by Kirby Lindsay, posted 15 October 2012
The October meeting of the Fremont Arts Council (FAC) Committee Of The Whole (COW) reviewed a number of projects. As often happens, a few were running late (elections, art installation, parade date,) while attendees attempted to start one early (Winter Feast,) and discussed three in process (Troll improvements and his birthday celebration.)
Gettin’ Organized & Makin’ Money
FAC Board Member Toms led the meeting, and he took a moment at the start to thank Jeff Pierce who has stepped in to take over as Treasurer now that Sonia Telesco has relocated. He then introduced Tessa Hulls as new FAC Operations Manager, and described her as “much more organized than the rest of us,” which she will have to be as she takes over communications.
For the Luminata lantern walk, held on September 21st, Toms estimated 1,000 people strolled along Green Lake with homemade, hand-made and purchased lanterns, to the accompaniment of three marching bands.
The event made money for the first time, Toms acknowledged, as the generous crowd purchased well over 1,000 lanterns (and sticks) made by volunteers. “It was a frenzy,” Toms joked. In addition, attendees gave donations at the cider table (which served 20 gallons of cider,) and the FAC received grant money from the City of Seattle. The ‘profit’ will go towards the 2013 Luminata – and the Solstice Parade.
On Target – Troll Update
On October 19th, a team of professionals volunteering their time will be repairing damage to the Fremont Troll. Graffiti has permanently scarred the popular sculpture, as did some efforts to clean up the tags. Steve Badanes, the Troll artist, has found this team and will work closely with them on the repairs.
Pierce also mentioned that a donation/lock box being created for placement at the Fremont Troll is expected to be installed before the Troll’s birthday on Oct 31st. The donation box will be installed near the plaque, which sits just southwest of the actual sculpture – and Toms mentioned that the FAC Board has bets on how much money it can bring in. He’s taken an average of $115 a month, and he’s promised a six-pack to the winner. Pierce expects it to bring in more, and meeting attendees discussed the incredible stream of visitors to the site (Vets pointed out that the Troll currently has the second most visitors in Seattle after the Space Needle.)
Toms mentioned that new art may come to the Powerhouse, as local artist Jamie Szalay has agreed to install a piece shown at the 2011 Winter Feast. This will go into a spot created in spring of 2011, at the northern corner of the building above the retaining wall. Another space remains to be filled, just south of the building.
FAC Secretary Christie Wolf pointed out that elections for the FAC Board are due in November. According to the FAC by-laws, to vote members must be in good standing for one month prior to the election. A strong suggestion was made to push the election back, to December or January, to allow time for members to renew.
Toms also described the new effort to solicit a ‘working board.’ Nominations and volunteers are sought that want to contribute to the Board, and the organization, with a specific project, a focus on fundraising or bringing in much need organizational skills. Board members would also be asked to facilitate a COW meeting, in addition to attending all Board meetings. Toms also mentioned his own recommendation that the FAC remerge the COW and Board meetings into one meeting to address the work of the FAC.
Jessica Vets, of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, expressed the urgency behind selecting a date for the 2013 Solstice Parade. The Parade Director, Leslie Zenz, is at work with the City of Seattle Special Events Committee on getting agreement for June 22nd. According to Vets, two alternatives have come up – move the parade to 4p on the 22nd (rather than the traditional noon start time,) or hold it Sunday, June 23rd. This will be the 25th Anniversary Solstice Parade, with 20 marching bands expected to participate, (“we need 25,” Toms asked,) and a date must be set soon for the other organizations planning around it.
The FAC holds an annual Feast to mark the Winter Solstice, and this year, Toms reported, the event may partner with the Oracle Gathering to share a space. The Feast would take place, as always, on December 21st, and the Oracle on the 22nd. This could increase the budget for renting a warehouse, and increase the art and involvement.
Toms acknowledged, “there will be a lot of energy directed at that day,” because some believe that the world will end – or transition – on December 21st due to the end of the Mayan calendar. “What would you want to be doing if the paradigm shifted,” Toms asked. “Let’s do what we would do if it were the end of the world – have a big party with all of our friends, eating a good meal.”
Toms announced the start of a Feast planning committee, and a search for a warehouse or other building of 10,000 to 20,000 square feet, where both celebrations can take place. Tickets will be sold to the Winter Feast this year, as they were in 2011, although volunteers that help build the celebration will get one free ticket.
A History Of Trolloween
The self-declared ‘old Troll,’ Maque da Vis ended the meeting with a presentation on the history of the birthday celebrations of the Fremont Troll, including the first one where the volunteers hunkered down inside the half-finished sculpture with adult beverages and an overflow of bonhomie, in 1991.
Since then, as curator, da Vis has organized an annual celebration that has included pranks, parade haunts, and scripted story lines. This year, expect to see more focus on the carnival atmosphere, inspired by the Burke Museum exhibit on Carnaval/Public Opera. The birthday celebration takes place, starting at the Troll, at 7p on Wednesday, October 31st.
For more information on the Fremont Arts Council, and an update on its projects, consider attending the next COW meeting, on November 14th at 7:10p, at the Powerhouse (3940 Fremont Ave N.) The meetings are open to everyone (that’s the meaning of ‘committee of the whole,’) and they hope to see you there!
- FAC Highlight Reel: A Celebration Of Lights, And Of Troll
- by Kirby Lindsay, September 17, 2012
- A Date For The Solstice
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 27, 2012
- When Fremont Went To Hell
- by Kirby Lindsay, November 16, 2009
©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.