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Art Commission Minutes - February 28, 2007

February 28, 2007 AT 7:00 P.M.

CALL TO ORDER: Chairperson Ruiz called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.

ROLL CALL: Commissioners Present: Ron Beatty, Vivian Faye, Doreen Forlow, Saunie Fridley, Sandra Gill, Sandra Groseclose, Barbara Guise, Patrick McCarran, Helen Myers, Greg Ruiz, Bart Schneider, Annette Seabury-Day, Joe Trebino
Commissioners Absent: Patrick McCarran and Catherine Perez

BELIEF STATEMENT: Chairperson Ruiz read the Belief Statement


Barbara Guise arrived at 7:10 p.m.

AGENDA REVIEW: MSC Gill/Trebino to move item #12 before item #11.


CHAIR COMMENTS: Chairperson Ruiz extended congratulations to Commissioner Perez on her new baby girl. He said that he has great sadness and regret over Commissioner Forlow’s resignation. Chairperson Ruiz continued that Commissioner Forlow has been a substantial part of the Arts Commissioner. Chairperson Ruiz requested a moment of silence to reflect on the passing of Commissioner Guise’s son.

1. Approve minutes of regular meeting of January 24, 2007
2. Accept monthly budget report (R. Burr-Siegel)
3. Accept monthly report from Executive Committee (G. Ruiz)
4. Accept monthly report from Arts Manager (R. Burr-Siegel)
5. Accept monthly report from Public Art Committee (P. McCarran)
6. Accept monthly report from Literary Arts Committee (R. Beatty)
7. Accept report from Art Society (R. Beatty)
8. Accept letter of resignation from Commissioner Forlow
9. Accept California Arts Council conference report.
10. Approve $80 registration fee for Poet laureate to attend the Poetry, Prose, and Art Festival in Pleasanton on March 31, 2007
MSC Beatty/Gill to accept items 2-4 & 6-10.

1. Approve Minutes of regular meeting of January 24, 2007
Commissioner Fridley questioned the minutes of regular meeting of January 24, she did not see where the part in the minutes where Commissioner Beatty had excused absences for the past two meetings. Since attendance is so important, she did not see it in the minutes. Chairperson Ruiz would like the minutes updated to reflect a leave of absence for Commissioner Beatty.

Commissioner Fridley asked who approves a leave of absence request. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel explained that a Commissioner needs only to request a leave of absence if two or more consecutive meetings will be missed and that this must be done in advance. This can be done by writing to the Chair, the Executive Committee, or to the Arts Manager. No formal approval is required. Commissioner Faye wanted to clarify that the request needs to go to the Executive Committee or Arts Manager, not another Arts Commissioner. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel stated that it is best to submit your request to the Executive Committee. You may include anyone else you would like on your request.

Commissioner Guise stated she had a problem a month ago when she and Commissioner Myers had a conflict. Commissioner Guise requested a leave of absence that night for both her and Commissioner Myers. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel stated that it is not necessary for one absence. Each commissioner is allowed three absences per twelve months. Commission Guise made a point of attending tonight’s meeting so not to have two missed meetings on her record. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel referred Commissioner Guise to Agenda Item #10 of the January meeting where it was discussed at that time. Chairperson Ruiz asked Commissioner Guise if she would like to bring this back for a full discussion. Commissioner Guise agreed.
MSC Trebino/Faye to approve minutes of regular meeting of January 24, 2007. Abstain: Commissioner Guise and Commissioner Myers

Chairperson Ruiz requested that the January minutes more accurately reflect his comments under Chair Comments when he stated that one goal for himself, as Chair, is for the “Arts Commission to work cohesively as a team towards the end goal of furthering of the arts in Brentwood”.

5. Accept Monthly Report form the Public Arts Committee
Commissioner Gill asked the Arts Manger Burr-Siegel to explain the budget. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel explained that the entire budget is compromised of developer in lieu funds. The City’s Capital Improvement Projects haven’t paid anything into the Public Art Administration Fund or the Municipal Art Fund. She explained that what the Commissioners were looking at is all in lieu from the developers who did not include public art in their developments. Commissioner Gill asked if the bottom line was $207,977 available for public art to be placed throughout the City. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel agreed with her statement. Commission Beatty asked why the City hasn’t provided the information for the Capital Improvement Projects. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel stated that she created a document that included all Capital Improvement Projects that meet the public art requirement. This includes the value if they included it at 1% and the value if they opted out at 1.5%, through 2011. Commissioner Beatty asked what it looked like. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel stated that it was substantial and that allocations should be made to the Public Art Fund on an annual basis.

Commissioner Guise inquired about an art purchase of three artworks that the Arts Commission had approved. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel stated that a Public Art Subcommittee meeting is being coordinated; the purchase has to be handled like any other Public Art Project. It must go through the City’s approved Public Art Process. Commission Guise asked to have the process explained. Arts Manger Burr-Siegel explained that the purchase first went to the Public Art Committee and was approved at their January meeting. Following that it was reviewed and approved by the Arts Commission in January. Next it goes to the Public Art Subcommittee which will meet sometime during the last two weeks of March. If approved, it can go onto City Council in April. Commissioner Guise asked how much the total amount of the purchase was. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel responded $37,000. Commissioner Guise asked is there was something in the City that says you don’t have to go to the City Council if it is not over $50,000. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel agreed that that was true, with the exception of public art purchases and projects.

Chairperson Ruiz stated that he removed this item for a couple of reasons. He was concerned with the project in the Vineyards and if the Arts Manager could help us understand the hold-up on the developer’s agreement, this has been going on since August. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel explained that it has to with a developer agreement that is being reevaluated the developer agreement which has to with the entire Vineyards development. The Public Art Matrix is part of that document. There were changes made to the public art section that didn’t effect the bottom-line of their contribution but because it was part of the developer agreement, we cannot do anything until it is approved. It could be as soon as the next 30-60 days.

Commissioner Gill would like an update on the Garin Corners Project. Chairperson Ruiz commented that it is very concerning that we are talking about raising the cement another 12” and going month after month without any progress. Chairperson Ruiz wanted it noted that this is not a reflection of the Arts Manager Burr-Siegel’s ability but it is reflective of the artists and developers themselves and the process.

Chairperson Ruiz stated that he would like to discuss Veterans Park. To say that he was upset and distressed about this two year odyssey is putting it extremely mild. He is very upset the critters have not been installed. It is nothing short of outrageous that they haven’t been. He stated that if they are not installed by the end of March, he would be seeking information from the City Attorney on what rights we have. Arts Manager Burr- Siegel stated that the Public Art Committee shares his concern and frustration. The artist was to install the critters, but due to the rain and the type of epoxy he uses, he was unable to. She explained she did not know how much longer the project would be delayed; the artist would not provide a specific date.

It is important to note that the process at the Public Art Subcommittee needs to stay faithful to the set of criteria established last year. We need to hold onto the process where we are not making artistic changes.

12. ACTION: Approve proposal regarding Shifting Perceptions exhibition at the Technology Center from Nov. 2, 2007 - Jan 25, 2008 (R. Burr-Siegel/B. Weber)
Arts Manager Burr-Siegel stated that this project was brought to her in November 2005 by Gail Wadsworth, who was working with BALT at that time. A grant was written but not accepted initially. Gail Wadsworth was given specific direction by the Council of Humanities and asked to reapply. BALT opted not to participate in this second phase. Gail asked to bring in the Historical Society. The grant was approved by the California Council of Humanities for $7,500. At the October 2006 meeting the Arts Commission requested a proposal regarding this project. Bill Weber, now involved in the project as well, has adjusted the 2007 exhibition calendar to allow this exhibition in at the end of 2007. The Arts Commission needs approval from the City Council, who will approve any grant dollars received on behalf of the City. Commissioner Trebino stated that the report was very concise and made a motion to approve the item.
MSC Trebino/Fridley to approve the date of January 25, 2208 for the Shifting Perceptions exhibition at the Technology Center.

Chair Ruiz requested that item 11 under Old Business be tabled for later in the meeting.

13. ACTION: Accept the recommended budget for City Council’s approval (G. Ruiz)
Arts Manager Burr-Siegel stated that the budget was developed with the boundaries that no general fund contributions will made to the Arts Commission for at least the next two years. This budget is relying heavily on existing funds, donations, and grant writing. We have about $60,000 in the reserves which that coupled with any revenue brought in will be what the Arts commission has for programming for the next two years. Commissioner Trebino inquired about our chances on getting general fund monies. Arts Manger Burr-Siegel stated that it is not likely. Commissioner Trebino asked if we had received general fund money in the past. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel explained that in 2005 there was $81,000 in the Fund Balance; they were allowed to keep the $81,000 in-lieu of a general fund contribution. Apparently the Arts Commission is not in the fiscal model and when you are not in the fiscal model getting funded is nearly impossible. Commissioner Beatty stated that we need to go to City Council and bring enough people to force the issue, yet be reasonable. He stated we are sincere about this and a dedicated bunch of people who work hard for the City. Commission Gill stated that before we go to the City Council we need a well-developed plan to show the projects we support and what we plan to do for the City. Commissioner Beatty suggested an Ad Hoc Committee to do exactly what Commission Gill is stating.

Commissioner Trebino inquired about the budget and the general fund of $25,000 - $27,000. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel stated that that dollar amount was added by the accountant to put the budget into balance. In the next two years we need $53,000. Commissioner Trebino asked if we would have to cut programs if this is not met. Arts Manger Burr-Siegel stated that an example of cutting back could be the Concert in the Park at $10,000 annually.

Chairperson Ruiz inquired what Commissioner Beatty envisioned for the Ad Hoc Committee. Commissioner Beatty stated that that he would convince the City Council that we are doing their work. They deserve to give us a little bit of funding to do this work. He stated that the real issue is does the City of Brentwood want an Arts Commission and art in their community. Chairperson Ruiz asked Commissioner Beatty to be the Chair of the committee. Commission Beatty agreed but he would need a lot of people to help him. Commissioner Gill stated she would be on the committee. Chairperson Ruiz announced the Ad Hoc Committee as follows: Chair – Commissioner Beatty, Commissioners Groseclose, Faye, Gill, Trebino, and himself.

Commissioner Gill inquired about the $29,000 in revenue from the Arts, Wine & Jazz Festival if it included the donation from Shea Homes. Arts Manager Burr-Siegel said it did and that we have two years of donations remaining.
MSC Trebino/Beatty to accept recommended 2007/2009 budget for City Council approval.

Old Business
11. ACTION: Consider recommendations for Brentwood Art, Wine and Jazz Festival (Art, Wine and Jazz Festival Committee)
Commissioner Seabury-Day feels that we need to find a way to involve the downtown merchants and the general community. Commissioner Beatty and added that the Chamber of Commerce could help us.

Commissioner Trebino stated that he did not remember talking about a promoter at the last meeting and feels it goes against what the Arts Commission is trying to do. He believes that we made a positive start last year and it is going to build. Commissioner Gill stated that Commission McCarran was to look into the possibility, gather research, and report back. It was not agreed on one way or the other. Commissioner Beatty does not recommend working with this or any other promoter. He stated that we need to think about this. Commissioner Faye asked that the promoters name be stated for the minutes, Chairperson Ruiz stated John Holland.

Commissioner Schneider stated that we need to draw more people to the Art, Wine and Jazz Festival by adding another component. We could add a make-shift amphitheater for
Shakespeare, monologues, duets, dance. Chairperson Ruiz recommended that Commissioner Schneider be part of the organizational committee.
MSC Trebino/Guise to not take action but to consider recommendations for Brentwood Art, Wine and Jazz Festival


Mayor Taylor stated that this was first meeting. He does appreciate the arts in Brentwood that is why he became their liaison. Mayor Taylor stated that before the Commissioners go to City Council to request funding they have to be prepared. As Mayor, I can defend you, but you will need 3 votes. He stated that he can assist the Arts Commission but we need to remember he has a chain of command also. Mayor Taylor ended by stating that he can do good things for the Commission.

Commissioner Fridley stated that the Arts, Wine & Jazz Festival is going in the right direction, the website is up and running, people are calling, and two applications have been received.

Commissioner Forlow stated that she is appreciative of the commission and she would like to continue to help. She stated she is regretful of leaving the commission but really happy to be working on the Shifting Perceptions. As a native “Brentwoodian”, she feels strongly about documenting what is rapidly leaving.

Commissioner Gill thanked Commission Forlow and welcomed two local artists to the Arts Commission Wanda Groseclose and Bart Schneider.

Commissioner Seabury-Day passed her condolences on to Commissioner Guise and stated that she was excited for Commissioner Forlow.

Arts Manager Burr-Siegel reported that she would be attending a California Parks and Recreation Services Conference and leading a session in Public Art. She added that the Americans for the Arts Conference is on June 1-3 in Las Vegas. Due to the lack of funds, the City cannot pay for Commissioners to attend. She also stated that she may not be able to attend due to budget constraints.

Arts Manger Burr-Siegel reported that she received $2,000 in support of the Student Art Show. She stated that this could mean a better distribution of postcards, publicity and better and more awards for the students.

Chairperson Ruiz requested further discussion on the absence policy.
Chairperson Faye requested information regarding the public art process be distributed at the next meeting.

Chairperson Ruiz adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m.

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