Presidents-Report

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President’s Report
August 18, 2010
Well the news from Cy – paying off our line of credit entirely - is breathtaking. Janice, you are
awesome, and we all owe you the deepest of thanks. This one is totally due to you and we are
so, so grateful.
I also offer special thanks to Anne Ash. Not only does she volunteer at the GAC on Fridays, but
she got the first wave of membership renewal notices out yesterday. She had all of her House
Tour tickets sold within 2 days. And, for her 80th birthday, when her friends asked what she
wanted, she asked them to join the GAC – and got us 5 new members. Awesome, Anne!
Which isn’t to say that the rest of the board hasn’t been working very hard! I remain humbled by
the extraordinary work you are all doing.
The Finance Committee (Karen - acting Chair in Chad’s absence – and Betsy, with Janice) is
meeting on August 18 before the board meeting. Their task at this meeting is to look at the
current finances and bring a plan to transition to the staff structure (the one called Option 8a that
we agreed was the viable one). At what point can we make Melissa and Crystal full-time? Can
we extend Kelli’s hours?
The Nominating Commmittee (Betsy, Terri, Chad, Maryo) has confirmed two new members,
both to begin at once, as we have vacancies on the board. We are voting electronically on
these names, per our by laws, and I hope that they can join us on August 18. They are:


Sherryl Peterson, retired Vice-President, WSC. Sherryl lives on S. Main Street, is
putting her home on display for the House Tour, and offered many examples of the
difference the GAC’s dance program has made to her family.
Mark Ritter, business owner. He’s been this year’s chair of the Performing Arts Program
Council. You’ve seen him most recently as the villain in the Melodrama, and before that,
in Sonofagunn. And you have seen his work in the donations he has made in painting
the galleries last summer and turning a horrible closet into a beautiful volunteer room.
At least one member of the Nominating Committee has also met with Ande Ruggera
(Community Development Department at the City of Gunnison), and Jon Schumacher (Attorney
at Cligget & Cligget). We are hopeful that they will want to join the board in January.
The Facilities Committee (Jim M, Terri, David) has put forward another option for the
development of the facility. It is, to me, the most exciting and the most viable, as it allows for
more flexibility at less cost. It will hinge to some extent on Crystal’s perception of the floor
options, which may mean a trip for her to Glenwood Springs to see their floors. Jim will present
this option at the meeting, as well as an update on our long-awaited sign.
As you know, City County (vote 3-1) approved our sign package – a 20’ banner plus a cabinet
on the city’s property in front of GAC in which we can post our current attractions. It was made
explicit that this cabinet is contingent on the City’s not needing to use the space themselves,
and if they do, we will lose the cabinet. They have no plans for that corner at the moment,
however. Congratulations Jim M for spearheading this long, long, long, long… process!
The Board-run Event on the horizon is the House Tour on 8/22. Betsy will update us on that.
We’ll also ask Jim M to say a word about the hockey event.
Terri Wenzlaff, at the moment a one-person Endowment committee, has, as you know, talked
with Sandy Mark about chairing a committee to help us reach our initial goal of $175,000. As
you know, if we reach $75,000 we can start drawing funds from our account at the Community
Foundation, and a larger goal so that the Endowment can be meaningful. We’ll hear about her
progress and strategy at the meeting. Her fundraising prospectus was among the materials for
the last board meeting if you want to refresh yourself on that.
The Membership Committee (Maryo, Anne, Jen with help from Narcissa Channell) is hosting a
thank-you open house for members and volunteers on Friday, August 20, 4:00-5:00 (it will
segue into [email protected]). We distributed 400 invitations. We would like to have all board
members who are able, to attend. Two board members have underwritten this event: it will
feature Ken Todd as a strolling violinist and really good food, elegantly presented. Everyone
coming will receive a ticket for a free drink (also underwritten). At the event, the GAC and the
Center for the Arts will unveil the Valley Art Card and announce the ACH mechanism which
allows people to automatically transfer funds from their bank account monthly to the GAC.
Thank you Jim V. for giving a break at the Water Wheel for CB members! Since only $23/month
enables people to join at the Contributor level – which is where the Crested Butte partnership
kicks in – we are hopeful that we will get a lot of new members at this level.
Glory be, we are finally starting to get renewal notices out to people – thank you Melissa! As
mentioned, the first wave went out last week, and Melissa has a plan for getting out waves of
renewals. We are mailing to every one of the 600 names in the membership data base even
though only 200 are current. We’ve learned in the process of doing this that many of the
unrenewed members do not recall having received a renewal notice; and we’re hoping that the
CB option will attract people to come back.
Other things to report:

Our 2009 Annual Report is now done and posted on the website. I’m attaching it for
your review.

Given Cy’s incredible generosity to us, I wonder whether we should discuss naming the
GAC the “Baird Gunnison Arts Center” or the “Baird Arts Center”? Think about it:
after the big crash last year, he 1) instructed his foundation to start funding us again 2)
personally supplemented the foundation’s money 3) gave us money that allowed Crystal
to go to NYC, for us to give scholarships, etc 4) gave us $40k last year towards the line
of credit debt 5) gave us $50k towards the endowment and now 6) gave us $63k to wipe
out the line of credit debt. That’s almost $200k in the last 2 years, not to mention his
$10k/quarter before last year, his donation to the courtyard, etc.

I met with Jonathan Houck to explore whether there are ways that the City could assist
us other than the competitive grant that we apply for each fall. The point I was trying to
make was that while we are very, very grateful for the generous contract they have with
us, it would be even better if there were a way for us to budget for an amount. I asked
whether there could be a line-item arrangement with the City and, not surprisingly, that
was a big “no.” I compared our services with those of the Rec department. Jonathan
said that in fact it’s because they recognize that we pick up a Recreation function in the
city, that our contract from the City has been so substantial. He urged us to talk with
John Mesner and see whether there could be joint programs with the Rec Department.
(I mentioned the idea that didn’t quite gel this year about a summer arts/rec punchcard
program and he liked that very much.)
The most promising item in the conversation centered around renewable energy which
the City is very concerned about. He thought that if the GAC pursued solar energy, the
City might do the utility work at no charge for us. He recommended we seriously
consider grants from the Governor’s Energy Assistance program, and suggested that the
City might be willing to be the signator on such an application.
He reiterated the City’s interest in seeing us do more outdoor activity on S. Main, closing
off the street. He applauded our Cattlemen’s Day breakfast for that reason. He also
wondered if we could start doing activities at the IOOF park, or activities at the Farmer’s
Market. He wondered if we could offer summer outdoor films in our courtyard – things
like “Fantasia” which clearly wouldn’t compete with the Ruby Cinema.
He also remembered our store windows idea and he hopes that’s still a “live” idea.

I learned that nonprofits in state-recognized Enterprize Zones could apply for a
status that would allow donors to receive a 25% tax credit. Janice has met with the
appropriate people and has drafted our application. Stay tuned! Also she learned that
there are marketing grants for nonprofits in Enterprize Zones, and she will pursue this,
too. Think of it: our end-of-year fundraising letter could announce that a donation couldl
mean a tax credit, not just a tax deduction!

I’ve taken our policy book to Dave Barton for review. It’s possible we’ll hear back by
the board meeting. The staff added our missing pieces, so now we want a legal opinion
about whether it all holds together, and, can we sell it as a source of earned income.

Jim M. and I did a field trip to Glenwood Springs Arts Center last month. We learned
a lot! We saw what could be some great floor options for us and concocted a new
facilities option as a result – more flexible, cheaper. We probed their secret of how they
got 1,350 members! We learned a lot about their management efficiencies. They have
2 full-time staff and 2 part-time staff. We’ve submitted a report with details to the staff;
it’s attached fyi if you would like to skim. Many great ideas. Jim and I feel that Crystal
especially may benefit from a trip there to study the floor situation.

As of now, we have 2 applications in hand for our Executive Director job, and two other
people have told me of their intent to apply. One person runs a nonprofit here in
Gunnison; the other has run a community hospital foundation in Nebraska and has a
strong marketing background. I will mention their names at the board meeting in case
you know either of them.
You all saw the display ad in the CB News, the Times, and the Shopper this week. We
are running the same information – but this time as a Classified Ad – in the Times and
Shopper this coming week, as Stephen assures us that different people will notice a
Display and a Classified ad.
The Executive Committee will function as the search committee. We’ll be determining a
process by which we identify candidates to be interviewed. These candidates will receive
a packet of info about the GAC – our plan, our budget including the second quarter
report (that’s deliberate – let’s see what they notice and ask about), programs list, etc.
At this point, the intent is to interview up to 5 people. Also because teamwork is such a
key part of the job, we will have the staff interview these candidates, as well, and offer
their opinion to us. The intent is to put a priority on local people so that they can start
with a network of relationships already in place. The fantasy is that our person will start
on October 1, thus having 2 months of overlap with Janice. This will allow Janice to pay
attention to the Gala, the City and County grants, etc, while the new person gets
oriented.

On August 16, our Executive Committee was invited by the Executive Committee of the
CB Center for the Arts to meet with them to explore ways that we can cooperate
and support one another – ways that could include sharing a staff position, but that is
not the agenda. As of this writing, David, Jim M and Betsy can join me. Very exciting!
We started with the Economic Impact study, moved to the Valley Art Card/shared
membership benefits. What next?!

Speaking of Economic Impact: I am confident that the contract with Americans for the
Arts will be signed on 8/24 at the next Arts Alliance meeting. There have been many,
many questions – especially from the Music Festival – which have required a response
from AftA, but I think all the questions have now been answered. I have proposed that
the Arts Alliance be the signator on the contract (our participation still gets the group the
lower rate). We are also talking about adding $1000 to the amount of money we need
(among us, then, it would be $9000) to hire a contractor to manage the process for us so
that it doesn’t fall to a single organization to manage. As of this writing, we would still be
responsible for $3000 of this amount, where the CB end of the valley would be
responsible for $6,000 of it.
Over and out,
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