Minutes from the October 1, 2012 Roundtable

Mendocino County Arts Administrators Roundtable Meeting Notes

Monday, October 1, 2012

Gualala Art Center


Felicia Freitas, Mendocino Theatre Company, new Producing Director as of Sept 20
Tony Eppstein, Mendocino Coast Writers Conference
Maureen Eppstein, Mendocino Coast Writers Conference
David “Sus” Susalla, Gualala Arts Executive Director
Bruce Jones, ACMC board, 10 years on NCAG Board
Bill Mulvihill, ACMC Publicity & Membership Manager
Alyssum Wier, ACMC Executive Director

Alyssum called the meeting to order at 1:15 pm following a tour of a GAC exhibit led by Sus.

Roundtable meetings are held in various locations, rotating around the County, to inform and connect, share publicity materials, news, etc.

ACMC news: Art in Public Places / Art in Roundabouts:  ACMC secured a $5000 grant from the Community Foundation A. D. Abramson Award to go towards artist payment for a work of public art at the Simpson Lane Roundabout.  The call to artist is open to artists that live between Westport and Elk.  The opportunity is on the ACMC website.

GASP program – ACMC has launched a new Mendocino County Alliance for Arts Education (advocacy group) posters distributed – integrated curriculum model projects on the website, CFMC grant and 2nd professional development program scheduled for Summer 2013.

Art Champions awards, Gualala Arts a winner; presentation Oct 22 at 9AM in Ukiah.  4 categories:  Business/Organizations, Individual, Artist, Education, other winners: Carolyn Bakewell, Van Phillips, Laura Fogg.

Alyssum encourages members to post their on ACMC website calendar: this is where the MendoArts email announcement & GoArts calendar draw from.

Sus – was able to add images, copy and pasting from GAC website…

Alyssum – American Craft Week  This is the 2nd year of this county-wide festival.  In year one the festival was incubated by the ACMC; now it is independently run.  New sponsors this year that were brought in by the ACMC made it possible to print the brochure etc.

Felicia – This is the Mendocino Theatre Company’s 37th year… the lobby has been redesigned, there’s a new logo in the works, and the organization has a new liquor license. Local interest comes in waves. They will be hosting music etc. not just theater; they are enthusiastic about the new season – 3 plays are Pulitzer nominees… With the new lobby & bar, people can socialize… They acquired a special type of liquor license for non-profits.

Sus – How much did the license cost? discussion… compared to one-day ABC license (inventory is more strict)  Gualala gets the single event ones…

Felicia – can’t sell donated wine so it’s worth looking into.

Felicia –  MTC challenge: getting youth involved (new plays, new playrights), growing the talent pool, partnering with other organizations to present traveling productions throughout the county.

Felicia – The Rec center is a new non-profit, getting their sea legs. “Jump Start” is a Rec center project that MTC people taught at. MTC depends on young volunteers to do lights sets etc. Compensation is stipend based… sometimes equity waivers for actors.
4 others on mainstage committee… wants to expand –

Felicia – MTC has Season ticket holders with a discounted price for all 6 plays (300) …Controversy about content language etc. Numbers need to be more. Audience used to be 45% tourists… has dramatically dropped off. Rebuilding, using “mail chimp” which she highly recommends as there are lots of analytics. Wonderful, user friendly, better than “constant contact”

Discussion about dial-up users.  (Mail chimp allows text-only feature.)

Maureen – Mendocino Coast Writers Conference – a 3 day annual conference at College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg…23rd year.
People from all over the world attend, have a scholarship program for High School students in Mendocino County. Thinking of expanding to college-age students to get more applicants – Exciting. …admin infrastructure — needs online registration. How to plan for transition… Applied for Community Foundation grant last year…came close and are re-applying.

Tony –  is publishing small paperback journal & online & printed cloud based (“mag cloud”) 100 pages, $18 or $19 plus postage. Cost for total to writers conference participants is $525 for 3 days… different workshops to choose from. participants: 73-100, last year: 78.

Maureen – is looking at filemaker database… Renie Innis has offered to help. …get matching funds from donations.

Alyssum – How many local vs. out of area?

Maureen – 2/3 out of area, mostly Bay Area – in wooing potential teachers try to make up for financial lacking with pampering.

Sus – We call that giving them the “redwood carpet” treatment. We have locals house visiting performers.

Felicia – ad trade with motels etc.

Alyssum – What are you finding is the range in corporate donations?

Sus – $2,500-$5,000 is the range for GAC.

Felicia – Printing is the biggest expense for poster recognition trade for lodging.

Alyssum- trades?

Felicia – $2500, building materials, lodging Rossi’s full-page ad.

Alyssum – Patrons liquor and hardware stores…

Sus – GAC always very busy, VIP packet, biggest challenge is publicity… looking for new publicity person. Brought “Liquid Theater” from Russia. 118 events last year, More than 30 interest groups under umbrella. Lots of volunteers…  paid positions: 4-6. 95% volunteer driven.
Programs come and go — 51st year. 501c3 since 1966. Not had to cut programs or staff but tightened belts … AIR – 300 people involved. Local Eyes productions give back 60% to productions, 40 for admin.

Felicia – Cast is best publicity.

Sus- GA provides a stage for any local show… sometimes small and cast the net as wide as possible…

Felicia – what most effective publicity? …poster every 5 weeks for MTC.

Bruce – asks the question at workshops: How did you hear about this? Website, newspaper… new data is scattered not a pattern.

Sus – great publicity team (sketches, website, and word of mouth are most effective)
Recommends Brown Paper Tickets (feeds to SF Chronicle)

Maureen –  word of mouth…various discussion, what  local/vacation-home/local.

Bruce – NCAG — Timber Cove to Elk, — 80 artists going for 20 years. Studio discovery Tour. Controversy about retail space being a studio. NCAG  said they have to be a studio to sell only your own art… 10% of sales go to guild. Art by the Sea broke off …both sell ads.
Art by the Sea can have gallery owners & high volume artist. NCAG more folksy, different  flavor studio preview in August. 5 months 750 month got $200 from each artist. The largest GA artist interest groups are NCAG & Quilters… not their own 501c3. POP-UP gallery worked  well…$2100 per artist on tour, half that in gallery. Total more than $3000 for each artist.

Sus – from management level GA oversees chamber music group etc. Dolphin gallery & interest groups extends the capabilities of GA.
How big is board? …can be 25, now 13, change over 2 years. At present 2 year term limit because so diverse — no one program could bring down GA. Have had a great director all volunteers .. whole network …lots of options for buckets to fill…

Maureen – Business sponsorship range for winter conference $50 – $250.

Various discussions about coordinating publicity.

Meeting adjourned at 3 pm.

Program Spotlight

Artist in the Spotlight

Event Spotlight


at Mendocino Theatre Company
March 2 - April 2