by Kirby Lindsay, posted 18 August 2014
On August 12th, the Fremont Arts Council (FAC) held its first general membership meeting – called the Committee Of the Whole, or COW – since May. The meeting covered the usual business – future events, past events (specifically the Solstice Parade,) and maintenance of FAC resources. Throughout, though, discussions during the meeting showed some attention needed to this creative and innovative organization’s foundations.
FAC Board Member Maque daVis facilitated the sparsely attended meeting, and gave a first-hand report on the critical situation of FAC’s storage for its collection of floats and arts props.
The FAC has had use of space, for what daVis called ‘deep storage’, that is now being torn down for development. The FAC had to be out in July, and “it was a nightmare to clean it up,” daVis said. Now the floats, and other materials (including pieces belonging to Moisture Festival and Fremonster Theatrical) are stored outside on land just northwest of the Fremont Troll sculpture, and to be developed in 2015 into Troll’s Knoll Park. As a result, this storage will be lost in December 2014. “It’s going to be a crisis come Christmas,” daVis observed. The COW discussed a few potential options, but daVis welcomes other suggestions.
At the start of this meeting, daVis voiced strong displeasure over the state of the FAC’s workshop, The Powerhouse. The August COW took place outside The Powerhouse in part because parade materials still filled the interior.
Meanwhile, The Powerhouse also has serious plumbing problems. During the parade build, the sewer line backed up, again, and Board Member Mike Clark reported that repairs could cost between $20 – 30,000. The FAC Board needs to figure out how to proceed – whether to get a second opinion, how to hire a contractor, and where to find capitol funds for such major repairs.
The FAC Board hasn’t met, officially, since June. According to reports, several members have been busy with other activities this summer including Oregon Country Fair. In June, the FAC sent a letter to the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, and while that organization’s Executive Board has discussed it, they haven’t released the contents for public review. The letter’s existence was confirmed at this meeting, but Clark and daVis were unsure if the FAC Board actually authorized sending it.
Rumors persist that the letter threatens legal action against the Chamber over its using the name ‘Solstice’ for its concert series in June. However, Clark, who read the letter, reported that it addresses growing tension over the interaction between the Fremont Fair and the FAC Solstice Parade – and the branding of the parade.
The COW agreed that discussions between the FAC and the Chamber need to continue, and agreed that a mediator between the two could help. daVis would like to see more support for the Parade from the community, the Chamber, and the Fremont Fair.
Upcoming – Luminata & A Troll’s Birthday
The meeting also did advance planning for two annual, upcoming FAC events.
Luminata will take place on September 21st, at dusk, starting at the Green Lake Aqua Theater. In advance of Luminata, the FAC will hold lantern making workshops in September. FAC Member Jeff Pierce thought last year’s workshops grew the event and, “we saw more [Winter] Feast energy, from my perspective,” due to the outreach. According to Clark, “what gets people to stop in here [the Powerhouse] is having the lights on.”
The meeting discussions covered budgeting, when to build lanterns, scheduling workshops, and having a preliminary planning meeting – scheduled on August 19th at 7p at The Powerhouse.
daVis also reported on preliminary plans for the Troll’s Birthday celebration, called Trolloween, a Fremont community celebration held on October 31st. daVis said that the theme of this year’s celebration will be Homer’s The Odyssey. He will need rowdy characters to play the ship’s crew, in addition to the giant puppet Cyclops, “and maybe even dancing pigs.”
daVis reported on potential problems with gaining use of the space under the Fremont Bridge. Another FAC Board Member has begun planning a Troll-A-Go-Go, a public, ticketed party that takes place after the Trolloween haunt. This could mean the celebration would actually end at the entrance to the party – after passing the locations of sponsoring bars/restaurants.
Last year’s Troll’s celebration had funding through a one-time City grant. This year daVis hopes the FAC Board can authorize $1,500 budget. Still, “we’re trying to stay on the cheap,” he said.
The August 2014 FAC COW confirmed the need for a Board Meeting soon. daVis observed that one member can call a meeting, but none are currently scheduled. The next COW meeting is currently scheduled for September 9th, at 7p at The Powerhouse, and this meeting will be open to the public. Attend to find out what is next for the FAC and, perhaps, how you may help this organization get its house in order.
- An Unofficial 2014 Parade Review
- by Kirby Lindsay, July 16, 2014
- FCC Highlight Reel: Membership Woes
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 4, 2014
- The 2014 Parade Is A Go!
- by Kirby Lindsay, June 6, 2014
©2014 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.