Board Meeting Minutes November 2013

Tapestry Folkdance Center Board Meeting
November 18, 2013

Meeting start: 7:15 p.m.


Olsen, Gordon (President)
Beermann, Claudia Grabel (Secretary)
Cummings, Mary (Executive Director)
Forsberg, Roger
Carole Wilson
Ron Wilson
Roger Schaffhausen
Tuvia Abramson
David Kirchner
Barbara Beltrand (Treasurer)
Marc Scovill (Vice-President)


Hassan Saffouri


Minutes from 10-21-13 regular board meeting were approved. Minutes from the special board meeting on 11-3-13 were approved but will not be posted to ensure privacy protection.

Executive Director’s Report:

MN State Arts Board Grant:

Mary will spend the next few months preparing the documents for the MN State Arts Board grant application. The application is more extensive this year and will require more information and more time to prepare. Mary will attend a workshop this coming week to learn more about the revised process.


The end of calendar year letter to members and previous donors was sent out via US Mail. Since October 1st we have received $9400 in donations from individual contributors. We have met the $9000 matching gift challenge.

A side discussion ensued about a poster from last year that shows progress from last year’s fundraising efforts. We agreed that and updated poster, showing currents fundraising successes is more appropriate. Mary and her staff will manage this poster. The board will support Mary and her staff in choosing the appropriate posters to represent current fundraising successes as well as other postings that will show current campaigns.

Metropolitan Arts Council:

We had received a grant last year and Mary submitted a report on how they funds were used. She received a letter congratulating us on our success.

Board President’s Message:

  • Sustaining membership drive: announcements were made at International and Contra. However, the announcement made at Contra on Saturday was confusing and the message was lost among all other announcements. We discussed Board members making the announcements about the Sustainer program and communicate a more consistent and positive message. There is an envelope in the safe room that contains information ready to be read during intermission by a board member. Board members can sign up on the included sign up sheet.
  • Reminder for 100% participation by board members to make a personally significant contribution to Tapestry.
  • Board Members are expected to serve on a committee or work on special projects.
  • 5 Board members will leave the board at the end of June 2014. We need to start recruiting new board members from all Tapestry dance communities. Discussion ensued about managing turnover to avoid large numbers of board members leaving at the same time. This will help cohesiveness and consistency of Tapestry’s direction. Further discussion is needed to define this process.

Retreat Follow UP:

Group 1,2:

No action steps submitted yet.

Group 3 “Creating a welcoming environment at Contra dances”:
  • Roger created a list of dancers who enjoy and have shown a willingness to dance with new dancers. We could approach them, recognize them for this practice and encourage continued engagement with new dancers.
  • Ask female dancers who were the dancers that made them feel welcome and created the desire to come back for more dancing.
  • Use dance norms to help new dancers be at ease and understand common dance practices, for example changing partners for every dance, dance with dancers of the same sex.
  • Through dance norms, encourage experienced dancers to avoid “booking ahead” and remain open to dance with more inexperienced dancers.
Group 4:

David is developing an idea for a Contra dance fundraiser. He anticipates a potential date in June 2014.

Group 5: “Promoting the sustainer program” and “Volunteer Passes”.
  • Carole presented talking points Board Members, Staff and Volunteers can use to help explain the sustainer program. The information will be helpful during dances as well as all other opportunities to promote sustaining membership and address potential questions. See separate handout. Brief discussion about creating a generic document that can be used by dancers to help set up a recurring bank payment.
  • Carole proposed a campaign to encourage xx number of new sustainers. This can be promoted to all dancers, not just Contra dancers. Individual board members should take every opportunity to promote donations and new sustaining memberships.
  • A white button recognizes sustaining members.
Volunteer passes:
  • Actual cost of going to a dance ($15).
  • Group recommendations are to greatly reduce the number of “free” passes that are handed out. Discussion ensued:
    • Many volunteers expect passes; how do we find the balance between appropriate and the risk of losing volunteers. We barely have enough volunteers right now.
    • Based on a review of use of free passes, we estimate that we are losing at least $7500/year. Discussion ensued about volunteer positions, paid positions and number of passes distributed for work done.
    • This focus group will continue the discussion and write a proposal to be reviewed by the full board at the next meeting. Next steps include a request for feedback from volunteers and dancers. This feedback will help finding a compromise and implement the revised structure.

Emergency Procedures Document (Claudia):

Board voted to accept the revised document. Some board members still have comments and will email them to Claudia.

Next steps include:
  • Brief all staff.
  • Post document on Tapestry website.
  • Place a copy at both admission desks.
  • Request to volunteers (admissions, house managers, callers) to review the document.
  • Announce document availability on website during dances (best done by board members).
  • Plan and execute a drill.

New membership model (Carole):

Topic covered during Sustainer Program review/talking points review.

Credit cards:

Board voted to authorize Marc to move forward with this project. This will include:

  • Purchase a tablet.
  • Set up transaction process.
  • Create a training program.
  • User support, staffed by select board members. Marc will set up this process and train; Claudia will assist. Additional volunteers are welcome.

Facilities (Roger S):

Clean up day went well; we have new batteries in exit lights. Tables added in the big studio for Contra dances have been well received.

Programming (Tuvia):

5th Saturday dances: discussion ensued over type of dance.

Possible options:

  • Traditional contra dance
  • Experimental dance (for example a training class)
  • Open band/open caller dance. Definition of open mike: Musicians bringing in new musicians to play “community band”, like a jam session. This may bring in new musicians who would like to try playing in such a venue. Discussion ensued whether this should be a Board discussion or handled by the programming committee. We agreed that such a discussion should take place in the programming committee, with recommendation to issue an open invitation to discuss to all interested.

Call of the Loon update.

After discussion with the International Dance Community, the Leaders have offered to vacate the small studio on Friday evening so that it can be used for the COTL dance.

Financial statements:

Financial statements for the period ending Oct. 31st were sent out via email. Discussion ensued about amending the budget based on more current financial reality. Board agreed and Mary will present an amended budget statement in December.

Next meeting: December 16th.
Meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.

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