by Kirby Lindsay, posted 22 August 2012
On a very sunny, very warm August 14th, at the Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Ave N,) the Fremont Arts Council held its monthly committee of the whole (COW) meeting. Held automatically on the second Tuesday of each month, this meeting offers an opportunity for FAC members, Board members, community representatives and anyone interested in the business of the FAC to come together to discuss and decide art-related issues in this community.
With only seven people in attendance, FAC Board President Rodman Miller initiated a discussion about the future of the COW – its relevance, and its mission. Before that discussion, however, the group discussed some business of the FAC.
One-Minute Announcements (And Other Assorted Quickies)
At the last FAC Board Meeting, they heard from Jessica Randall with a request for money for maintenance work on the SPACE art installation. The Board agreed to give $250 – and send someone to ask the adjacent property owner for a donation. The COW also heard the request Randall has sent out for volunteers to help with maintenance in the end of August. Volunteers can sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Luminata Lantern Walk around Green Lake (to start at the Aqua Theater) will take place Friday, September 21st. The COW agreed that Peter Toms will (most likely) organize this annual event, set to start at dark.
The Fremont Chamber of Commerce community grant has provided money for construction of a donation box to be installed at the Fremont Troll sculpture, and the first meeting took place in early-August. Discussion of what the money will be given to – will it go 100% for maintenance of the Fremont Troll (as Steve Badanes wishes,) or could it be used for other Fremont art projects as well? – must be settled before construction, in order to decide the language on the plaque. Many believe the box could bring in more money than the Troll needs. Installation is expected before the Troll’s next birthday, on October 31st, and Maque daVis has agreed to take responsibility for emptying the box regularly.
‘Hall Of Giants’ Documentary Screenings
Michael Falcone, director of the documentary ‘The Hall Of Giants: The Story Of Fremont And Its Troll’, announced another screening on August 26th at 6p at Doric Lodge #92. He held the premiere screening August 1st at Hale’s Palladium, and everyone joked about how the movie was ‘warmly received,’ due to the crowded and over-warm space. Falcone did hear from it that the film is over long (current run time is 1hr. 48 min.) and he wants to gather comments at the next screening on how to improve it.
He’d like non-Fremonsters at this screening – people unfamiliar with the Troll, and the Troll history – along with Fremonsters willing to stay after the screening for a Q & A session. Before the screening, a community potluck will take place at 5p.
Falcone also reported that the film is “in the hands of PBS right now,” for a contest, and will be shown again in October at the University of Washington. “It could go places,” he said of this slice of Fremont history, “if it is edited right.”
Public Art Coordinators Sought
The artist that created the Aurora Bridge Mural, Patrick Gabriel, has come up with a compromise for maintaining the oft-tagged art work. He has agreed to work with a local coordinator (Gabriel is in Florida) to create a new, entirely accurate mock-up of the colors of the mural. This single person (rather than the FAC operating as coordinator) would also organize painting work-parties to restore the mural based on the mock-up.
Someone has stepped forward as a potential coordinator, and Jenny Frankl, of the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, is helping to connect the two people to see if they can work together. She will also help with grant applications to pay Gabriel $1000 for doing the mock-up. If anyone else is interested in being coordinator, and seeing the mural remain, please contact Frankl at email@example.com
Previously, Gabriel – who holds the copyright on his art – has said he would ask the City to paint out the piece because of its deterioration. Recently the City has painted out two murals, due to excessive graffiti, just north of Fremont – at N 63rd St and N 57th St.
A coordinator is still being sought for painting on City signal boxes, in collaboration with Urban ArtWorks. These blighted boxes can be decorated – as has been done on Capitol Hill and Downtown Seattle – if a coordinator will step forward to fill out grant applications and solicit donations (with help,) send out an RFQ, and select which boxes to be decorated first. Anyone interested in this project can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Solstice Parade In 2013
Miller announced that the City of Seattle Special Events Office (SEO) – which helps expedite permits for large scale public events – has reportedly said the date of the 2013 Solstice Parade must be the third Saturday in June – a week before the Solstice rather than the day after. FAC Board Members have established that placing the Solstice Parade nearest the solstice won’t conflict with Seattle Pride Parade – it will take place on June 30th. However, the Seattle Rock-N-Roll Marathon is scheduled for June 22nd.
Miller has written to Bold Hat Productions, which produces the Fremont Fair on behalf of the Fremont Chamber, to inform them that the FAC Board plans to pursue placing the Parade on June 22nd, in part out of consideration of those who consider this a sacred celebration of the solstice. Solstice Parade Organizer, Leslie Zenz, will contact the SEO about obtaining a permit for June 22nd, if the City can accommodate impacts it places on traffic, crowd control, safety, etc.
Future Of The COW?
Miller then observed how past COW meetings could attract 40 – 50 people. In June, 2012, the COW had half-a-dozen. In July, the meeting drew three members. When the COW had high attendance, Miller recalled, the meeting also served as the decision making process for the FAC – today most decisions come from Board meetings, although the Board will consider discussions held at COW meetings.
The FAC uses a formal consensus process for decision making, and daVis acknowledged that, in the past, “we had people come and spew their concerns on everything,” not necessarily sticking to the topic under discussion. Some decisions couldn’t be made because consensus couldn’t be reached among the large, diverse crowd. Also, today, the Board has ultimate financial responsibility for the FAC.
Obviously, Miller observed, something must be done to make the COW meetings more attractive. daVis suggested presentations be made at the monthly meetings – on the history of FAC activities, on the art that inspires, etc. The COW agreed that, in September, a presentation on the history of the Arts Council be a part of the meeting.
For those with comments or concerns about the future of the COW – or the FAC – attend the next meeting (on September 11th.) Meetings take place at the Powerhouse, and start at 7:10ish sharp. Everyone is welcome, and your input is needed as the organization takes a serious look at the future of the ‘Committee Of the Whole.’
- FAC Highlight Reel: The Meeting That Nearly Wasn’t
- by Kirby Lindsay, July 18, 2012
- FAC Highlight Reel: Of Signal Box Art, A Mural & A Parade
- by Kirby Lindsay, June 15, 2012
- The Artist & The Aurora Bridge Mural: A Personal Account
- by Kirby Lindsay, June 27, 2012
- FCC Highlight Reel: Distributions, Dates, And Yet More Wiffle Ball
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 1, 2012
©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.