Business Bother & By-Laws
by Kirby Lindsay
It’s official, the theme for the 2010 Fremont Arts Council (FAC) Solstice Parade is “It’s A Parade For Art’s Sake.” This came among some bits about parade preparation discussed during the FAC monthly committee of the whole (COW) meeting, held on May 11. The meeting did discuss the parade - and many attendees stayed long after sharing their plans – but other, almost official-like business did get attention as well.
Show Me The Art
Gyan Davies started the meeting, as she had last month, asking that introductions include a personal note. This time she asked each person to name a favorite art work, or a piece that moved them. The question proved difficult, and revealed a wealth of information on art installations, paintings, architecture, landscaping, movies, chalk drawings, etc.
After announcements about upcoming events – in Fremont and far beyond it – David Roman presented his proposal for “Wetland Trail Park,” or “Rachel Carson Park.” Roman has applied for Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation Opportunity Funds to develop land at the south end of the Fremont Bridge. Invasive plant species currently overrun the property. Roman would like to see these replaced with native plants, and a retaining pond with, perhaps, a bridge, to better tend the property’s underground well. ADA access can be built to the pond, while rougher hiking trails could be built along the property.
Roman asked the FAC for a letter of support. In answer to a clarifying question, Roman admitted the current proposal has no specific plan for art. The property, once opened to the public, would access a currently unavailable view of Fremont, Lake Union, Aurora Bridge, etc. Also, someone pointed out, the park itself could be art. The COW gave its approval for the FAC Board to write the letter.
The Powerhouse will get a new sign, Jerry Smith, FAC Board President, then mentioned. He also would ask for help to organize and build banners during the next First Friday Art Walk (June 4.) Just like in May, visitors to the Powerhouse will be pressed into work during the Walk, this time on banners that mark the starting point of the Solstice Parade.
Show Me The (By-)Laws
Membership in the FAC is currently at record lows, Davies mentioned, with 63 paid members, as of this meeting, but 827 Facebook friends. A membership drive will be held during the parade build and over the Solstice, which annually boosts the numbers. Yet, Davies pointed out, this momentary lapse could be an opportunity to tend to business.
Board members would like to make corrections and changes to the official by-laws of the FAC. Changes, according to the by-laws, must be voted – and approved - by 50% of members eligible to vote. Members can vote a month after they’ve joined. In times past, such as when the FAC had 400 members, it proved impossible to get 200 people to turn out to vote.
Board Members Maque da Vis, Rodman Miller and Davies have worked on the by-law revisions. They would like to hold a vote in the next couple of months, on-line and at a COW meeting. They will work on three changes. The first, Davies explained, would create a classification of members – to differentiate those who want to be financial supporters from those who want a vote. In discussion, some suggested instead that they make a change to the quorum standards required for elections – to allow a lower percentage turnout on votes. The second issue dealt with board member terms - to make the term of a board member two-years, with elections staggered each year so only half the board changes. Finally, the by-laws give the wrong day for COW, and they wish to correct that.
Attendees voiced concern about an election being held in July or August, historically low attendance meetings. Other voices overruled with the argument that someone will always be upset - no matter when the elections take place.
To join this discussion, or help prepare for the Solstice Parade, everyone can attend a COW meeting – the next one will be June 8 - at 7:10p.m. at The Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Avenue North).
Of course, genuine help on the Parade need only drop by the Powerhouse anytime. Simply poke your head in the door and listen for the unofficial FAC parade motto, “Here, hold this!”
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.