Tapestry Board Meeting July 20, 2015

Present Absent
Marc Scovill
Claudia Graebel Beermann
Jeanne Novak
Mary Cummings, (Executive Director)
Barbara Beltrand x
Todd Petersen
Ed Stern
David Dixen x
Carole Wilson
David Kirchner x
Barb Hassing
Madhu Bangalore x
  1. Minutes: May minutes approved. June minutes approved.
  2. Financial Report (Mary):
  • No financials to report due to end of fiscal year.
  • Dana pulling together statistics for State Arts Board Report.
  • Current FY15 financials are in draft form. Will be presented to the board, with the 990 tax form, in October.
  1. Executive Director’s report:  
  • Board members should provide estimates of board service hours for FY15 (7/1/14-6/30/15) to Mary by Wednesday.
  • Front façade, parking lot, and alleyway walls freshly painted. Needed to coordinate with Xcel Energy to cut power so back of building could be painted. Now need to add stenciled parking restrictions to side of building.
  • Later this week roof and capstone projects will start.
  • HVAC not started yet.
  1. Minnesota State Arts Board Upcoming Report.
  • Just got notification of ongoing funding.
  • In the summer, Arts Board requires an interim report including progress towards our stated goals. Tapestry needs to report on progress towards three main goals.
  • Progress towards Goal (1) creating a welcoming environment at Contra. People are in place to foster this goal. We are making sure people who facilitate this are present at dances.
  • Claudia reports that at a recent contra dance 4 or 5 people had a dance free pass. Many others were new and they mostly participated. The after dance gathering at Merlin’s Rest usually has 14 or 15 people, including a few newcomers.
  • Progress towards Goal 2: Evaluations were done for selected dance events. Evaluations are done for internal use and so the State Arts Board can have a concrete way of reviewing organizations in funds. We have started making evaluations for the International Weekend and for Call of the Loon Weekend. Have done single night evaluations for Bollywood and International. International was done for three weeks in a row. Data were sent to instructors, but not much was done other than that.
  • The Dance Evaluations were designed to capture the atmosphere, environment, etc. Ed isn’t sure they were productive for international dancing, because not all of the questions made sense for that group.
  • Marc said we should add contextual information as to why we are running evaluations. Perhaps we should have a suggestion box and have evaluation forms available always and have a box for the forms. Ed asked, Should people always vote three weeks in a row?
  • Claudia suggested we offer evaluations through Tapestry’s web site.
  • Jeanne said that Glen Echo Friday night Contra in the DC area always has an evaluation form including asking what band and caller participated on a given night. They have different bands and callers each week. Mary said a weekly evaluation for Tapestry is not practical. Tapestry repeats the same callers and bands more often than Glen Echo, so we have different evaluation needs.
  • Dance tips are given by some of the callers. David and Robin have done this. Marc has posted dance tips (from East Coast Contra Dance – Captain Awkward) on his Facebook page. Perhaps we can put this on Tapestry’s Facebook page.
    Jeanne said she danced with new dancers who had been invited by friends who had been to Tapestry only a few times.
  • Carole asked if we may have comment box for the individual dance communities. Mary is looking into a better box, perhaps a ballot box. The suggestion box should be secure and perhaps mounted on the wall.
  • Progress towards Goal 3: Service to Young Dancers. We started Family Dance. International invited a visiting Vietnamese group and a visiting Swedish Group to provide one time events. Both groups came from other locations. We asked Richard Barnes to become a caller and helped him with logistics.
  • (Ed) In the past there was direct marketing to Bethel and other colleges. We may need to restart direct marketing to colleges. Colleges used to teach dance and had many part time teachers to teach eclectic dance forms. This is no longer happening.
  • Jeanne asked about a connection with the Northfield colleges. The woman who runs the dance in Northfield has asked Tapestry if they would like to run an event in Northfield. Unfortunately, the building which hosts the Northfield dance is not the best for music or dance. The Northfield event director is looking for a better venue with better acoustics.
  1. Discussion on budget line items for certain committees.
  • Marc would like to make sure that committees know that resources are available to them. Also make sure that expenses are accounted for.
  • Some committees require spending some money to accomplish tasks (Mary)
  • For example, the Call of the Loon committee provides a budget to Mary and she folds it into the Tapestry annual budget.
  • On a smaller scale the same is true for International Weekend.
  • Facilities committee buys small items and gets reimbursed by Mary.
  • Fund Development primarily has printing costs for fund development cost. The Tapestry staff deals with the details.
  • Marketing has very occasional costs. E.g. print up cards for a dance discount. The committee does not have a budget. The Tapestry staff take care of the details.
  • Jeanne asked if the facility’s committee has a threshold for expenses. The answer is no, but large items that require bids are treated separately from small items like parts for a toilet. A committee member who buys a small item submits a receipt and is reimbursed by Tapestry.
  • Mary said things are going well and most committees do not need a specific budget. Marc said we should continue as we have but communicate with committees to tell them that funds are available for their needs.
  • Programming committee: The former chairman, Tuvia, resigned the chairmanship of the committee when he left the Board. David Kirchner will be the interim chairman.
  • Marketing committee: Currently consists of Ed Stern, David Kirchner, Madhu Bangalore, and Barb Hassing.
  • Ed and Claudia suggested that the list of committees be available on the website, along with contact information for each committee, so people can see where they might wish to volunteer.
  1. Minnesota State Fair Programs (David Kirchner, Madhu Bangalore, Ed Stern):
  • (Ed) Tapestry has been invited to come back to State Fair at same location as last year but on a different day. This year’s event will be on the last day of the fair on Monday September 7th, at 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30 pm. Last year we had four time slots. Bollywood, Contra, International, and English Country participated last year.
  • This year we are had hoped to include the three largest dance groups: Bollywood, Contra, and International. However, Bollywood cannot participate this year. The international dancers have volunteered to cover two time slots, if a third dance group doesn’t volunteer. The board would like to invite English Country Dance to participate.
  • Ed proposed that we use the same T-shirt design this year that was used last year, so we can reuse last year’s T-shirt. We still need to print some new T-shirts. The explicit understanding should be that individuals keep the T-shirt if they will use it to help market for Tapestry. Also print a few extra T-shirts to make them available for sale but at a high enough price to support the T-shirt printing. Also use them at 9 nights or Nicollet open streets. Also wear them at the Festival of Nations. If everyone has the same T-shirts it will build community among the dance communities: international, contra, English country, etc.
  • Claudia asked that we streamline the form to make it easier for the office staff. Keep the program simple to minimize the administration costs. Carole suggested that we try to get Family Dance involved next year if appropriate.
  • Ed would like to have promotional items. One, a $2 off card handed out to everyone who passes by, and two, if people come and join in to the dance at the fair, they should get a free pass to come to a dance.
  • Barb Hassing asked about having a Sampler night.
  1. 9 Nights and Summer Sampler Program (Carole):
  • Three 9 Nights events have been held this summer. The first two events were directly relevant to Tapestry: Pigs Eye and Robin Nelson, then OBI and a caller. The first summer sampler was the first Friday after the International nine nights’ event. The third nine nights was R&B and Swing (not Tapestry related).
  • Carole will represent Tapestry at six of the nine nights. A typical agenda includes initial comments at 6:30 pm including mentioning Tapestry’s 18 years of support for the 9 Nights program immediately followed by a dance lesson. At 7:00 pm, after the dance lesson, the Tapestry representative is introduced and talks about Tapestry and then plugs Tapestry events. She also tells attendees about the International Dance Summer Sampler at Tapestry Folkdance Center.
  • Carole sits next to the stage and is available for questions. Carole always is asked if Tapestry has swing dancing. Should we consider adding swing again?
  • The 9 Nights’ schedule is set up by Mary and the History Center staff and reflects priorities of both Tapestry and the History Center. Tapestry spends $100 per night to support the event. Mary said this is a great value because we reach many new dancers who otherwise would not know about Tapestry.
  • Carole also reported that there will be a thank you dance for all Tapestry dancers this coming November. This dance is to celebrate the successful campaign that raised nearly $100,000 in maintenance funds in less than one year.
  1. Accessibility Task Force and training sessions (Barb Hassing):
  • Three training sessions for Tapestry volunteers and board members are scheduled in July and August. One training session has been completed. The session went 45 minutes and was scheduled for 30 minutes. It still was not long enough.
  • The session will bring up important points and guide participants in reading the accessibility report. However the report will not be read at the training session, e.g. the list of disabilities will be handed out, but not read completely.
  • The final documents are still being developed. Things that come up in discussion at the three training sessions will be added to the final documents as appropriate.
  • Claudia suggested have written instructions that participants read the documents and prepare for the discussion.
  • After we look at the results of the training, a guest speaker will be invited to speak to the board this fall.
  • Marc thanked Barb and the Accessibility Task Force for their work.
  1. Bicycles parked inside and the new paint (Carole)
  • The painter came in to finish the final details and found bike tire marks on the walls. He was concerned about this. The painter touched up the walls that had been marred by bicycle marks without charge to Tapestry, but we can’t expect him to do this again.
  • Claudia said that we should determine a policy about whether we should require that bikes be stored outside. Policies should be written clearly to make enforcement clear.
  • The board decided that bikes will no longer be allowed in the building. Mary will work with the marketing assistant to notify people of this new requirement.
  • Mark will send out a formal thank you to Tuvia Abramson and Gordon Olsen for their service on the board.

Meeting adjourned.

Next meeting: August 17th, 7:30pm.


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