Minutes from the May 12, 2014 Roundtable Meeting held at Willits Center for the Arts (PDF)

Mendocino County Arts Administrators Roundtable Meeting
Monday, May 12, 2014
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Willits Center for the Arts 71 East Commercial Street Willits, CA Minutes

Attending: Jeff Crawford, Janet Rayner, Chris Pugh, Alyssum Wier

1:04 pm: Meeting Called To Order Brief Introductions: name, title, org

1:10 pm: ACMC Update
• We have a new County Art Guide (third printing)! The guide is up-to-date and has been distributed county-wide (guides distributed)
• The 3rd Annual GASP Institute will be held August 7th Please help spread the word! Early registration ends June 1st. Before June 1st registration is free for Arts Council members. (posters distributed)
• We are having problems with our website and are processing renewals by check through the mail until we are able to take online payments again.

1:20 pm: Your Organization (5 minute time limit)

Photography Club (Chris Pugh): 30 active members with the desire to do projects but no funds to do them. The do receive small contributions but feel the need for exposure of photography in the community. They are currently using Discovery Inn in Ukiah for meetings and use Meetup.com for approximately $170/yr. The group meets a few times per month; they are not a 501c3 and are therefore interested in today’s topic (to 501c3 or not)

Willits Center for the Arts (Janet and Jeff): Aging leadership, need for youth and energy Not sure they have a budget to support becoming a 501c3 so there are strong debates about becoming a not for profit They are considering use of fiscal sponsorship (a service of the ACMC) WCA would like to renew their contract with the City of Willits. They are also coming up with other strategies to make money for the WCA and ways to work with the City that benefits both of us. Possible partnerships with Museum Other news: Blue Sky Gallery in Willits is closing.

Alyssum gave an overview of pros and cons of becoming a not for profit as well as a short breakdown of the steps involved.
Alyssum recommended the use of SWOT analysis in strategic planning (an abbreviated SWOT analysis was performed with the following results:

Opportunities
• Partner with Museum • Earned Income (facility rental) • Use of exhibits to market • Partner with Theatre • Youth • VMC • ART21 show • Need for Art Classes • Community Foundation grants • ACMC Fiscal Sponsorship • MJ community

Threats
• Younger Gen not engaged • Demographics of Willits (aging population) • Bypass effect unknown • Unpredictable weather
(bldg. damage) • Drug and alcohol use • Competition • Water shortage • MJ economy tanking

Strengths
• Big membership • Physical plant (bldg.) • Lots of artists & creativity • Funding Support from City
of Willits and support for the mission • Operating manual in place • New Website & great volunteer webmaster • Leadership have good skills • Apply and engage leadership skills • Create steering committee • Use economic development arguments in support of org (Americansforthearts.org) • Give youth opportunities that are not drug & alcohol related • Tourism

Weaknesses • Lack of volunteer commitment • No children’s classes due to City legal liab. • Mission is too long and too hard to remember • Skeleton staff • Stagnation • Volatile history • Loss of membership, volunteers and leadership • Aging building with many demands • Aging leadership • Multi-tasking managers • Lack of security for donations box and artwork • Dependency on City Budget • Burnout

Use ACMC fiscal sponsorship Partner with Business and other nonprofits and educational institutions (MendoLake)
• Make youth engagement a bigger part of mission statement / City contract
• Reexamine fingerprint policy

Possible next steps (if City of Willits agrees):
• Renew ACMC membership in order to use Fiscal Sponsorship • Seek funding for a strategic planning process • Hire an outside facilitator to take community through an inclusive Strategic Planning process • Clarify mission statement • Determine the best organizational structure to carry out the mission (Independent 501c3? City Owned but run by a Steering Committee? Board of Directors?) and Recruit from Community • Revise MOU with City to reflect Plan

3:30 pm Adjourn

Artist in the Spotlight

Event Spotlight

Festival of Lights

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

through December 16

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