Chorus Changes but the Refrain Remains
by Kirby LindsayThe Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting of the Fremont Arts Council (FAC) on November 9th had a strong turnout, and covered a variety of topics, all with a similar theme. Nearly everything mentioned either requires volunteer involvement, or focused on building membership.
Short, But Sweet
Jessica Vets, Executive Director for the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, introduced several topics to the agenda. First, she presented a proposal that the FAC work with ArtWorks to restore the Bridge Way Mural. Discussion led to a decision that ‘triage’ – a quick graffiti cover-up - be done this winter. In spring/summer of 2011, a large-scale restoration can be accomplished – and funding sought. The discussion also revealed the departure from earlier plans to cover the mural with a coating, as they were declared impractical, prohibitively expensive and not necessarily effective.
Vets then mentioned that some further funding for a restoration could be available through the Chamber’s community grant program. The next application deadline is December 15th, she said, and the FAC, or any group, is eligible to apply for funding projects that happen in Fremont.
When discussion moved to the 2010 Fremont Fair, Vets spoke enthusiastically about brainstorming ways the two groups can work better together on the Fair and the Solstice Parade. Vets mentioned one idea - that the Parade end at the foot of Stone Way (near Solsticio restaurant) rather than Gasworks Park – which met some resistance.
Gyan Davies then extended a general invite to the open workshop she plans to host at the Powerhouse called Sunday Craft-ernoons. Everyone can stop by to create art and/or craft projects from 3p to approximately 7p, or whenever those in attendance get tired. Davies scheduled the first two workshops for November 21st and December 4th.
Of Serious Consequence
Davies then mentioned the need for an annual election for the Board of Directors. She reported that the election has, so far, been postponed since September, and it sounded like current low membership numbers – and the need for a membership drive – were one reason for the delay. The Winter Feast, an annual invitation-only party held by the FAC in December, came up frequently as it often drives membership.
Only paid members in good standing that paid over a month before can vote. Delaying the election until after the Feast, when there would hopefully be more members, appeared to appeal to those in attendance. Eventually, the COW accepted a much amended proposal - to solicit nominations immediately through the next COW meeting (on December 14th), and hold an election in January, on or after the 21st. FAC Board President Jerry Smith (who announced his intention to run for re-election to the Board) would like the election to serve as a “celebratory gathering,” that also allows mail-in and on-line voting.
Among Board Members at the November COW, only Davies announced her pending resignation. Rachel Sprague, Rodman Miller, Barb Luecke, Michael Falcone, and Michael Clarke indicated plans to return – and Peter Toms indicated a willingness to run for election.
The election will also include an amendment to the by-laws written by the Board. Currently, 50% of paid members must vote to approve a by-law amendment. This new amendment would allow, after notifying the membership, the Board to amend the by-laws if they had unanimous agreement.
When discussion finally moved entirely to the topic of the Feast, comments still came on how to make it a positive draw for volunteers, and potential members. Theories, and suggestions, can be aired at the first 2010 Feast committee meeting, being held at the Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Ave N) at 6p on Tuesday, November 16th. Anyone interested in helping ‘build’ the Feast can attend, which usually means an invite to the celebration.
To find out more about the FAC, or the upcoming Solstice Parade planning retreat to be held in early 2011, attend the next COW meeting on Tuesday, December 14th also held at the Powerhouse, starting at 7:10 sharp! Remember, you can directly influence your community, but only when you get involved.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.