June 26, 2002 at 6:00 p.m.
Brentwood Business & Technology Center
101 Sand Creek Road, Suite B
Brentwood, CA 94513
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Robinson at 6:10 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Present were Chairperson Robinson, Vice-Chairperson Joe Trebino, and Commissioners Jan Melloni, Ron Beatty, Helen Myers, William Weber and Mary Hannigan. Commissioners Don Meagher and Clayton Woolley were excused absences. Commissioners Barbara Guise and Alice Kamers were absent at roll call. Others present were Sue Barry, Recreation Services Supervisor and Craig Bronzan, Director of the Parks and Recreation. Guests and presenters present were Mr. Mel Eckerstrom, Victoria Greenfield, Susan Arkwright, Patty Bristow and Mary Ann and Marty Elliott.
A. Presentation by Mel Eckerstrom on “Day in the Park” and discussion (R. Beatty).
Mr. Eckerstrom was introduced by Commissioner Beatty who explained that Mr. Eckerstrom is the person hired to direct and manage the Art Commission’s “Day in the Park”. Mr. Eckerstrom explained the work he has been doing with the subcommittee prior to this meeting in planning the October event. He explained that his company is producing nine of these types of events this year, some of them are the Walnut Creek Art & Wine Festival in June, and will be producing the Alameda event which will be coming up in August and in each of these events they have had or plan to have, approximately 90,000 people in attendance. He explained some of the history of his company with these types of events and said all booths are expected to have only quality types of displays. He is excited about Brentwood as a community for this type of event and already has about 53 people signed up for exhibit booths and is hoping to have 100. He also said he will be spending considerable time in the area in the next few months making sure all key issues are taken care of in a timely fashion. He cited about 89 things that need to happen and stressed the need for volunteers, press releases and strong Art Commission and community involvement for it to be a successful event. He feels this will be a good event and something that will continue to grow in strength in the City of Brentwood. Commissioner Hannigan said that she feels that she will be able to bring in a number of great volunteers from the art group she belongs to and she will see that the information is in their next newsletter. Both Chairperson and Vice Chairperson’s phone numbers will be listed in the newsletter as a contact for interested volunteers.
B. Presentation by Mary Ann Elliott on Thomas Kinkade (M. Hannigan).
Mrs. Elliott was introduced by Commissioner Hannigan as an artist representing the Thomas Kinkade galleries. Mrs. Elliott explained what she does with the Thomas Kinkade Company and passed around an album for the benefit of the Commission. She travels all over the United States doing demonstrations of how she puts the lighting in the paintings. She will be willing to do a demonstration at the “Day in the Park” event and also has a painting in the current art show. She is interested in becoming a member of the Commission and has submitted her application. She also said that since the newly formed Brentwood Art Society is a non-profit organization, the Thomas Kinkade Gallery will donate a painting to the Commission which could be auctioned off as a fund raiser. She is now a Brentwood resident and recently did one of her “Master Highlighting” demonstrations in Summerset.
AGENDA REVIEW: No changes or additions.
CITIZEN COMMENTS: None.
At this point the Chairperson turned the meeting over to Commissioner Weber who introduced his guest, Benjie Lasso, who is an artist from San Francisco. Her specialty is fiber arts and she has brought some of her work to show which will be in the upcoming art show. Everyone welcomed her and was very happy that she had come to meet with the Commission.
Commissioner Alice Kamers arrived at 6:33 p.m.
Item No. 1 Approval of minutes of regular meeting of May 22, 2002.
Item No. 2 Accept Agenda and Minutes from the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County.
Motion was made by Commissioner Beatty to accept the Consent Calendar. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Mellon. Commissioner Trebino abstained from voting since he was not present at the previous meeting. Motion carried.
Discussion of the scheduled agenda and the motion was made to move Item 6 to replace Item 3 by Commissioner Beatty. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Trebino and motion carried.
Item No. 3 Update on Art Foundation (J. Melloni).
Commissioner Melloni reported the addition of five new members to the Foundation, all received by mail. She also reported that she had to resubmit the Articles of Incorporation due to some minor technicalities, they have been corrected, signed and returned for approval. They were resubmitted approximately one week ago and she feels the turn around time to be about three weeks and expects to be able to move ahead with the foundation by about July 15. She said that they are currently working on the Annual Dinner and are looking at dates for this event. Patty Bristow has been working very closely with her and has done an excellent job in helping to bring the event to fruition. Tonight they need to get three approved dates that they can take to Mr. Roddy who has agreed to host the event, provided the dates will work for him. Suggested dates are September 28, October 5 and October 19. They have secured the food and feel they will have no problems getting volunteers to assist in the event from schools. It was decided to have a historical western theme, and have it be a very classy event with quality entertainment. Commissioner Trebino moved that the date of September 28 be suggested as first choice, October 19 as second choice, and October 26 as the third choice. Commissioner Beatty seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Bristow said Judy Erata will do the food for the event and the location will be the pole barn at the Roddy Ranch, which can accommodate a very large number of people, a band, auction and whatever the Commission wishes to include. Invitations will be sent out to a large number of people inviting them to attend and join the Brentwood Art Society. It will be an opportunity to inform the public about the Art Commission and promote art in the schools.
As soon as the date is confirmed, Commissioner Melloni will email or phone all of the Commissioners as to the selected date so they can put it on their calendars. Ms. Bristow also suggested that each Commissioner give Commissioner Melloni a list of five to ten people that should be invited, such as friends and neighbors, etc. This list should include addresses. Local business owners and dignitaries will also be invited. Commissioner Melloni also requested that once the Articles of Incorporation are approved, she would like to have a half-hour meeting prior to the regular monthly meeting of the Commission. She asked for approval of this from Ms. Barry and the other Commissioners. Commissioner Melloni also said she has received two applications for the fifth director. She had sent out four and only two have been returned and it has been one month, so she and Commissioner Beatty will meet and will decide who the fifth person will be. She will notify the rest of the Commission on that decision when it is made. When Articles are approved, then the checks will be cashed from those that have already paid in advance. She discussed opening a bank account for the Foundation. Director Bronzan said that will be dealt with up front at the time account is opened and choice of banks was discussed briefly. Commissioner Trebino will handle this by opening an account with the Bank of Agriculture and Commerce, since they do not charge fees on non-profit corporations.
Commissioner Melloni said that the person making up the postcards for the foundation will need half of the money up front before he does the cards and the balance when completed. She also needs the list of people that signed in at the art shows so she can send out invitations to them for the foundation. Commissioner Melloni also wants to send out a newsletter for the foundation. Commissioner Beatty is the foundation secretary so she will work with him on this.
Item No. 4 Discussion regarding staff assistance (C. Bronzan).
Director Bronzan said that it has now become apparent the Arts Commission has grown much more rapidly than had been anticipated and feels there is a need to consider adding someone other than utilizing Ms. Sue Barry, since the needs have grown so dramatically that it is stretching her beyond what had been anticipated. Director Bronzan feels it is time for the Commission to start looking at staff, since it has become just too large a task for Ms. Barry along with all of her other duties for the Parks and Recreation Department. This would give them someone on staff who they could regularly look to for assistance, not only to the Art Commission, but for the Brentwood Art Society Foundation. He discussed the funds that will be coming in from the Shea Homes and other events and donations, which could amount to about $105,000 over the next two years and feel that could attract a start-up worker, who could support them and establish all the types of activities that put a little money back to assist in paying for the staff. He will work with them on this position and suggested a younger person with an art background. The person could be positioned under Ms. Barry for advice and consultation.
Barbara Guise arrived at 7:05 p.m.
It was suggested that a subcommittee be formed to look into the proposal for a full-time person on staff for the Art Commission. Commissioner Beatty moved that the subcommittee be formed, for the purpose of pursuing a staff person, and putting together a job description of that position. Commissioner Melloni seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Volunteers to serve on the subcommittee are Chairperson Robinson, Commissioners Beatty, Guise and Myers. They will set a meeting with Director Bronzan the following week.
Commissioner Trebino moved to move Item No. 8 to Item No. 4. Commissioner Beatty seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Item No. 8 Update on Melodrama (C. Woolley).
Victoria Greenfield of the Brentwood Art Society said that Commissioner Woolley had requested her to give his report since he was not able to attend the meeting. She reported that the kickoff party was held and not many people showed up. Chairperson Robinson and several other Commissioners reported they had heard nothing of these events and that the word needs to get out to all. She reported that the try-outs and auditions were Wednesday, June 19 and again the turn out wasn’t very good. Commissioner Woolley is looking for more volunteers; however, Ms. Greenfield reported that on the next night, June 20 they got a lot of local talent, along with people that are willing to do some singing and do variety acts. At this time, Commissioner Woolley is rewriting the whole script for the Melodrama. Commissioner Trebino said he also talked to Commissioner Woolley and that he is quite happy about how it is going now and is writing the extra script to put in all the acts. Commissioner Trebino reported that he also had information from Commissioner Woolley and it will be a ‘60’s theme with an Austin Powers angle. He also wants all of the Arts Commission members to be in a toga skit. He also reported that there is a need for set up money which includes staging costs, headphones (rental costs) and other costs. He said the need will be approximately $3,000. Commissioner Beatty moved that $2500 be allocated out of the current budget for start up expenses for the Melodrama, $2800 for the glasses for Day in the Park, and $500 for postage and other costs for the postcards for the Brentwood Art Society. Commissioner Guise seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
Vice Chairperson Trebino then said that they need to have a press release written up. After some discussion, it was decided that Vice Chairperson Trebino would write up the draft and Commissioner Beatty would review it and release it to the proper media people. Ms. Barry then asked for information on the title of the Melodrama and costs of the tickets so that she can get the information in the Parks and Recreation Activities Guide. A call was placed to Commissioner Woolley and he said the title will be “Town Haul: Ashley Berry’s Traveling No Man Hippy Festival”. Price of tickets was decided at as follows:
Pre-Sale At the Door
Adults $12.00 $14.00
Seniors $10.00 $12.00
Art Society Members $ 8.00 $12.00
Children 12 years and under $ 8.00 $ 8.00
Item No. 4 Update on “Day in the Park” ( R. Beatty).
Commissioner Beatty said he had nothing more to add to the previous discussion with Mr. Eckerstrom.
Item No. 5 Discussion of proposed ordinance for public art (R. Beatty).
Commissioner Beatty then read “A Vision for Public Art” that he had written up for the Commission’s approval. Copies were passed out to all members and Commissioner Beatty also read his draft to the Commission. All the members approved of the draft, except for a few minor clerical changes. Commissioner Beatty asked all the members to study it further and make any changes or additions they felt necessary. This final form will go on the agenda for the City Council and will be in their packets when the Art Commission goes before them
Item No. 7 Update on Poet Laureate (B. Guise).
Commissioner Guise presented a copy of an issue of The Brentwood Bee, with an article on Mary Jane Barnes-Lawson being honored by Senator Tom Torlakson as an International Poet. It included a resumé of her achievements in the world of art and literature and her many degrees and honorariums, including being nominated for a Nobel Prize. Commissioner Guise said Ms. Barnes-Lawson is willing to serve as Poet-Laureate and should be nominated by the Art Commission and recommended to the City Council. Vice Chairperson Trebino moved that the Art Commission ask the City Council to appoint Mary Jane Barnes-Lawson as Poet Laureate for a two-year term. Commissioner Guise seconded the motion. There was some discussion as to what parameters the position should include with a minimum of at least six readings or appearances at public functions. If she should resign or decide not to continue for any reason, another person could be appointed. This would span a period of two years. She would be requested to appear at other public functions. Motion was re-read and vote taken. Commissioner Beatty seconded the motion, and motion carried unanimously.
Item No. 10 Discussion of activities promotion (C. Woolley).
Since Commissioner Woolley was not in attendance, this discussion was tabled until the next meeting.
Item No. 11 City Council update (A. Beckstrand)
Since Council Member Beckstrand was not present, Commissioner Guise asked to discuss something at this point. Commissioner Guise wondered about the free concerts in the park on Wednesdays and the money that was provided by the City Council in the amount of $10,000. She feels this is a great idea but was concerned that it would conflict with the paid concerts that the Art Society is sponsoring. Vice Chairperson Trebino felt the quality of the paid concerts would outweigh the problem of cost. He suggested that the subject be tabled until the end of the year when an analysis could be made of the entire season. Then take a look at all the concerts and see if at that time they would like to make a recommendation to the City Council regarding the concerts. Discussion of concern for the amount of free tickets given out by either the City Council or City Manager. Commissioner Guise then asked for the following to be reflected in the minutes;
1. The Commission should make an analysis at the end of the summer if the free concerts are a conflict and if they are then they should discontinue the paid concerts.
2. The Commission would also like the information as to who is paying for the free tickets.
3. Request that Poldina Scherff be requested to attend the next meeting to explain how the tickets sales are set up, and who pays for the free tickets and perhaps at this time she could also give a report on the stage.
Item No. 12 Budget Update (S. Barry).
Ms. Barry said not too much to report since in previous actions, most of the balance of the budget for this year has been allocated. She will discuss earmarking the funds with Tina Clark, the Accountant for the Parks and Recreation Department on how this is to be handled. She will check this out for the Art Commission.
Item No. 9. Update on American Pride Art Show (M. Hannigan).
Commissioner Hannigan said she is currently working on the next show, the Fiber Art Show, which will be coming up in a month. Next month she will ask about the grand opening for this show. She reported no paintings have been sold at this time in the current show, America’s Pride.
CITIZENS COMMENTS: None
Chairperson Robinson commented that it is really important to have everyone attend all subcommittee meetings and must be there on time. Time is getting short before the Day in the Park and really need people to commit. She also discussed the letter in the packet that was written for her by Sue Barry to John Stevenson, City Manager regarding the Michael Flores painting. This was in reference to using the picture on post and note cards and possibly on letterhead for Commission use and sales as a fund-raiser. Mr. Flores had agreed to this and said he will autograph the copy that would be used for fundraising. She hopes that they will have this approval for the next meeting. These could then be sold at their events. Ms. Barry reported that they will have to wait until after a meeting when they will set the parameters for the use of this type of material. She will let them know the results after the meeting.
Vice Chairperson Trebino reiterated the need for volunteers and need to get more people on the bandwagon for the Art and Wine festival. Need to ask people that can get things done, especially promotional people and sponsors.
Commissioner Guise reported that a year ago she did the “due diligence” and got all the information, plus videos and had a meeting with important people that she thought could be utilized for funds for a stage, and turned the whole project over to Poldina Scherff. She did tell Commissioner Guise at the Concert in the Park that she will be able to get back on this project. She is hoping that the energy of the other groups is still there for financial assistance in getting a stage. Ms. Barry reported that the project had been since turned over to the Park Manager and taken out of Ms. Scherff’s hands for a time. Now, recently it came back to Ms. Scherff. Commissioner Guise wants to get this information when it happens so she can contact whoever is handling it and follow up on it.
Ms. Barry reported that in the Activities Guide she needs all the correct information as it is ready to go to the press. She discussed what she has for the “Day in the Park”. One change that needs to be changed from “artisans” to “artists”, and “turn of the century” or “20th century”. Suggestion for “20th century” in parentheses.
REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: Meeting adjourned at 8:07 p.m. by Chairperson Robinson. She asked people when they adjourned to go into the gallery and view the work of Benjie Lasso.
Betty Jo Whincup