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Art Commission Minutes October 25, 2006

October 25, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
Brentwood Technology Center
101 Sand Creek Road
Brentwood, CA 94513

CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Sandra Gill called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

ROLL CALL: Commissioners present: Sandra Gill, Jim Bryant, Ron Beatty, Joe Trebino, Patrick McCarran, Catherine Perez, Saunie Fridley, Vivian Faye, Helen Myers, Greg Ruiz, Barbara Guise and Doreen Forlow.
Commissioners absent: Annette Seabury-Day.
Staff Present: Rebekah Burr-Siegel, Arts Manager

BELIEF STATEMENT: The Belief Statement was read by Commissioner Ruiz.

Jamie McCreary – Survey Results
Jamie McCreary presented a PowerPoint presentation regarding the results of the City wide survey that was conducted.

Commissioner Patrick McCarran arrived at 7:05 p.m.

AGENDA REVIEW: Chairperson Gill requested that the New Business be discussed before the Old Business. Commissioner MSC Ruiz/Forlow to have New Business items #11, 12, and 13 conducted prior to Old Business item 10.

CITIZEN COMMENTS: Bill Weber showed show some examples of art that he feels would be perfect to buy for the art museum. Chairperson Gill stated that they will add this item to the January agenda for discussion, and include in his presentation how the pieces will be stored and housed until a museum is completed (i.e. climate control, UV protection, etc).

Chairperson Gill stated that she didn’t have any comments, other than that there is a lot to cover on the agenda; therefore, she would appreciate eliminating sidebars and being precise and to the point regarding discussions.

1. Approve minutes of the regular meeting of September 27, 2006
2. Accept monthly budget report (R. Burr-Siegel)
3. Accept monthly report from Executive Committee (S. Gill)
4. Accept monthly report from Arts Manager (R. Burr-Siegel)
5. Accept monthly report from Public Art Committee (G. Ruiz)
6. Accept monthly report from Literary Arts Committee (R. Beatty)
7. Accept monthly report from Community Relations Committee (J. Bryant)
8. Accept monthly report from Volunteer Committee (V. Faye)
9. Accept report regarding Arts Manager conferences and training (R. Burr-Siegel)
Commissioner Trebino requested to pull item #1. Commissioner Bryant requested to pull item #2. Commissioner Guise requested to pull item #9. MSC Trebino/Ruiz to accept items 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

1. Approve minutes of the regular meeting of September 27, 2006.
Commissioner Trebino was not present at the last meeting; therefore, he cannot approve the accuracy of the minutes. Commissioner Ruiz/Guise MSC to accept item #1.

2. Accept monthly budget report (R. Burr-Siegel)
Commissioner Bryant wants to know where the Arts, Wine and Jazz Festival Report is. Burr-Siegel stated that it will be included at the November meeting. He asked if she had an update. She stated that $24,000 was deposited, $5,000 was for change. $19,000 was deposited from the event. 50% of what was brought in from the wineries and microbreweries was returned. MSC Trebino/McCarran to accept item #2.

9. Accept report regarding Arts Manager conferences and training (R. Burr-Siegel)
Commissioner Guise stated that she was happy to see that the Arts Commission is not being charged for these conferences and trainings that the Arts Manager has been attending. Commissioner Guise stated that she understood from the report that the Arts Manager attends one conference per year for the Arts Commission, and any training that is required by Parks and Recreation. Commissioner Guise would like to know why; since Arts Manager Burr-Siegel is suppose to be the Arts Commission Staff, and not Parks and Recreation Staff. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel explained that she is a Parks and Recreation employee, and all managers in this department of other divisions must attend these trainings, as well. Commissioner Guise asked how this effects Burr-Siegel’s day to day activity. Commissioner Guise asked if Burr-Siegel still has a part-time assistant. Burr-Siegel stated she has never had a part-time assistant. Commissioner Guise asked about Lisa Smith as being the part-time assistant. Burr-Siegel responded that Ms. Smith has helped out with the art exhibitions at the Technology Center and with mailings, but that is the extent of her help.

Commissioner Saunie Fridley arrived at 7:30 p.m.

Commissioner Faye stated that she would like to have the opportunity as Art Commissioners to attend workshops/trainings. The Arts Manager stated that the Commissioners can attend any of the arts related conferences at their own expense, and that there are a few thousand dollars in the budget to offset this. The end of May 2007 the annual conference will be in Las Vegas.

Commissioner Fridley stated that because of all of the conferences and training, the Arts Manager is not available when the Commissioners need her, and she feels that this is a big problem. Commissioner Fridley stated that during the final week of the Arts, Wine and Jazz Festival, the entire Parks and Recreation office was closed. Burr-Siegel stated that only the Administrative office was closed. The main office of the Parks and Recreation office was open for business, as well as the Parks office. Commissioner Fridley stated that she could not get help. Commissioner Fridley stressed that the Parks and Recreation office was closed to the community. She could not get a live person on the phone, and that it did not roll over to voicemail. Burr-Siegel stated that when you call her, you can press 0, and it will roll over to the main office. Commissioner Fridley stated that the Commission does not need Arts Manager Burr-Siegel, if she could “just disappear” for three days. Commissioner Fridley stated that this happens a lot; however, this particular time was the most critical. Commissioner Beatty stated that this is not by Burr-Siegel’s choice. She has to go when her boss asks her. Commissioner Guise stated that when they are doing major fundraisers, they need support from staff.

Commissioner Forlow stated that she has the report from the last in-service workshop that they had, and the Commissioners should be asking for recognition for what they do, respect for what they do, and if they are really wanted here. She stated that the City really needs to show support for the Commissioners. They need a support system, especially for a big event. Commissioner Forlow stated that more thought should be implemented in how they can get support when there is Parks and Recreation Staff training and conferences. Commissioner Forlow feels that the Arts Commission does not have a high status.

Commissioner Ruiz stated that he agrees with Commissioner Forlow and Commissioner Fridley; however, he doesn’t think that it needs to be addressed at Arts Manager Rebekah Burr-Siegel. Commissioner Ruiz stated that Arts Manager Burr-Siegel has no choice when her boss sends her, and her boss needs to be part of this conversation. MSC Trebino/McCarran to accept item #9. Commissioner Guise opposes.

11. Approve the public art concept and design by Eric Powell for the Prewett Ranch development by Suncrest Homes (G.Ruiz)
Eric Powell presented a slide presentation of his work. Commissioner Guise questioned the benches due to the fact that Brentwood gets extremely hot. Artist Eric Powell proposed concrete, which won’t retain the heat. He is also looking at alternate materials. MSC McCarran/Ruiz to approve the art work for the Prewett Ranch development by Suncrest Homes.

12. Appointment of Nominating Committee for 2006 Vice Chair Appointment (S. Gill)
Chairperson Gill stated that she and Commissioner Ruiz are on the nominating committee, and wanted to know who else would like to volunteer for it. Commissioner Forlow volunteered. MSC Guise/Beatty to nominate Commissioner Forlow on the committee.

13. Discuss the December 31, 2006 term expirations for two commissioners (S. Gill)
Commissioner Trebino and Commissioner Myers appointments will expire on Dec. 31. Burr-Siegel asked for them to let her know if they would like to be reappointed on the Commission.

10. Discussion, in depth, of the three goals of the commission (S. Gill)
Chairperson Gill stated that the 3 items that came up on the survey & in the workshop were public art, an arts center, and performing arts.

Commissioner Guise stated that she discussed the Art Center earlier in the day with Council Member Beckstrand, who stated it would be at least 3 years before the New City Hall would be built. The library may move to the Oak Street building, and the current library could be the Art Center.

Chairperson Gill stated that she feels that some decisions have to be made regarding the following:
• What is their role as the Arts Commission?
• Are they a policy making organization?
• Are they a working organization?

Chairperson Gill stated that these issues cannot be taken off of the table until they are thoroughly discussed and decisions are made. There are so many things going on in the community – do they need to put on own performances or do they support what is currently going on now? Commissioner Ruiz stated that they are worker bees, and they have to be hands on to make sure that things get done. They also support the current things going on in the community, and this will help Brentwood grow as a whole. Commissioner Ruiz stated that the Brentwood community does not know who the Arts Commission is.

Commissioner Bryant stated that they are a policy making body. He stated that the Art Center has to come from the Arts Commission. They can still get people from the outside to help; however, the Commission has to lay down the ground rules such as the length of time, and what will be done with it.

Commissioner McCarran stated that they need exposure to get people involved. Everyone wants to be there when it is the cool thing to do, such as Cornfest. He feels that they are on the right track, but need to focus on some specific goals

Commissioner Forlow stated that they are policy setters, but they are bogged down with the everyday work of it all with committees after committees. She doesn’t think the City is ready for a gallery, but the community is. Maybe they could get some energy back that has been lost in this circle they have been spinning. Commissioner Forlow stated that they need to be a trendsetter. Maybe they should take an ad out. A box with their name at the top, belief statement, list things they are doing. People will get used to looking at this box and will look at it weekly for changes, etc.

Commissioner Ruiz stated that they have substantial public art that will be going up in the community soon, and will highlight what they are about.

Commissioner Beatty stated that at the end of year they will get a lot of recognition when the public art work is put out in the community. Someone has to take the initiative.

Chairperson Gill stated that they have the 3 goals: public art, performing arts, and an art center. This box would be the 4th goal (exposure).

Council Member Beckstrand stated Bill Weber called her today and requested the blueprints of library to start designing a gallery. She stated that they don’t have City Hall started yet. It is still 2-3 years away. Moving the library to its new location is at least 3 years away. Do they want to wait that long to start collecting art with the proper lighting and climate control. They have to find funding and a location and it also depends how civic center downtown turns out. Commissioner Trebino said that the plans should be given to Bill Weber now, and by 3 years the plans will be done and they can move along with it.

Chairperson Gill stated that one of their goals is name recognition – the ad in the newspaper. This is a goal. There may be money out there that people want to donate. Another goal is Public Art – What do we want to see in our community?
Commissioner Perez stated that the ad in the newspaper and getting name recognition, such as in the Arts & Events in back of Brentwood press. They could call and put their information in it. It is free. She doesn’t see the art around town, because doesn’t go to all of the areas that it is displayed. However, if she seen an ad in the paper, people may want to go to see it.

The goal is for the library to be an art gallery 3 years from now – 5 years from now build art center. Next year expand the gallery into the LMC center.

Commissioner Bryant stated that there are some other possibilities for an art center. When a building opens up as vacant, they should inquire about it. He stated that they can’t lose focus of their website. People from outside the City want to know what is going on.

Council Member Beckstrand stated that she will get the library blueprints to Bill Weber. She stated that she was at an event in the Technology Center parking lot at the end of these buildings, and the developer who built these buildings and built the storage units with a granite fountain. There is a plaza and a fountain at the end of the buildings. He took it upon himself to take historical photos, and put them in the stairwells, etc. of the public buildings. Council Member Beckstrand stated that there is a need to publicize art where it can be viewed in public places; events should be publicized. Anytime they hear anything regarding art in the community, they should call the public relations committee to take pictures, publicize them by putting them on the website and in newspaper ad.

Chairperson Gill stated that according to the survey, the community wants public art displayed throughout the community and not in a building. Chairperson Gill stated that they still have a staff report and commissioner comments. If this discussion is to continue, they need to put a time limit on it. Commissioner Bryant stated that this discussion needs to continue in each meeting.

Council Member Beckstrand stated to send the minutes out to everyone as soon as possible, so everyone can brainstorm and put them in the next agenda, so they can proceed to move on.

Chairperson Gill stated that they need to discuss what they are currently doing – Sing Along Messiah, Marsh Creek Cleanup, etc. Do they still want to sponsor these events, not necessarily with money, but with support as well.

Council Member Beckstrand is excited about what she has heard tonight. She feels a new sense of energy, and new focus. She stated that they are the hub, with everything coming to them and coming from them.

Council Member Beckstrand stated that the City is moving along with the New City Hall. They said goodbye to Chief Davies on Tuesday, and the new Chief is moving in now, and starts on Monday.

Chairperson Gill asked if the joint use agreement for the theatre at Edna Hill and the City has been completed. Council Member Beckstrand stated that she has a meeting with City Manager Donna Landeros in her office tomorrow.

Commissioner Faye asked if they can purchase a building, such as the old Albertsons. Council Member Beckstrand stated that they have to have a big retail entity there. The owner thinks he can sell this property for 2.6 million. The City won’t buy it. The Civic plaza wrapping around City Park makes more sense to purchase for an Art Gallery, but not in a commercial area. Council Member Beckstrand stated that if the Commission finds property that they are interested in, they should bring it back to her, and she will take it to the City. It would have to be a long term lease, because the City will have to go to see if it meets the codes and standards. They will have to make sure it has certain types of ventilation and heating in order to establish a gallery. At this time the City does not have a staff member to do this research.

Commissioner McCarran stated that it is just as cheap to put in a piece of art, such as the art bench. The commercial bench was much more expensive. He thinks in this case it would be cheaper and better for the community to put in art work versus commercial items.

Commissioner Ruiz stated that he is personally concerned that the previous Minutes Recorder, Betty Jo Whincup, was removed from doing the minutes. He stated that it was unacceptable that she was removed without the Commission being consulted. Chairperson Gill asked Burr-Siegel to send a thank you card on their behalf.

Commissioner Myers stated that Mrs. Whincup came in to see her earlier that day, and asked Commissioner Myers to say her goodbyes to the Commission.

Commissioner Perez stated that she finds herself leaving these meetings very frustrated. There is always a lot of talk, and nothing being done.

Chairperson Gill stated that these meetings shouldn’t last 4-5 hours. They need the committees to do the jobs such as the website, ad for the newspapers, etc. These are things that cannot be done in a forum.

Commissioner Guise stated that the committees do a wonderful job, but they need to come back to the Commission to give a report. Burr-Siegel stated that the Committee Reports are for this reason.

Commissioner Forlow would like a wrap-up of the committees. She has volunteered for committees, and has never heard from anyone.

Commissioner McCarran stated that the next meeting agenda should have these items redefined, so everyone can interact and not loose momentum. They need to form goals and stay focused. They should have the committee work on the goals and come back to meeting and report. He would like the next meeting to define goals.

Commissioner Trebino would like to reiterate what Commissioner Ruiz said about Betty Jo Whincup. He is not happy with what the City has done.

Commissioner Bryant agrees with Commissioner McCarran, and would like to see these committees moving forward.

Chairperson Gill stated that she feels the Commission worked through a lot of muck, and things are starting to get clearer.

Burr-Siegel stated that all Commissioners, except Commissioner Guise, must attend the AB 1234 ethics training on Nov. 15 in City Council Chambers from 6:00-8:00 p.m., except Commissioners Beatty and Fridley who are attending on Oct. 26. The Arts Commission meeting will immediately follow after. The Public Art Committee meeting has been moved from Nov. 7 to Nov. 14, because of Election Day.

Commissioner Trebino would like Parks and Recreation Director Craig Bronzan to attend to help schedule and work with the Commission for Art, Wine & Jazz festival, and other events. Commissioner Ruiz asked if the Commission would be comfortable to have the Executive Committee meet with Parks and Recreation Director Bronzan, or at least form a list of questions to ask him. Chairperson Gill stated that until Parks and Recreation Director Bronzan attends a meeting with the Arts Commission, this issue is going to keep coming up. Commissioner Guise wants her questions answered, or they will keep coming up. Chairperson Gill stated that they could prepare with questions to ask, but they really need him to attend a meeting.

Commissioner Bryant stated that they should leave the rest of the next meeting to finish discussing the goals of tonight, since it will be a short meeting with the training session going on.

Commissioner Faye stated she would like to discuss the City Read : Epitaph for a Peach, and would like to compliment Burr-Siegel, and everyone involved for a wonderful Saturday afternoon event.

Chairperson Gill adjourned the meeting at 9:28 p.m.

City of Brentwood Arts Commission
35 Oak Street,
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5444
Fax (925) 516-5445