop collaboration with BAC: Alison Moore is putting together the 2003 schedule for Artist workshops. BCAA would like to continue the collaboration with the Arts Commission. Due to budget cuts, the Commission will make a recommendation after the October mini-grant hearing. 2003 Goals Don Berlin: One of the most important goals is to encourage the arts community to focus on audience development. The Audience Development grants were anemic. The stabilization of any organization is how they reach the audience. It takes more than hanging an open sign on the door. Organizations have to gain, attract and hold new audiences. Arts Reach in Seattle linked individual donors and corporations by becoming a vessel to funnel donations through. They require grant recipients to go through training and share information they have gleaned. They help artists help themselves. How does the BAC communicate audience development to the arts groups? Bruck: Arts groups do know audience development is important. They don't know how to do it. It's basically marketing. Tracking and knowing your audience. The outcome of the Cultural Master Plan will define the goals the Commission will focus on. Guild Theater: Cory Papstathis, secretary for the Guild Theater reported on the last monthly meeting of the Guild. Finances show the Guild isn't functioning well. Most of the board members aren't working together. The Board doesn't function for the betterment of the theater community. The decision the Guild Board came to is to talk to the Dairy about taking over the management of the theater space and the Guild would be a service organization for theater. The Board is finalizing the details. The major concern is that if the Dairy takes over management, will the BAC money go away, go to the Dairy, or how will the theater community receive the funds? The next Guild meeting is October 9. The general consensus is that the best thing to do is to become a service organization. The details of that and the budget have not been decided. If the Dairy took over the rental of the spaces, then would the Guild be a consortium? How would it be different? The Guild would continue to do things for the theater community like maintaining a database of theater artists, help theater companies get their publicity out there. The problem is that the rent keeps going up at the Dairy and the Guild has been trying to rent out affordable space. The rent hasn't been directly attributed to the expenses. The Guild has depended on grants to make up that difference and is trying to remain affordable to groups. This has put the Guild in a bad position. If the Dairy manages and rents the space, grants could be awarded to the Dairy to lower the rent or to theater groups to assist with the rent. Berlin: Will the next Guild meeting be solidifying the service arm organization proposal? Joan and Richard Bell: The Upstart Crow rents through the Guild. The Guild lease with the Dairy expires at the end of this year. TUC has a contract through the Guild to complete the current season through June 2003. If the line item doesn't go to the Guild to help support TUC rent, the rent would go up to $2500/month instead of $1200/month. Berlin: Do you think its good for the Dairy to take over management of the space? R. Bell: No. Their interests are similar to the Upstart Crow, but not alike. The Dairy would be sitting on a property that would not be generating money every day. When the Dairy schedules a fundraiser at the same time as a performance, it isn't good. If the Dairy rented out the space, it would be worse. TUC prefers the Dairy not go to total management of the theaters. If the Guild takes the position it is taking, what is the alternative? Bell has talked to the Dairy about forming a theater committee. It would have no fiduciary commitment. The mission of the Guild is to find and maintain affordable theater space. If the Guild ceases, it will be hard for the Guild to receive the BAC money. Bell would like to see the Guild continue on some level. The Guild could continue to exist and let others do the actual work. Some suggestions of applying for grants is not a solution the Upstart Crow would favor because they are budgeted already for the end of the year and have 2003/04 in the works. TUC can't budget well if they don't know what the rent will be. Expenses vary. Berlin: The Commission would love to give you an answer about the funds. The BAC member's greatest goal is to see that the money does stay with theater and see that it is used equitably among the theater groups. The BAC doesn't know what the Guild's plan will be. Once received, the BAC would be able to make the decision on how to use the funds. The BAC needs to have that information before we can make a decision. The worst that could happen is that the Guild make decisions solely to get the funding. That is not the reason to do something. The BAC is awaiting an official proposal from the Guild before making a decision. Bruck: It sounds like the Guild may dissolve. The Board isn't working together anymore. There is talk of the line item going to the Dairy. You are hoping for a committee that could manage the money for theater groups. How equitably would funds be distributed if the Upstart Crow already has a season committed? Isn't that conflict of interest if Richard or anyone is on the distribution committee? Cory: One of the suggestions mentioned is that perhaps the line item could go to the Boulder County Arts Alliance and they distribute funds to theater groups. Berlin: We need the Guild's proposal to analyze the situation. The BAC is committed to the success of the Dairy space. The distribution has to be equitable. I can't give you a formula for what the BAC would like to see. Zukowski: I want to make sure the money goes to a variety of entities. We need to see something in writing. In order to commit the money, we have to have something concrete to review. Bruck: We have to be sensitive to the situation the Upstart Crow is in, but any scenario that a theater group is involved in distributing funds to other theater groups, could be a conflict of interest. R. Bell: I'm not suggesting that. In fact, I would resist that. Nor are we in favor of the committee. I would like to see the Guild continue. The Upstart Crow would like to lease one theater for a year for $16,000. We have to rent to the other theater groups to help costs. It would give the Guild a cash infusion to continue paying rent. This would be a great risk to TUC but we think we can afford it. We're willing to take the financial hit if it meant saving the Guild. The money would then go to the Guild. TUC would take care of the physical space. My personal preference would be for the money to go directly to the Dairy. This is the most equitable direct proportion to the theater groups using the space. I would like to hear if the BAC is against that? Berlin: Why would the Upstart Crow have to rent one of the theaters to save the Guild? R. Bell: The Upstart Crow wants to improve the theater. The Guild can't get their volunteers in there. Equipment is missing. Keeping it clean is a task. We can't ask for improvements if there isn't some kind of control. Bruck: You would become the sole occupant? How does that become public space if the Upstart Crow invests in the space? R. Bell: We're not asking to be a resident company. We are the principle user. Bruck: If you are the renter, you would become the landlord, That is a conflict. hi effect, no one company should have that much control over one particular space, Cory: The biggest thing the BAC wants is a written plan. You received a plan last year. My fear is that the same thing that happened last year will happen again. I don't think the written plan last year has happened. The Guild wants to see that the money goes to the theater companies. If the Guild may not be around, then who gets that money? J. Bell: If you can push the Guild to make a decision that would help. Berlin: The BAC needs something, in writing, from the Guild by our October meeting, R Bell: TheUpstart Crow would not be a landlord, but a renter. While we are renters, we are charged for that space. We simply want to extend that from 5 months to 12 months. Hill: I make a motion that the Boulder Arts Commission will make a decision on the Guild's proposal of the best possible scenario for theater use for 2003 by the October 16 meeting. Brack seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Grant Applications Berlin, Bruck and Gartenmann will meet to review and revamp the Major and Mini grant applications. The Commission agreed to raise the amount of the Mini-grant to $400,00 and the maximum request for the Major Grant to $5,000.00. If organizations have received funding in a different grant category, they will not be eligible for a Mini-Grant. The Mini-Grant should be used for emerging artists and/or organizations. The subcommittee will report back to the Commissioners at the October meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.