December 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting
Wednesday 12/12/2018

Attendance: Dani Hollis, Steve Newman, Rich DeVeau, Buzz Miller, Kurt Hagemann, Jessica Breugelmans, Stacey Sargent, Christine McFadden, Maureen Gasek  (Chris Mortenson, Kerri Ann Reavis, Absent)

Meeting Called to Order: 7:45 am


There are a few things in last month’s minutes that require minor revision(s).  With Chris unable to attend this meeting, these revisions will be sent to Chris, he can then update and redistribute, and we will vote to approve November 2018 minutes at next meeting.

Treasurer’s Report - Stacey

-       Treasurers report was sent to the board for review prior to meeting

-       WSS Money Market account has been opened

o   Per discussion and vote at October meeting, the finance committee will determine how much money should be transferred to the money market account so as to leave a minimum of $35,000 in the existing checking account

o   The finance committee will meet, at minimum, on a quarterly basis to review account balances so as to suggest to the board any re-balance as appropriate

-       Overall, Water Street Studios finances are in good shape, especially considering there is still $24K in grants that Water Street will receive before the end of the fiscal year.

-       Kurt moved to approve the treasurers report, Richard seconded, motion passed

President’s Report - Steve

-       Steve, Christine and Austin Dempsey met with Bob Vaughn to determine his interest in joining the WSS board. Bob confirmed he is interested, so next steps will be: Distribute Bob’s bio to board, Board members who have not met Bob to reach out and schedule a call or coffee, Christine to invite Bob to January board meeting.

-       Other potential board member names were discussed with potential follow up to occur after the holiday season

-       Steve to contact Kerri Ann about a board resignation letter

Executive Director’s Report – Dani

Giving Tuesday

-       #GivingTuesday was very successful!  Raised over $25K.

-       Water Street made several leadership boards in Illinois and was one of the largest fundraisers in the arts category in the state

WSS Mural project

-       Dani working on quotes for art display panels

o   Putting art on retention walls not viable due to snow/weather.  Now looking to anchor panels directly on Water Street building and perhaps in the future, other buildings in the community.

-       New LED lighting has been purchased by BEI for outside the Water Street building.  Will enhance overall visibility.

-       Kurt said there may be Main Street capital funding that is as of yet unused. Perhaps some can be applied to the mural project. Kurt to get more information.


-       One studio is currently open – candidate interviews are ongoing.

-       A second studio will open in January; proactively working to fill that space well.

-       Resident artists expressed an interest in a resident artist ‘meet & greet’ to ensure everyone knows each other. This event will be held in conjunction with the show in January.

Education/Outreach - Karine

-       Karine provided the board an in-person review of WSS outreach and education programs to date, as well as answered questions from the board on a variety of issues 

-       Will need to continue to watch budgeted to actual numbers education/outreach (all agreed 2018/2019 education budgeting was aggressive), but overall the board expressed confidence in Karine’s leadership and were pleased with outreach and education growth and progress.

WinterFest Market Update - Dani

-       The updated event branding and advertising has been very well received

-       Expecting a good crowd with over 1000 people expressing interest via social media

-       Will have workshops throughout the weekend to further drive traffic

-       Cash bar will be open all weekend

WSS artist collective Update - Richard

-       Collective is going to divide key organizational responsibilities between Dani (financials), Steve (recruiting) and Richard (organizational elements/meetings)

-       Have recently added a few new artists, and collective now stands at 12 people with a desired maximum of approximately 20 artists

-       Board discussed the possibility of implementing a Water Street Studios Scholarship Program (which could be for anything from collective dues to class fees). All agreed we should discuss further in the coming year.

Old Business 

Resident Artists - Dani

-       At the request of the board, Dani provided a list of resident artists for review and consideration relative to potential future board members

WSS Events - Dani

-       Dani has met with several people interested in running special event coordination. Dani believes she may have proposals to share with the board at either the January or February board meetings

-       It was noted that even once we accept a proposal, it will take time to get traction/events booked/etc. As such the board understands that we may not hit our event budget goals this fiscal year.   

WSS Holiday Party

-       Thank you to Steve and Laura Newman for hosting yet another wonderful WSS holiday get together!

New Business

-       On December 21st, Dani will host a fundraiser at WSS in conjunction with her 10 year class reunion (BHS class of ’08).  Event will be 2 hours and there will be a cash bar.  Attendance expected to be  approx. 100 people.

Kurt Motioned to adjourn at 9:22 am. Richard Seconded.

November 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting
Wednesday 11/14/2018 7:30 am


Dani Hollis, Steve Newman, Rich DeVeau, Buzz Miller, Kurt Hagemann, Jessica Breugelmans, Stacey Sargent, Christine McFadden, Chris Mortenson (Kerri Ann Reavis & Maureen Gasek Absent)  

Meeting Called to Order: 7:50 am


Motion to approve October Minutes by Kurt, Seconded by Buzz. Motion Passed.

Note: Christine wanted to check that language in October Minutes had been updated to per her advice, Chris was able to confirm that the October Minutes reflected the update.

Treasurer’s Report

Audit Overview with Slupik CPA

Ashley and Ted (Auditors) were in from 8:00 am to 8:25 am to present their findings and answer questions Board Members might have.

Auditors provided the Board with an overview of their findings and suggestions moving forward to continue being responsible and adhering to best practices. The recommendations were as follows:

-       Treasurer of the Board will be reviewing bank reconciliation forms on a scheduled basis.

-       Dani and Stacey are to start recording outstanding checks in a spreadsheet to get a more accurate and accessible view of cash on hand.

-       The Board will open a new account specifically for Security Deposits.

Transfer of funds to Money Market – Approval

Stacey brought to the Board a proposal to transfer all but $35,000 to bring to a Money Market Account. The account would operate as a traditional Money Market Account with some of the functionality of a Checking Account.

Steve advised that the account be set up provided the following was met while maintaining the proposed Money Market Account:

1.     The account be reviewed no less than on a Quarterly basis;

2.     Should our current accounts reach in excess of $35,000, we are to transfer funds to the Money Market Account.

Prior to establishing the proposed Money Market Account, we must complete the following:

1.     Set up a Security Deposit Account per the Auditor’s recommendations.

2.     Build up our current Account with the proposed $35,000.

Provided the above stipulations were met, the Board would approve the proposed Money Market. Under these conditions Christine Motioned to approve the proposition, Kurt seconded the motion.  

President’s Report

Update on Board Positions & Recruitment

Steve had notified the Board that a board member may resign due to personal reasons. In the same discussion, it was reiterated that another board member is looking to resign near the months of January and February. There are two potential individuals the Board is looking to meet with in the coming weeks to recruit.

Resident Artist Requirement – Discussion

The Board was reminded about the language in our organizing documents, “… it is recommended that there is an artist that serves on the Board…”

Executive Director’s Report

Giving Tuesday

Dani had reminded the Board to set up their individual donation page by the 23rd and to continue to have their networks to donate to Water Street Studios in the coming weeks.

Water Street is now hosting a Giving Tuesday event with Kiss the Sky to raise funds on the day of. There will be a 50/50 split in proceeds with the Fox Valley Music Foundation.

-       Create Page: Deadline November 23

-       Update on pledges

-       Share video and get pledges with friends and family

Update on Executive Assistant

Ryan, Water Street Studio’s new Executive Assistant, has been a great addition to the daily operations of the facility. He has show interest in the artist community, been enthused to be part of gallery openings, and is actively giving tours of the gallery space to visitors.


Water Street Studios has developed a new welcome packet and brochure for new Resident Artists. There has also been a formal exit interview process that has been developed. Both, the welcome packet and exit interview have not been utilized yet since their development.  


Ripple Effect classes are being moved to Water Street on-site facility classrooms. This shift only applies to Batavia classes, North Aurora and Aurora classes are still going to be off-site.


Chicago Capital Gallery (Approval)

No vote or motion. There have been changes made to the document after it was distributed to the Board for review. In light of this, the Board can-not vote upon the proposal. Steve will review the revised document and a vote will be conducted via email.  

Winterfest Art Market – Update

-       There will be a vendor pre-party to go over the procedures and how the event will occur with all vested parties.

-       It has been identified that the event is in need of more bartenders.

-       Dani is looking into insurance on the venue.  

Old Business

Advisory Council

Dani reiterated that the Advisory Council are all individuals working on their own projects and are contributing to WSS through their own assets or unique community.

Special Event Coordinator Proposals

There have been four new proposals. The Board will be reviewing proposals between the months of December and January.

Fox River Arts MoU (Approval)

Brief question session to clarify language. Chris Motioned the Fox River Arts MoU as currently proposed, Buzz seconds, no objections.

New Business

Grant for Mural at Dunham Fund

Mural project is currently underway.

Kurt Motioned to adjourn at 9:27 am. Buzz Seconded.

October 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting
Wednesday 10/10/2018 7:30 am 


Dani, Steve, Buzz, Kurt, Jessica, Richard, Stacey, Christine, Chris (Kerri Ann Absent)

Meeting Called to Order: 7:45am


Motion to approve September Minutes by Richard, Seconded by Steve. Motion Passed.

Motion to amend June Meeting Minutes by Steve, Seconded by Buzz. Motion to Amend June Minutes Passed.

Collection of Conflict of Interest Forms:

All forms from attending board members collected and files updated for fiscal year 2018.

Treasurer’s Report

Investment Policy

Stacey briefly summarized the investment policy put forward to the Board for review and acknowledge. Jessica had asked for clarification on the term “asset” as it was used in the document brought forward. The Finance Committee has changed the term from “asset” to “liquid investable asset” to be more accurate.  

Stacey proposed for the Board to move forward with a new account for WSS. The account would be a Cash Reserve Account / Money Market Account. The Finance Committee will be reviewing the proposal and presenting their findings through the month and in the next board meeting.

1st Quarter Financial Report

Dani reviewed the 1st Quarter Financial Report with the Board. Attention was brought over any discrepancy of $1000 or greater, Dani had answered all questions pertaining to any discrepancy that was found in the report.

Audit Update

The audit has begun and will continue through October. An update will be available to the Board in November during the next Board Meeting.

President’s Report

Update on Board Positions

-        Steve had brought attention to the upcoming two-year tenure of current board members. This is to indicate that we are looking for current, non-executive board members, to consider serving the board in an officer’s capacity.

Executive Director’s Report

Executive Assistant Position – Update

Dani has finished her first round of interviews with candidates and has narrowed it down to two potential interviewees. The hiring committee is communicating when they will be able to conduct the in-person interview as early as next week.

Giving Tuesday Campaign – Update

-        Dani has been given notice that the promotional Giving Tuesday video should be done soon and was already given the pre-finished product to preview.

-        Roughly $15 Thousand dollars has been committed to the Giving Tuesday Event.

-        The Board has been provided with instructions on how to set up their own donation page to fundraise within their networks.


A current resident artist has been given their final notice. Dani has issued the resident artist their 10-day notice on top of monthly notices for the past three months.


No new information


Update on Silent Art Auction

-        Silent Art Auction was a success to all of our measures and goals that we had wanted to attain. The event attracted one of WSS largest audiences, we were able to both gain new members and renew existing memberships, reached our funding goal, and proved that the online and mobile app for silent auctions is a viable option moving forward.

-        Steve had critiques about the mobile app:

o   Proxy Voting

o   Mix in live auctions

o   Earlier start to bidding

The other board members agreed that these points would both smooth out and increase the user and guests’ experiences.

Old Business

Fox River Arts Partnership

Dani had updated the Board that the Fox River Arts Ramble would be operated on a committee level between all participating parties with a pass-through fund. The pass-through fund would be maintained by the Community Foundation.

Mural Program on Water Street

Mural proposal program has passed through the City of Batavia. City of Batavia has said that they cautioned WSS of logo sizes for zoning purposes.

New Business

Review of Job Descriptions

The Board discussed the on-going changes to the Facility Manager position to accurately reflect their current responsibilities. The Board is seeking professional advice on classification details pertaining to the position.

Re-evaluating Event Rental Strategy

Steve, Jessica, Kurt and Christine proposed that the most advantageous way of soliciting the position of Event Rental Manager would to classify the position as 100% commission and for interested parties applying to submit a Request For Proposal. The Board agreed to move forward in the direction described above. 

Appreciation Holiday Session

Steve notified the Board of the Holiday party to take place in December. No date has been selected yet.

Kurt motioned to adjourn at 9:38 a.m. Buzz Seconded.


September 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting
Wednesday 9/12/18 7:30 am


Dani, Maureen, Steve, Buzz, Kurt, Jessica, Richard, Stacey, Kerri Ann, Christine (absent: Chris)

Meeting called to order: 7:38 a.m.


Moved to approve by Kurt, Second by Buzz.  Motion passed.

Treasurer’s report

CPA Audit Selection

Steve and Stacey shared that they called references of two audit & tax preparer options:  Slupik and Porte Brown.

Steve, Dani and Stacy recommended the board consider moving forward with Slupik over Porte Brown based on a combination of references and cost estimates

Board discussed the pros and cons for each option.

Christine moved to hire Slupik, Kurt seconded.  Motion passed.

WSS Investment Policy & Cash Reserve Policy

Board discussed the need to form a Finance Committee to finalize a Water Street Investment policy

Buzz moved to approve the formation of the Finance Committee that would consist of the Water Street President, VP and Treasurer plus one other member of the board to be determined by the President, VP and Treasurer.  Jessica seconded. Motion passed.

Board briefly discussed the WSS Cash Reserve Policy submitted for review by Stacey (WSS Treasurer)

Kurt moved to approve the operating reserve policy as submitted to the board for review.  Maureen seconded.  Motion passed

Presidents Report

Secretary position

Steve said that although Chris was unable to attend today’s meeting, he spoke with him and confirmed he wanted to be installed as Water Street Secretary

Kurt moved that Christopher Mortenson be installed as Secretary, replacing Ramon who had to resign from the board due to a change in work/work schedule (Ramon will remain on Water Street’s Advisory Council).  Buzz seconded.  Motion passed.

New Business (New biz moved to 8:00 a.m. to accommodate guest speaker schedule)

Lawyer Julie Proscia held a training session for the board, reviewing several key areas of our by-laws and discussing associated legal issues to be aware of and vigilant about.

Executive Director’s Report

Adjusted Budgets

Water Street Studio’s budget has been updated to include two new staff positions (outreach assistant and executive assistant). The board discussed that the updated budget does not include any funds that are likely to be raised as a result of the 9th anniversary auction, Winterfest, or anything raised beyond $10K for giving Tuesday. Therefore, the feeling was that there was no immediate cause for concern relative to the projected shortfall.

Kurt asked if WSS class revenue was still on budget for the year because if that area was falling short it would further increase the budget gap. Christine/Dani to review budgets with Karine and report back on findings. (If available, we will invite Karine to next board meeting to discuss numbers). 

Executive Assistant Position 

Board discussed the proposed executive assistant position

Kurt moved to approve the position, Jessica seconded.  Motion passed

Giving Tuesday Campaign

Dani explained that we hope to raise money on #GivingTuesday in three ways: Individual peer to peer giving, matching donors, employer matching gifts

Board discussed how they would work to help raise money across the three fund raising areas above and briefly reviewed how to set up an individual social media peer to peer giving channel

Currently, budget assumes WSS will raise $10K during #GivingTuesday, but Exec Director and board feel that with some effort, actual fundraising could be as high as $40K

IACA Grant

Dani let the board know that WSS received a grant of $14,700 from the IACA


9th Anniversary Show & Silent Art Auction is Friday, September 14th.  Please be sure friends and family know!

Old Business

Fox River Arts Partnership

Dani reviewed the Fox River Art Partnership opportunity

Buzz moved we explore the possibility of a partnership with Fox River Arts. Kurt seconded.  Motion passed.

New Business

None discussed

Kurt motioned to adjourn at 9:32 a.m. Christine seconded


August 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting
August 8, 2018


Dani, Buzz, Richard, Steve, Maureen, Chris, Stacey

Meeting Called to Order by Steve: 7:40 AM

Minutes: Motion to approve July meeting minutes - Richard, Seconded -  Buzz

Treasurer’s Report - Stacey

Stacey had sent report to Board Members on 8/7/2018 after having balanced the books. Both Dani and Stacey reminded the Board that this meeting is a full week prior to typical meetings, which reflected on the report in various manners such as checks not being deposited, new deposits not reflecting on the books yet, and there being a discrepancy with the Education line item. Moving forward, should we run into a similar issue with the Board meeting time, it was asked that the Treasurer’s Report be delayed and emailed to Board Members to mitigate any confusion or errors in the book.

Dani will be looking into the report. Stacey will be working with Dani and Mary Beth to figure out why there is a Gross Loss on this Education line item.

Stacey and Dani had attended a workshop during the first week of August to learn more about accounting regulations tied to operating a non-profit. From their workshop, they had met a consultant that Dani would be talking to after the meeting to discuss in what capacity their firm might be able to help us prepare for the audit.

Stacey will be developing a cash reserve policy and investment policy. These policies are a result of our grant funding arm that is continuing to grow.

President’s Report - Steve

Steve had reminded us that September Board Meeting will contain training for the newly inducted Board Members at the beginning of the session.

Steve had also brought up that our previous secretary, Ramon, will no longer be serving with us as a Board Member but is as committed as ever.

Note: We would prefer to have a current Member serve as the Secretary opposed to one of the new Board Members.

Executive Director’s Report - Dani

Financial Audit Bids Summary:

We were not able to approve any auditor during August’s meeting as the favored auditor from the prospectus process will have to provide more information regarding their background.

Request for Information Questions:

Are you a CPA, or will a CPA be conducting the Audit? (their signature did not contain the initials on the line)

NOTE: Pending approval based upon the auditor’s credentials, look for emails through the remaining week as a status update. Also, look for emails pertaining to the review of the Engagement Letter.

Strategic Plan:

Motion to accept the current strategic plan and publication of the documents available for marketing purposes - Rich, Seconded - Buzz

NOTE: This strategic plan is intended to be revisited on a yearly basis to ensure we are continuing to abide by our mission and promises to our stakeholders and the public.

NEA Grant Awarded for $10,000

Dani had informed us that Water Street Studios (WSS) has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts with a max limit of $10,000. This grant is a reimbursement grant, the example used (and our intended use for the grant) was in relation to paying utilities. This is not a retroactive grant, we are able to start showing proof of payments only going forward till we reach the $10,000 limit.


Dani reported to the Board that she has not yet received any negative feedback to the cover letter sent last month in regards to the standardization of studio rent.

Dani had brought to the attention of the Board the new policy within the 3D Studio Space of putting priority on classes and not personal work. This policy came to fruition as a result of a dispute between two 3D Studio Space tenants.  

Gallery / Events

9th Year Anniversary Auction: Steve had updated the Board that there are currently 30 pieces that have been submitted and they are looking for more. Many of the pieces are valued at $500 opposed to last year’s $100. Steve is also in the process on creating an online auction site.

10th Year Event: Dani has formed the committee that consists of - Dani, Jaime, Maureen, Jessica, and Kerri Ann. The initial thought behind the anniversary was to hold a large event with a series of art unveiling. After reviewing the logistics it was decided that we would not be able to effectively execute the Anniversary to the fullest potential on a grand scale; rather it has been decided to still have a public art component but focus our efforts on a manageable scale.

Fashion Show: May 10th Event Date. The event will consist of several parts, Interactive Show, Panel Discussion, and Showroom that will have merchandise for sale.

Winterfest: The fest will be partnered with the Batavian Artisan Collective. The event will change from 2 weeks to 1 week. The Winterfest logo is currently being worked on by Batavia Artisan Collective and Dani.

NOTE: The loading dock will be donated to all the events listed above.

Old Business:

Fox River Arts: Fine Line was confirmed that they are not allowed to carry the entity on the books. As a result WSS will continue to review the LLP agreement that would have to be set up between Fine Line, Water Street Studios, and St. Charles Artist Collective. The Board has decided that it is still in our best interest to move forward with the Fox River Arts Podcast and collective as it directly services our mission to be community centric and focused.

To secure the $1,300 in association with the Fox River Art collective we would need to form the LLP by September.

You Name It Events Proposal: Dani and Jamie were not able to find comparable quotes to figure out the effectiveness of the program of event rentals hosted by WSS.

Insurance Policy: Dani gave a quick recap on the breakdown of insurance policies WSS is paying into.

Grant Matrix: Dani had generated a breakdown of all past grants that have been applied to by her offices.

Note: There is still a grant that is under review for $25,000 (First National Bank)

New Business

IL Give for Giving Tuesday - Goal $20,000

The board is moving towards the creation of an event around giving tuesday. We are going to distinguish ourselves by creating urgency around building community partnerships and matchmaking goals. There will also be an online component that is being explored.  

July 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting
July 11, 2018

Attendance: Dani, Buzz, Stacey, Richard, Steve, Maureen, Chris, Jessica, Christine, Kerri, Kurt

Meeting Called to Order by Steve:  7:38 AM

Minutes:  Motion to approve the minutes - Kurt, Seconded - Chris

Board Member Installation

Christine motioned to install three new board members: Jessica Breugelman, Maureen Gasek, Kerri Ann Reavis

All were in favor; new board members were installed!  Welcome Maureen, Jessica and Kerri!

Treasures Report - Stacey

Water Street previous year budget to actual were very close to matching exactly. No financial surprises over the last month. Detailed reporting will be sent out after the meeting. Dani, Stacey and Walt will spend the coming month reviewing balance sheet. Water Street now required to do an annual audit as we are over $300K in contributions.  Estimate to do this audit each year is about 2% of annual contributions. For this year we are assuming cost will be $8K as this will be our first time.  Walt does not do audits, but provided us with recommendations of people who do.  We will also need to get a few other quotes from other firms to ensure due diligence. Audit is due December 2018. Walt suggested the board set a threshold for Water Street depreciable assets.  Recommendation was to set at $500. Chris moved to set the threshold for depreciable assets at $500

Kurt Seconded.

Motion passed

President’s Report - Steve

As we now have three new board members, the board discussed if monthly meeting time should remain at 7:30 a.m.  Everyone agreed it should remain as-is.

Insurance requirements are such that the board was asked to sign a document saying they would waive any rights to workman’s comp.  Anyone with questions were directed to talk with Steve/Dani.

Executive Director’s Report - Dani

Director of Education Salary Proposal

Move to approve Karine’s salary proposal as submitted - Kurt

Seconded - Buzz

Motion Passed

Outreach Assistant Proposal: This new position would work with Karine on a variety of necessary outreach activities.  Hours per week would be approx. 6 - 8 hours with a max of 30 hours per week and/or 40 hours per month.  Hours will be tracked via existing weekly time sheets. Already have someone identified for this position who has been doing this work on a volunteer position.

Pay per hour for the position was discussed and will be taken back to a smaller group of Dani, Kurt and Chris for further research and recommendation.

Karine/Dani will also rewrite the formal job description to include maximum hours and specifics on how time will be tracked.

Executive Assistant to Executive Director: Dani has developed a job description for this new position Before we formally fill the position let’s get through the first quarter of the year before we approve the proposal to ensure dollars are available.  Dani does not have someone in mind.  Part time position to start, average of 25 hours per week. 

Pay per hour for the position was discussed and will be taken back to a smaller group of Dani, Kurt and Chris for further research and recommendation.

Studios - Kurt

Standardization of Studio rent update is as follows: It’s recommended that current resident artist rent changes will occur over a period of three years: Year 1 rental increases will be no more than 3%, year 2 will be no more than 5%, and year 3 increase will be whatever is needed to get to the final standardization amount, based on rent standardization chart that was previously developed.

To provide time for acclamation of rent standardization, everyone that has renewals coming in the next three months will remain at the same rent for the first 3 months of the year and will move to the new rent for the final 9 months of the year.

A letter will be sent out to all resident artists from the board outlining all changes.  This letter will be sent to all board members for review and comment ASAP, then letter will be sent to all resident artists

Education/Outreach- Christine

Nothing new to report this month. 

Gallery/Events - Dani

Water Street Studios’ ten-year anniversary is next year.  A committee is being formed to drive this effort.

Jaime obtained a proposal from “You Name It Events,” an organization that helps organizations to build event programs and packages.  They can also be used as source for event customers, bringing events to us on commission.  Board discussed the overall need for this kind of support, the proposal and potential costs (financial and otherwise) associated with partnering with them.

Board agreed that we should look at this in phases, with phase 1 being development of a more formalized business plan around events at Water Street.  Dani will go back to the organization to get more info on how they would help that initial phase and will report back.

Old Business - Dani

The Water Street Studios summer intern has started work.  She can only work with us for 8 weeks, so Dani is using her primarily to build marketing material and do other design work.

Blues & Roots update: Net income for this event in 2016 was $440.  In 2017, it was $2,800.  In 2018 the projection is $8,500.  Water Street Studios gets half of these amounts. At this point we plan to participate in next year’s Blues & Roots event. 

Town Hall & Strategic Plan Update: Overall the meeting went very well.  Dani is to develop a one page synopsis of meeting outcome(s) relative to strategic plan. Board will review document as soon as it is available with goal to make public in August.

New Business - Dani

Winter Fest Art market is going forward, we now have a partnership with Artisan Collective Batavia which will dramatically reduce the time needed to run the event (without reducing potential profits).

Fox River Arts partnership was briefly discussed; next step is to develop/understand full mission, operations, etc. of the new organization.  More info will be gathered and discussed over the coming months.

Motion to Adjourn Regular Board Meeting:

Motion to adjourn regular board meeting - Christine

Seconded- Buzz

Regular Board Meeting Adjourned at 9:37 am

June 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting
June 13, 2018


Dani, Steve, Ramon, Buzz, Richard, Christine

Meeting Called to Order:  7:32 AM Steve

Seconded: Ramon

All were in favor

Welcome: Chris!


Motion to approve the minutes: Christine

Seconded: Buzz

Treasure’s report

Stacey and Dani met with Walt and he needs to gather more information for next board meeting. See Comps YTD, May and Burn Rate Calculation. Steve says we should look at the burn rate calculation which includes Education Program. Took Instructor expesnses out because they are restricted funds. Kurt asked about if the fundraiser income is included? Steve said no because we want to have the absolute bare bones needs. Improvement from last year coming from $15,000 to $9,000. Dani: We will be getting the last installment of $15,000 of Dempsey Family Gallery Donation this week. $9,100 is the monthly burn rate.

President’s Report

Richard moved to approve board slate for 2018-2019 (President: Steve, VP: Christine, Treasurer: Stacey, Secretary: Ramon).  Buzz seconded.  Motion passed.  Board installed.

Steve- Dani sent out the new form for the $500 give/get encouragement for new board meetings

Motion to approve Board Application form.

Motion- Richard

Seconded- Kurt

All were in Favor

Christine wants to formerly vote to change policy and procedures to include the $500 give/get language

Motion- Richard

Seconded- Chris

All were in favor

Executive Director’s Report

Dani- recommends to review the budget at the end of the summer.

Steve clarified that when we look at the budget it wouldn’t be any changes but enhancements to the approved budget. Steve recommends that we make an edit to the budget to bring us into line with what is realistic and brings us to balanced budget.  Kurt says we can take the average of the last 3 years and use that.

Steve what’s the close ratio of applying for grants and securing them.

Stacey: How many grants are you applying for? Dani said she can put together a grant matrix.

Steve: What is our fundraiser budget compared to last year? How do Grant funders look at how many fundraisers we are doing. Dani said that the foundations/Grant funders require us to show any changes. Steve recommends that once Dani presents us the new number for grant income we will vote on the budget via email. Dani said that the foundations ask what our operating budget is because a lot of funders will only approve grants at certain levels. Christine- We are going to commit to once a quarter actual to budget.

Strategic Plan

Dani believes we should vote to approve post Town Hall meeting. We all agree.

Town Hall Meeting:

Dani and Barbara are meeting today to put together a format. Steve said we should inform our guests about the Town Hall Meeting. Tentative Format- June 20. 6PM food/hangout. Brief introduction- Dani. Break out into 3 focus groups for about 30 minutes. Synthesize and report to the group. Call to action. Provide promotional tools for the people to use

Update on Dunham fund

Presentation went well $225K for 3 years as an expansion to our pilot program Ripple Effect. Nicholson Program-Artist Advancement Program service 8 schools over the next 3 years. About 500 students. Kurt: when is the expected decision? Dani said we should know this week or up to a month

Standardization of Studios Committee- Kurt

Kurt gave background about how we got to this point with rent discrepancy.

See Standardization of Studios Proposal

Inger Bret pulled together comps of other rental square footage and the average is $20 sq/ft without utilities. Steve asked what the comp average and Kurt mentioned $20 but if you add all the benefits it would be an additional $6. Good starting point is $19 sq/ft. Move people to this by the following: When a studio becomes available. Every new lease will include a projected rent after renewing. Ramon asked what the current lease term is? Kurt: 1 year. The value of 3D vs 2D studios. Kurt they did discover that there used to be a usage fees (power, kiln etc) The next stage is to figure out how and what the usage fees will be. Steve asked if it was documented originally and concerned about the legality of now enforcing it. Kurt said it would need to be included in their new lease. Any studio that becomes available automatically goes to new rent schedule and also if they move. Kerri Ann asked if the 2D resident artists will have to pay usage fees if they use the 3D. Christine how many studios are under and Kurt said 70%. Stacey asked if this will be controversial and Dani said after this approved we will work on an appropriate communication. Kerri Ann suggested that we put together an amenities list. Steve said that we have a good policy but we can revisit based on market adjustment.

Motion- Ramon

Seconded- Christine

All were in favor

Christine asked will the committee take the lead in implementing? Kurt said yes. Stacey asked it there will be announcement for all?

Education/Outreach- Christine

Christine- See Karine’s report

Chris asked about the Wabaunsee program that we have developed. Dani said that we are a new location for the extension program. Ramon asked if students get college credit and Dani said no. Chris mentioned that he is meeting with the VP of Student Services and asked if we wanted him to say anything about it. 


Look at in July

Old Business

Advisory Council is up to 11 members See bottom of agenda. Dani explained to our guests what the Advisory Council is. Dani sent the first round of feedback from questions from Advisory Council. See back of agenda for proposed changes to revised membership levels. One of the feedbacks on membership was that most just didn’t get around to it. Jessica said that there is not a big, clear call to action. Dani said that at the Town Hall meeting we will have a membership booth. Moving forward their will be a membership booth at all events. Also kick off a membership drive beginning of the year.

Summary of Blues & Roots festival:
Doubled sponsorship this year and profits were substantially better over last year. Will have final numbers in July. Chris said we needed to have a membership booth. Dani said we got 5 new members since the festival. 200-280 guests. A lot of volunteers

New Business

Fox River Art Partnership: Dani has been working to develop an LLP Fine Line, Water Street and St Charles Art Council partnership. We would be eligible to have the ramble, website funded. Jaimie starting a podcast.

They are putting together the paperwork so the board can review and vote on approval. Jamie wants to make sure that we have in writing that we take leadership/ownership of podcast.

Stacey asked if there is any risk or concerns about this partnership? Depending upon what the other organization’s board is asking.

Steve thanked the guests and Christine will follow up with them

Motion to Adjourn Regular Board Meeting:

Motion to adjourn regular board meeting- Steve 8:57

Seconded- Christine

Regular Board Meeting Adjourned at 8:57 AM

May 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting
May 9, 2018


Dani, Steve, Ramon, Buzz, Richard, Christine

Meeting Called to Order:  7:36 AM Steve

Seconded: Ramon

All were in favor

Welcome: Chris!


Approved by Christine

Seconded by Buzz

Treasure’s report

Stacy- we have a good format now. April was the first month that we had an audit of who paid rent. Dani has delegated Jaime and Mary Beth to audit who has paid; It does take time to audit monthly because of opt out hours, people pay differently. Stacy mentioned that having a spreadsheet helps. Recommending that we ask Walt on the difference between Cash basis vs accrual basis. Steve wants to use cash basis because we only have a 3 month cash reserve.

Stacy: we received the last installment of the Ripple Effect funds. Print lab equipment sale- Some of the proceeds went to buying necessary items to upgrade the clay lab. Stacy will stay with the new format. We did get the $8,200 Illinois Art funds. They are reviewing our application for 2019.

Steve- what does our monthly revenue look like without gifts and grants so we can see where we are at from membership, clay lab, programing? Dani- 68% is Program Base which is a good place to be especially with donors. There’s a Data Arts and Guide Star are places that donors look.

President’s Report

Christine welcomed Chris: He is open to getting coffee with anyone before the next meeting.

Chris shared his background- He has studied Entrepreneurship and Business Management from DePaul University. Recently worked at Bank of America but they didn’t provide enough community service opportunities for him. He was with a private wealth management in Chicago. One of his strengths is thinking creatively with limited resources. He has been thinking about designing a virtual video tour of WSS with the goal of having a program that shows instead of telling the visitor our story. For example, when the visitor visits the Landing page they will be brought directly into the main gallery and with the ability to click on wherever they want to go. One of the choices available could be one of our resident artists giving a tour with the hope of giving them a reason why they came to WSS. This might be a great way to bring WSS to the foreground.

Board Recruitment

Steve has an appointment at the end of the month to meet with Jessica Bruggleman.

Steve Board Expectations- Are you comfortable with the current expectations and then add another expectation of joining as a member at the $500 level. Either through your own or find someone else. Yes. Dani’s only concern of the current expectations is that they are a little wordy. Richard says he will be willing to make edits. Steve will give it to Richard. Stacy said that the current board members would be eligible. Steve said yes because it is an expectation. Dani wants to get better at tracking the gifts in kind from our donors.

Executive Director’s Report

We have a budget draft. Our new funding goal is $70K. It is intimidating but doable. Stacy says we should list out the fundraisers that corresponds with the projected income.

Giving Tuesday, Art Auction, Fashion Show, WinterFest, 10 Year Anniversary Show is in September 2019               

Bob Vaughan has committed. Angela MacDonald who is a Kan County therapist who specializes in working with the  LGBTQ+ community. Dani and Angela are talking about having WSS as a designated “Safe Place”. Eric & Krista Anderson- FreshGround-  Working on packaging for Blues & Roots with Lisa. Steve wants to make sure that we get some funds from the sale of this package. Andy Kenney- Entrepreneur & graphic designer. Jeff Vekony- business coaching. Fran Yoshika- Event management. Caryolyn Hanna- Insurance. Debbie Gurley- real estate. Christine suggested that we invite one of the Alderman’s to be on the Advisory Council. Dani sent an introductory letter to those that agreed to serve on the Advisory Council. Dani has a list of questions to send out but wants to get to 10 members before sending out. Christine asked if we want to bring them in for once a year. Dani suggests that we invite them to the Town Hall Meeting.

Town Hall Meeting- Wednesday night in mid-June or July. Dani wants to have a facilitator so that this doesn’t turn into a place to complain. Dani put together a presentation based on the objectives. The three goals support the objectives and the bullet points are the strategy to reach those goals. Dani talked with Barbara Sergi and she can do May 19 as a strategic planning meeting. They are meeting Tuesday to finalize the format of the meeting. May 19 from 9-Noon at WSS in the south classroom.

Dani said that we are eligible to be audited

Chris asked what made us eligible. Operating budget of more than $300K makes us eligible for an audit. We received a letter from the Attorney General saying that the State didn’t receive our financials certified by our CPA. We have been assessed $100 late fee. Dani called Darlene, the previous CPA and she is going to pay the $100 late fee.

Steve wants us to find out what the cost from Walt is for the first year so we can budget appropriately. Chris- Are there procedures to look at any discrepancies during the treasurer’s report. He asked if we have a paper trail. Dani said yes.

Studios- Richard’s proposal

Steve said the best way to do this is to find a sponsor because the money from the Collective has already been applied to the budget. He said that we should put some type of time limit on getting a sponsor. Richard asked if we have a consensus from the board that we want the Collective studio. Yes, we do. Finding the money is the only issue. Dani believes that the sponsorship will be from an individual and if $5,000 is too much we might be able to split the cost with a fundraiser. Richard mentioned that the Collective is in a tenuous situation. Lost another member, but he and Steve will be taking a more active role in management of the collective. Christine asked what the issues were? Some said money and others were the logistics coming from Chicago. Richard removed the attending requirement.

Dani said we need to figure out if Studio 23 is going to be leased or a gallery? How do we handle sales? When the lease expires do we subject it to the same policies as the gallery. Steve believes we should treat it as a gallery and the artists should price their work appropriately. Richard suggested that 10% commission to WSS. By the end of the calendar year 2018 if we don’t find a sponsor that we should look at it. Steve, put it on the July board meeting and if we do this that it switches to the 30% as quickly as possible. Richard suggested that we bring representatives to an Executive Meeting to feel included. Buzz said sales should run through WSS.

Education/Outreach- Christine

Nothing new. Karine is in the process of training on the registration system.


Steve wants to reach out to the Collective to ask them to donate pieces for the 9th Anniversary Art Auction. Doesn’t have to be expensive. Terri Ross should be contacted.

Blues & Roots update- we exceeded our goal by reaching $6,000. The most we have raised. Art of the Blues call for artists with $25 application fee. We received 50 submissions. Gallery is meeting Thursday, May 10.

We will be making more money this year. Dani will be spending $50 to promote ticket sales on FB because they are a little light. There are business cards.

Old Business - Dani

Strategic Meeting- May 19 9- Noon

Board Documents were organized and put them on the Google Drive documents.

Richard asks that we look at the policies and procedures before the June meeting.

New Business - Dani

Celebrating 10 years! An opportunity to raise a bunch of money if done right. Steve said that we should do a black-tie event and live auction. Dani said we should put together a 10-year anniversary committee. Steve said it should be formed now. Dani is looking for suggestions on who to chair the committee. Richard said at the last gallery committee they talked about producing a 10- year Anniversary book. Interior signage project with Fast Color. Dani had Community Partnership brochures together. She is thinking about sending 200 hand written letters to people she knows asking to sponsor. Generic business cards where the back is blank to be filled out by the user. Work on getting the faded exterior signage to be replaced and to position perpendicular to the road rather than parallel to the road. 3 month expected completion.

Motion to adjourn meeting- Christine

Seconded- Buzz

All were in Favor

Meeting adjourned at 9:16 AM

April 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting
April 25, 2018


Dani, Steve, Kurt, Ramon, Buzz, Richard, Christine

Meeting Called to Order: 7:36 AM Steve

Buzz seconded

All were in favor


Approved by Christine

Seconded by Kurt

Treasure’s report

President’s Report

Steve: Getting full liquor license will put our tax implication at risk if we start selling liquor outside of WSS programing/events. Kurt how will that affect referral fees from caterers. Dani said it wouldn’t. Ramon asked if we could charge extra for the room rental with the bar included? Steve said it would open a can of worms that we don’t want to open. Dani said that we would get commission from the preferred vendor list.

Board Recruitment

Steve: we need to add people. Steve and Christine will be getting with Dani about the current recommendations. We need help with recruiting board members that can financially contribute or in kind.

Dani’s update on board engagement

Met with Jessica Bruegelmans. Met with Bob Vaughan. Asking about joining the Advisory Council.

She also met Lindsey the new Executive Director and will focus on building a relationship with her. Met with Maureen Gasek. Marketing director Maureen Gasket for Aurora Chamber of Commerce. Business mindset towards the arts. Met with Christopher Mortenson. A current volunteer for us. He has a lot of energy and former customer relations manager at Bank of America. Steve asked if these people should be involved on the Advisory Council? Dani says most of these people should start on it. Carolyn Hanna; Corkill Insurance Agency. Kurt thought she would be great and will have a boots on the ground mentality. See List on the agenda

Kurt wants to know how many people are going to be on the advisory council. Christine says 15-20. Steve suggest starting 10-15 as we are learning the process. Stacey wanted to know what the process is of communicating to the advisory council. Christine and Dani said it is detailed out. Kurt suggests that we start board terms at beginning of fiscal years.


We will vote on the new budget during the June board meeting.

Executive Director’s Report

Board & Ambassador/Advisory Applications

Steve said that the board expectations on the application doesn’t match what’s in the policies and procedures. He said that we need to include the current expectations and responsibilities but give applicants a heads up on adding a Give/Get expectation to the policies and procedures. Dani said we should add the board giving as a line item in the budget. I.e. if we have 10 board members than we can budget $10,000. Richard said that we should always have an artist on the board. Christine said it’s in our bylaws. Richard’s concern is that we might scare people away with a commitment of raising $1,000. Richard has concerns about the 6 questions to be answered on a pdf. Kurt says we should have them put something in writing to describe why they would be a good fit for the board but not the 6 questions. Steve said the 6 questions should be used as interview questions. Kurt doesn’t think we should have the goals listed on the application. Kurt agrees that we should have the expectations/responsibilities match the policies and procedures. He also said that the financial expectations are very high compared to other boards in the area. Steve, Christine and Dani need to get together and hammer out the wording, so we can vote on in June.

Ambassador Application

Richard suggests that we should remove the second portion indicating that the board doesn’t have to follow their advice. Steve and Kurt recommend moving the line to the end of the page. Steve- virtual communication would be through the staff not the board? Christine believes we should not limit the board communication. Kurt recommends that we remove “member of board” so that leaves the door open for board communication. Dani will remove the goals and keep the history of Water Street Studios.. Dani wants to clarify the name of this council. Based on her conversations with other organizations that it is more like an Ambassador; however, the board consensus is to name it Advisory Council. Kurt makes a motion that we form the WSS Advisory Council with the modifications to the document that were discussed today. Consistent with the application in front of us we can add the changes to the application

Christine seconded

All were in favor

No one opposed

Unanimously approved.

Objectives & Strategies for 3- year plan

Dani is open to discussion. Richard: Donor Management system. What about Neon? Dani said we down graded to not include management system to save $60 a month.  Dani and Karine found a new management system. Christine: General staffing and heir apparent succession plan should be included? It’s included in Dani’s 3-year plan. Steve: doesn’t like the wording “transitioning into a governing and fundraising board” because we are already a governing and fundraising board. Kurt says the board responsibility is not too fundraise but to support the fundraising committee as a committee of the board. Steve says that the board members have been a fundraising board. Kurt agrees that we have raised funds, but the actual function of the board is not to raise funds.

Christine suggests that we should word the board section as follows: Objective- to strengthen the board. Goals- Measurable. Strategy- Action steps on how we are going to reach the goals and ultimately strengthen the board. Richard says we need funds to raise funds. Dani recommends bringing in a facilitator to talk about the board; its history, the current state and the future.

Review List of Projects Needing; soliciting help with these projects.

Studios: Kurt

The studio committee getting ready to meet. Getting with Jaime to come up with a preliminary plan for the May board meeting. Collective gallery studio 23 (Richard and Steve): The $365 will come out of the collective members dues. Kurt says that we are converting 12 members annual dues into rent.


Registration System Upgrade -ACTION. Neon has limitations to back end book keeping, communications etc. Two other options. Active Network. Course Storm. Recommendation that Karine and Dani are to move forward with Active Network. Kurt makes motion to immediately transition to Active Network.

Christine seconded

All were in favor

Motion passes unanimously

Selling Print Lab Technician. One of the buyers is donating it to Aurora community. Another buyer is donating to Dekalb. We have sold print making equipment. Two pieces of equipment still remain and are available to sell-Epson printer and CNC printer (About $1,600 eligible). Karine and Dani are planning on going to the final Dunham Fund presentation for round 2.


Winterfest Art Market- Dani contacted the Batavia Artisan Collective to do this together. They are handling the vendors and we are handling the gallery.

Close facility for the last two weeks of the year.

Dani there are two new members. Collective: Chris Hodge Anka Kuriath and David Hoshkeen

Buzz asked how many are in the collective. Richard about 14.

Old Business - Dani

Kim Romano is paid in full, confidential and signed. Amicably ended our relationship.

Sponsorship for Blues & Roots- Secured $3,750 goal is $7,000 for event to be profitable

Dani created a community partnership brochure. Example of benefits: Up to two a year rental events and memberships

New Business - Dani

$2,500 grant from Sommer Family Fund. Dani met with BEI to improve the entrance to the building. They agreed to do it. Asking them to replace the door. Shouldn’t be a problem.

Met with Orange Home Services about the HVAC and they are putting together numbers of what the current system covers and what it should cover. Kurt says that we updated the HVAC in the past and it wasn’t up to what it should be. We might not have an argument. Buzz says what was updated was the system over Dani’s office only.

Steve asked if we can improve signage with the city. Dani said no. The city owns the retention wall that we can add a removable sign, but we need to get approval from streets. Kurt recommends that we put together a proposal that highlights the historic significance to the building/area. Present to the HPC and see if we can get their support.

Board and Resident Artist Handbook- distribute at the Town Hall Meeting. The board should be there to serve as a panel to answer questions. Steve recommends that we have Barbara Sergi should be at the Town Hall Meeting before the strategic development meeting.

Anniversary Show- Steve will take responsibility for this. Recommends that the resident artists donate a piece of artwork to auction ($25 of value at least). Use this time to introduce himself and what we do as the board. Richard recommends that Steve come to the next Gallery meeting to discuss.

Dani has a list of 10 questions that we can ask the Advisory Council. Since the council has been approved she is going to solicit. Steve wants to know what the process of adding people. Christine will start the face to face after the 10 questions.

Dani wanted to thank Steve, Christine, Buzz for the Blues & Roots/move print equipment and Stacey to offer support new registration database.

Motion to adjourn meeting Kurt

Ramon second

All were in Favor

Meeting adjourned at 9:52 AM

March 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting
March 14, 2018


Dani, Steve, Kurt, Ramon, Buzz, Richard, Christine

Meeting Called to Order: 7:37 AM Steve


Moved to accept- Kurt

2nd- Buzz

Treasurer’s Report (see notes)

Dani said that Darlene charged us and recommends that we pay her.

Christine moves that we pay

2nd Richard

All in Favor

Dani-amendment signed and effective January 1

President’s Report

990 Bill from Kennedy & Company CPAs

Executive Director’s Report- Dani

Submitted Grants with IACA, NEA, Batavia United Way, and Sprint

Continued outreach to Batavia Apartments was requested to Batavia United Way- Asking for $5,000. Sprint corporate giving. Dani applied. Local family foundation- Fieburger. Dunham Fund is meeting about our large grant next month.

Sponsorship for Blues & Roots on Water Street. Dani put together sponsorship levels. Dani needing approval from the Sponsorship Committee. Steve suggested that we promote it during the Art Ramble. Kurt asked what the potential sponsorship level $10,000 ($8,000). Kurt- do we have a short list. Dani said we have 15. Kurt-What level of sponsorship do we need to make it profitable? Dani said she would need to check with Steve because he has the P&L.

Revisit Membership Benefits: Artist level- Dani suggested that we waive the entry fee. Richard said that would be good. Steve asked if this was enough of an added benefit to attract and it will be one extra thing to track. Richard asked how is the membership levels going? A nice bump last year. Richard suggests a membership promotion. Dani wants to add an extra drink ticket to the patron level. Dani wants to increase our branding


Forming the committee. Talked to Jaimie. Ingrid Brit (from BEI). Kurt would like Dani to ask Kerri Ann to be a part of the committee. Kurt asking if we can have a NDA signed by the committee members. He wants to start committee meetings in 30 days. Kurt asked Richard to be a part of it. Richard agreed. He would like to have 2 resident artists part of the committee. Get the standardization of the application process implemented. Dani said we used the new process on the last two new resident artists. Kurt’s looking to have a 3 yr standardization plan. Steve’s concern about the 3 yr plan is that they don’t have their rent drastically increased.


Report from Karine. Christine- Kim is taking a sabbatical from teaching over the summer but wants to come back in the Fall. Karine is uncomfortable about some of the supplies used in the print lab that are used for other programs are owned by Kim. If Kim wants to sell it that she needs to comes up with a quote. If she wants to donate the supplies we can give her access. If she wants to loan it or store for 12 months at a time with a 3 month notice to remove it. Christine will inform Karine to reach out to Kim and share

Lisa is wanting more storage. Dani & Karine scheduled meetings with the instructors and many frustrations were expressed. One is having a classroom. Dani told Lisa to come up with a proposal. Kurt said that the board has other plans for the space and that building it out for a classroom is too much; however, if Lisa wants to put together a detailed proposal including estimates of build out, expected return of investment. That would be fine.

Christine wants to know what we are going to do with the Clay Lab? Dani said we can store the print lab equipment and space until we lease equipment. Steve said that if we can say that no one can use the metal lab at the same time as her classes. Kurt would like to look at this option but we need to have a proposal. Christine said she needs to present this to Karine.

One of things that would help Karine is to have a community sounding board to put out ideas and get feedback. She would like to have it on monthly basis. Christine did research on Advisory Council-not binding, no voting, they are representatives of WSS. Send email out to those that are interested. Once a month Dani or Karine would email a question and then email a thank you for their input. Concerns: You get individuals to agree and then don’t do anything with them. If you’re not clear on the power structure of the council. Steve’s concerns: If someone hasn’t heard about an advisory council, there could be confusion.

We have not been able to grow our board. He suggests that we add a person from the other communities that would fulfill what Karine is looking for. This is not as much of priority as other things. Requesting that the questions that Dani or Karine email to the advisory board be sent to the board first because he feels that he would feel awkward not knowing that a question was asked. Buzz and Dani disagree because we are asking them for big picture input and we don’t want to be restricting. Kurt believes we should iron out the process of sending questions.Kurt likes the idea because it adds another layer to the community, a breeding ground for new board members, getting information from a different view helps the board makes decisions. Kurt asked if Dani and Karine would benefit from it. Dani said yes. Kurt says if we can iron out the procedures of the Advisory Council then at the next board meeting we can motion to move forward with the Advisory Council.


Insurance for Artwork-Approval. Deductible was lowered. $1,500 annual premium. One insurance for fire & theft up to $100,000 ($500 deductible). One insurance for artwork up to $100,000 ($250 deductible). Kurt moves to approve the increase as presented.

Seconded Buzz

WSSAC Renewals & New Members: They are coming due and Steve needs it to add to budget.

Events: Jaime wants to charge a flat rate rather than per hour. With our new liquor license, we could be the bar during the event. Change the event to program because all our sales are related to a program. Steve said that earlier in the year he was told selling liquor outside of a program does not qualify.

Old Business - Dani

Kim Romano’s Proposal

Second – Richard

5 in Favor

One opposed- Kurt

Motion carries

Fox River Arts Ramble- April 21,2018

Clay Lab Budget Proposal- Marcy has put together a proposal for when we move the lab in April.

New Business - Dani

Exterior Signage with City of Batavia. Dani is trying to meet with the city to upgrade the current signs. Fast Color: A possibility to do a mural on the retaining wall.

Steve suggested that he and Christine join Dani when she meets with the Public Works to use as a possible fund raiser. Christine suggest that we invite the Alderman. Kurt recommends that Dani reach out to the Historic Preservation Commission.

Schedule Town Hall- To communicate all the changes. Dani suggests a letter from her and the board president rather than a Town Hall Meeting. Steve recommends that we use this letter as a year-end letter. Call it a Year End Update (two letters- one for the community and one for the residents)

Schedule announcement of 3-year plan. Ramon suggested at the Stakeholder meeting in September. Dani said that it could be a possibility and that if whoever wanted to know about it would show up.

Richard suggested that we include it in the news section on the website.

Motion to adjourn meeting at 9:45am by Steve

Seconded by Richard

All in favor

February 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting
February 21st, 2018

Attendees: Dani, Steve, Buzz, Kurt, Christine, Stacey, Richard

Meeting Called to Order at 7:38 a.m.

Minutes from January 17th approved

Motion: Kurt; Second: Buzz

Treasurer’s Report: Stacey

Reviewed QB reports and cash on hand. Will move from two WSS checking accounts to one. Less opportunity for errors and easier reporting. Community Foundation/Endowment Fund: Stacey to request a breakdown of investments that go into fund. Rules around fund have been determined: Once a year can take out 4% the average of the previous 12 months.  Can take out the very end or very beginning of our fiscal year. If we come up with a specific use of those funds for this year, we may consider taking 4% out. Otherwise we will leave money in so it can roll over for another year.  Will discuss whether to take out at next fiscal budget meeting.

990 Review: 990 was made available for all board members for review and we discussed. The numbers on 990 look very good year over year (will be good for fundraising). Report will be filed and made available to the public, minus specific names of people who donated funds (will redact for privacy) 

Presidents Report: Steve

6th Amendment to the Lease was reviewed and approved

Move to approve: Kurt, Second: Buzz

Provided an update on Strategic planning meeting.  Discussed there will be three main committees:  Gallery, Education, Studio.

Report on Studio Rental Issues & Opportunities (Kurt)

Rental prices must be reviewed and made more uniform. Going backwards on price per foot: Ave $18 per sq foot in 2008, Ave $16.20 per sq in 2017. Also, we are not uniform with cost per sq foot across studios. Main goal:  Over next 3 years move back to a standardized cost per sq foot across the board (looking at 3D space and 2D space differently.  Agreement that 3D space is worth more) Next step:  Form committee to make recommendations to the board on plan to standardize rents and close financial gap identified

Art Education & Makers Space opportunities (Christine)

This area is generally at break even (within $3K) and running smoothly with Karine’s leadership. Key committee goal:  Help Karine to implement already identified revenue generating opportunities. Next Step:  Christine to meet with Karine to discuss immediate needs and action items

Gallery (Steve)  

More limited on what we can do to cover revenue gap relative to gallery. Steve to work with existing gallery committee to determine how to best drive additional revenue. Insurance for artwork. Currently have a $1K deductible which may be high considering average value of artwork typically on display.  Looking at other options with lower deductibles. Need to determine if and how we continue offering insurance.  Steve to determine next steps/options.

ED Report (Dani)

Committees: Board representatives chosen and committee responsibilities were discussed. Board representatives for each committee are as follows: Studios Committee: Kurt. Education: Christine (Karine B. - chair). Gallery & Events: Richard (Steve S. - chair). Finance: Stacey. Fundraising: TBD (Need to discuss structure of this group within strategic committee). Going forward, each individual above will be responsible for helping to develop and further the goals of each area indicated, and providing associated progress reports at each board meeting

Annual report: Report is finished and Dani will make available online

Updated studio lease: Key change: Clarification and enforcement of rules relative to private instruction within individual studios. Karine will send out a cover letter communicating why we are enforcing new lease. Dani/Karine will meet with individual artists as needed

Print Lab/Clay Lab: Discussed downsizing print making and increasing clay lab opportunities/space. Equipment in print lab not being used and could be sold.  Kim has provided estimated worth of equipment to Dani. Discussed moving clay lab to print lab space.  Provides ability to: Increase class sizes. Increase clay lab makers space sales. Issue identified: mess that clay lab generates closer to artwork

Invoice from Kim Romano reviewed by board. Concern that invoice may be high based on work actually completed. Requested clarification on monthly breakdown on work completed. Dani to make request of Kim

Dunham Fund request was submitted by Dani.  She will report back when she hears more

Dani has secured an in-kind marketing sponsorship $5K from printing company (Fast Color)


Looking for live art performance bookings.  Board is encouraged to provide recommendations.  Applications are on line. Gallery is booked for 2018. Currently booking for 2019.

Old Business - Dani

Classroom space renovations: Subject to submitted itemized budget to the board, funds were approved to renovate.  Motion: Kurt  Second: Christine

Marketing internship: Dani has identified an Aurora university student for the position, however she’s Canadian and is waiting for her work visa.  Timing TBD.  Dani will provide an update as it becomes available.

Security cameras: Being installed at entry/exit points of the building

 New Business - Dani

WSS participating in Fox River arts ramble. We are one of two headquarters for event (with Fine Line). Dani working with steering committee to organize; should generate extensive exposure. Dani meeting with Austin about Arts District Partnership

New public hours have been implemented

Two new resident artists have joined WSS. Stephanie Teta: Mixed Media. Terry Ross: Art Dealer

Blues on Water Street planning is underway. Dani is responsible for sponsorships (we make ½ of all sponsorships).  She will be reaching out for help from the board.

 Meeting Adjourned @ 9:29 a.m.

Motion: Kurt; Second: Christine

January 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting
January 17th, 2018

Attendees: Dani, Steve, Buzz, Kurt, Christine, Stacey, Richard

Meeting Called to Order @ 7:32 a.m.

Minutes from December 13th approved

Motion: Kurt; Second: Christine 

Treasurer’s Report

QB Reports & Cash on hand reported

Stacey to work with Dani to open an account for people to donate stock to WSS. Budget vs Actuals were reported and discussed. Although WSS met budget overall, the big take away(s) were some of the programs were down significantly from budget (e.g. SOA & Makers Space) and contributions were higher to offset. Also of note, we don’t have any fundraisers planned in the next few months. In the end, the next six months income to outflow looks to run a negative.

Kurt asked why our expenses overall look so much higher than budgeted.  Budget was reviewed and board discussed that a good portion of expense overrun is due to how things are categorized and input as opposed to just being over budget. (For example, the expense numbers do not show where certain expenses are offset by a grant.)  Stacey and Dani to work with Walt, WSS new accountant, to clean up going forward.

Board discussed if WSS can supplement SOA by offering after school art classes right at the school (to supplement SOA loss due to Ripple Effect).  Dani/Karine to investigate.

Dani noted our accounting firm made several errors on our 990.  She’s working with firm to get corrected and is hoping to finalize ASAP.

Presidents Report

Steve confirmed that as of right now, artists cannot use a portion of Project Fusion commissioned pieces as a tax write off.  Only artwork that would be exempt from sales tax would be pieces of work unique to the patron.  However federal tax policy may shift so we should revisit in the future. Steve received a commitment from BEI to set classroom rent at $500 per month fixed for two years. Amendment to lease will be signed soon. Capital improvement costs were not discussed with BEI, but will be once we have cost estimates specific to HVAC improvements. At future capital improvement meeting Dani will also make BEI aware that we see evidence of moisture in the walls.

ED Report

Dani’s 2018 Priorities & Goals. All agreed that Building a 3-year strategic plan and focusing on fundraising (corporate and individual) are two 2018 key priorities. Identifying capital improvement needs/costs was also identified as of importance in 2018. All agreed that two key committees need to be to be formed and activated to support key priorities. Strategic committee (3-year strategic plan goal) and Finance committee (fundraising goal) are priorities at this point. Discussed reality that 80% of our offerings are not profitable simply as a result of being true to our mission.  As such, need to focus on sponsorship for our offerings. Discussion specific to our growth over the last two years.  As a result, all agreed we need to step back and look at/evaluate all our programming and offerings to ensure time and dollars are being prioritized effectively and efficiently.

Studio Rental Committee & Process: Dani proposed a new process for new studio rentals, proposal was discussed and everyone agreed we should implement process as presented. At Dani’s suggestion, board agreed we should begin to do background and credit checks on individuals who want to rent studios going forward. Dani to discuss with our lawyer to determine how to implement. Board discussed we will not do credit/background checks retroactively.  Only going forward with new rentals. Board was in agreement we should have a studio rental committee to screen applicants, and that this committee will include a resident artist (exactly who to be determined by Dani) Lease Rental Agreement Change for Instructors. The key thing that must be changed is we need to be sure ALL lessons taught on site/in studio go through Water Street Studios. Dani to meet with Karine to develop updated language we can use to explain this new policy. Need to recognize this will be a big adjustment for some, and as such need to notify residents ASAP.  Was noted that insurance requirements (as well as the fact WSS is subsidizing studios) absolutely requires this change.


An outreach report was emailed to board for all to review.  No discussion required.


Dani noted that donations in Adam Graves honor were collected and memberships, shirts, etc. were sent to the family as a thank you. Dani noted that the WSS annual appeal letter was sent out and garnered approx. $800 - $1,000 in donations. Dani reported that the Winterfest Art Market netted approx. $4,500.  Sales were approx. $5K which goes back to the artist.  Learnings from this year will be implemented in future events. Dani sent a letter of intent to Dunham Fund. Proposal was well received overall; a few adjustments will be made and final proposal will be submitted.  Dani will keep board informed of progress. Dani secured a legacy building partner with BEI.  They are giving WSS a $20K sponsorship (unrestricted funds).  Dani to negotiate timing of funds received. Dani secured a sponsorship with Fast Color - opportunity to get up to $5K donations of marketing material.


Richard reported that the gallery is booking shows for 2019 at this point (2018 is full). Gallery committee has received new testimonials which will be in the annual report

Old Business - Dani

Remember to introduce businesses to Dani so she can approach for sponsorship.

New Business - Dani

Looking to implement a studio scholarship in an important attempt to assist deserving artist(s) and to diversify the WSS artist community.  We will continue to look for a sponsor for program. WSS was approached by the NEA to apply for funding.  Dani will peruse. Was noted that only reason we are eligible for this funding is because we are ADA accessible (wheelchair lift). Dani noted as an FYI to the board that ADA legislation (specific to a historic building) may have changed.

Meeting Adjourned @ 9:39 a.m.

Motion: Kurt; Second: Buzz

December 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting 

December 13, 2017 

Present: Steve, Christine, Buzz, Stacey, Dani and Ramon 

Meeting Called to order by Steve at 7:42 

Motion- Richard 

Seconded- Christine 

Minutes from November 15, 2017 were approved with the edits by Steve that were sent to Ramon via email. 

Motion- Christine 

Seconded- Buzz 

Treasure’s Report (See Attachments) 

Steve would like Stacey to take a look at the difference of cash on hand 

President’s Report 

Steve has not been able to talk with the tax attorney. The tax attorney’s emails indicate that the only artwork that would be exempt from sales tax would be the pieces of work that are unique to the patron. Steve- Sabrina sent a letter asking if the artists could use a portion of their commissioned pieces as a tax write off. They can’t. We can pick two events that are fundraisers where we don’t pay sales tax for alcohol. Once we pick the two events we can’t change them. Buzz asked when we need to pick those events. Steve said that it’s when we decide not to pay the sales tax. Dani- December filing we need to report 50% for the sales tax that we collected. Steve said that for Project Fusion we need to pay 100% sales. One of the points of Project Fusion was to help facilitate the artists to get additional commissioned work. 

Executive Director’s Report 

Dani and Karine had an end of the year debrief and one of the things that came up was that Karine doesn’t have access to Quickbooks Buzz believes she shouldn’t have access to make changes to reports. In the past there were too many people who had access. Christine and Dani said she wouldn’t have that ability but will have access to customize reports. Dani doesn’t need board approval to give her access. 

Video security of the gallery- $30 per camera with 14 days of storage. Steve asked if it was a one time expense and since it is she has the authority to do so without board approval. Stacey asked where we would put the cameras? Dani will have Jaime do a site inspection to find the best locations. Steve recommended that we should have them in the common areas including the steps up the upstairs gallery. 

Dani looked into another insurance company that says their specialty is insuring galleries. Put them into contact with Carolyn. 

Received the 990. Dani and Stacey will be going over with a fine tooth comb to compare with our reports. Stacey said she had a colleague review it and they were very impressed. No red flags. It was done well and on time which makes us look good to foundations when writing grants. Couple of items that validated our change in our CPA because there were some things that would have been added if it was done by a non-profit CPA. 

They recommended we start a finance committee with the VP (Christine) being the chair with clear definitions. Steve recommends that we review the committees, operating policy and procedures in the February board meeting. Executive Committee. Finance Committee. Institutional Advancement Committee. Strategic Planning Committee suggested by Stacey/Dani that should make a presentation to the board. Currently the board of directors are the Strategic Planning Committee. Fundraising Committee. Gallery Committee. Dani asked if we should identity the current committees and needed new committees. Steve recommends that we should still look at February to give us time to review. He did agree that Dani should present a list to the Board in January so that we can work on the fine details in February. 

Outreach Report 

Dani and Karine reviewing the current teacher contracts. Steve wants the new ones to be reviewed by Julie. South Classroom renovation budget. Dani is working with Paul in developing the budget. The vision of the space to make it a functional classroom including a white board, storage etc. She’s getting a high and low budget from Paul which will be over $1,000 so she will bring to the board for approval. Stacey says that the differences in the budget amount will be the quality of the item instead of it’s functionality: like two types of book shelves. 

Lease agreement #35: We currently do private lesson in studios. Some resident artists use us to schedule and others don’t. It has come to our attention that artists may have more than two in their studio and call it a private lesson and there is no way for us to monitor it. We are looking to expand open studio time which will increase traffic. Stacey and Karine have reviewed it and believe it should be a committee. The issue is that we subsidize their rent. Steve says we have a rule that is clear with the exception of listing the fee, and process of getting permission. We should inform the artists that we will be enforcing line #35 their lease. Christine asked what are the goals for clarifying this. Stacey said the goals/reasons are as follows: Clarifying the process. Formalize it. Buzz said there used to be policy that indicated that 100% of instruction needed to go through School of Art. Steve said we need a formal proposal on making the amendment to the lease. We should give them 6 month advanced notice upon the renewal of the lease. Dani said we need to inform/remind the artists of all the benefits that we provide them. The amendment needs to be rewritten and clarified. We are in agreement that we need to have a recommendation of writing a formalized process. 


We received a grant from the Illinois Arts Council - $8,200 (unrestricted). #Giving Tuesday report 

Raised $12,500. Applied for awards through the #ILGive. Dunham Founds award ceremony tonight. Every donor received a thank you from Dani, added to our email and support list. All the artists and patrons received a handwritten thank you. First year of doing the annual appeal letter. Dani is wanting to send out an annual report in January. 

Project Fusion Report: $26,000 net met the goal! Debrief indicated that we need a dedicated committee and chair must be at least 5 people. Steve asked if we should write a letter of gratitude from the board to thank Sabrina. Annual Appeal Letter 

WinterFest: Extremely slow 50% percent lower than last year. Differences were that we did 4 fundraisers in 30 days. Make it more family friendly. Dani’s suggestion- We need to have a committee (more than just 2 people). We made $1,200 on booth fees. Thinks we should not have booth vendors next year. Stacey said that it would be a good idea to have workshops to draw more people. Dani said that Ramon recommended to be a part of the Welcome Wagon. Include a free membership and maybe a T-shirt. 

OLD Business - Dani

Kerri Ann’s exhibition was approved by the gallery committee. It will be in May in place of the Eye of The Beholder fundraiser. Need to review the terms and conditions with her. 

Scheduled meeting with BEI: Capital Improvements. HVAC. Possibly had an issue with the furnace last night. 

The walls in the gallery are becoming harder to patch and rehang art on the walls because they were not constructed with the correct amount of studs. It’s like cottage cheese according to Kathy. Richard says he hasn’t noticed that. Richard suggested that we look into a Wall Material he used in the past that is porous that can be placed over the wall rather than reconstructing the wall.

Move to close the meeting 9:23 

Motioned: Ramon 

Seconded Christine 

All in favor 

November 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting

November 15, 2017

Present: Steve, Christine, Buzz, Stacey, Dani, Kurt and Ramon

Meeting Called to order by Steve at 7:37 AM

Motion- Kurt

Seconded- Christine 


Motion- Kurt

Seconded- Christine 

Treasure’s Report (See Attachments)

The numbers do not include all of the Project Fusion commissions coming in. Kurt recommends that we have a detailed report on the actuals report once a quarter and an overview on a monthly basis. Buzz believes a fiscal YTD P&L is fine. We made around $20,000 on Project Fusion. Goal was $25k-$30K. Dani is going to send out an end of the year support letter to the database.

President’s Report

Steve-Still talking with the tax attorney about sales tax. The liquor sales ARE taxed. Possibly a tax break for sales to members. Waiting on final information. You don’t have to pay sales tax on commission work if it’s unique to the person like a family portrait. Steve suggested that we go to the patrons and inform them that after further research their purchase was tax free and that we will be happy to refund their money or if they would like to make a tax free donation with those dollars they can. 

Executive Director’s Report 

Fall is typically a harder time for registration. Dani and Karine are looking at doing more one day workshops and parties during next fall. Kurt asked if we can go off site and do art parties? Steve said it would be up to the instructor’s availability and willingness to do so. He also suggested to look at bars since most are slow on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Stacey suggested that if the resident artists are holding classes in their studios that a portion should go back to Water Street Studio. Dani spoke with Bob at the Dunham to see if they can help with transportation for  Nicholson elementary to Water Street Studio.

#Giving Tuesday: Started yesterday. So far we have raised $700. Make it a personal ask to your friends and family. Dani made an adjustment to the levels of donation by lowering the first level to $25. Share the Facebook posts. Christine said that the thank you notes are great from #ILGive. Dani is looking for companies to match donations

Project Fusion- debriefing in a few weeks. Went very well! Close to $20,000 made! They will review to see how we can improve or if we should do it again.

School of Art

South Classroom Renovations- Bob Hanson wanted to have naming rights for 5 years; which we could not do. Dani and volunteers did most of the renovations.


Kerri Ann Branson- she is wanting to rent out the gallery for a solo show because she wants to have her wedding reception here. Dani will let Kerri Ann Branson know that we are working on an agreement

Switching CPAs

Dani received 3 quotes on CPAs and Walt is still cheaper. He is also a CPA that specializes in working with Non-Profit Organizations. Steve received quotes from current CPA and two new CPAs. Kurt moves that we hire Walt because he specializes in Non-Profit organizations.

Second Buzz

All were in favor. Motion moves

New Business - Dani

Since we have been having difficulty renting studio # 22; Jaime came up with an idea that we offer businesses the opportunity to sponsor a studio/artist. He expressed concern that we have an uniform representation of artists and having a diverse community would better reflect our mission. Dani suggested that we could have the artist come up with a proposal expressing their desire and need for sponsorship. These proposals would be sent to the businesses that are interested in sponsoring for this review and then they pick who they want to support.

There would need to be set process such as: Enrollment time. Application. Write a proposal to state their case for sponsoring them. Dani has already spoke with some businesses who are interested. Christine expressed concern about how the current resident artists would feel. Dani said that they could apply also. We do NOT want to be discriminatory

Capital improvements- Decided to table for a later time.

Motion to adjourn meeting made by Kurt

Seconded by Buzz

Motion passes

Meeting adjourned- 8:36 AM

October 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting
October 11, 2017

Present: Steve, Christine, Buzz, Stacey, Dani, Kurt and Ramon

Meeting Called to order at 7:44

Motion- Steve

Seconded- Christine

Minutes from September 11, 2017 were approved

Motion- Christine

Seconded- Kurt

Treasurer’s Report (See Attachments)

Stacey and Dani met with a non profit accountant to see how to provide numbers to the board. Steve said we should have the balances. He recommended that we look at big picture by printing out visuals from QB. Stacey wanted to know of any specifics that we wanted to know at the board meeting. Steve would like to know our “runway” and our “run rate”. Our long term goal is to have a “runway” of a year. By the end of this year have a “runway” of 6 months. Kurt said we used to have a projected cash balance on hand for 3 months.

Dani- report actual vs budget which now can include KPI’s. Kurt recommends that we should have it on a quarterly basis not on a monthly basis. Dani believes we were a little ambitious about the first quarter of the Ripple Effect. Dani & Karine coming up with a proposal to the Dunham Fund to make the Ripple Effect a shorter program as a teaser for the Education program. Utilize the instructors. Karine & Dani trying to make partnerships for outreach to bring in more revenue.

Next board meeting the treasures report will include forecast and budget vs actuals

President’s Report

Board Enggement Meeting. Charlene wants us to look at where we have come and where we want to go. Julie to review policies and procedures at next board meeting. 

Executive Director’s Report

Dani- we need a new HVAC System and she is trying to get funding for it $15,000. Christine and Steve thought that is BEI’s responsibility. Buzz said that in our lease we are responsible. Steve says as a board we have a fiscal responsibility and should review the lease and make sure it is up to market; if we are below then maybe we can do this but if not they should have the responsibility. We need to review the lease on the cost per square foot. Dani said that BEI is willing to have the discussion. Dani recommends to have a sub committee for the lease. Steve and Buzz will take a look at those numbers

Met with Walt, the non profit accountant. He is going to give us a quote in November to do business. Steve wants her to get another quote.

School of Art

South Classroom Renovations


Kim Romaro update


Guardians of the Gallery/ #Giving Tuesday

Dani & Karine are looking at monetizing what amount gets what. Giving Tuesday will be peer to peer fund raising. Dani putting together a tool kit. Ramon asked what we did last year. Raised $600 due to getting a late start. Dani wants to launch on October 15. Our goal is $10,000.

Kim is moving to a volunteering status and will complete what she said she would do.

We learned that Water Street Studios is going to be an individual and corporate sponsors not grants. Dani is going to make relationships with board members of these grants and try to get discretationary funds. She is putting together a packet for Corporate Sponsorships and will have for the November board meeting.

Christine says we need to have a sustainability discussion

Project Fusion- Stacey

Tickets and Masks are for sale on the website. Thanking Dani and Ramon for the wine pull about $1,000. We need a sponsor for deserts. Cupcake Wars at the high school is possible. Invitations should go out this week. Corporate Sponsorship- Who do you know? We still need a new committee chair for Winterfest Art Market


Need an Internship 5 hours a week. Dani has a packet that includes job description. Keep up with social media and use the last donor video.

Old business - Dani

Meeting with Karine tomorrow to do a performance review. Motion- Karine- new salary retro to Oct 1 and review salaries in July. Steve believes we should make Karine be eligible for a bonus.

Second- Kurt

Vote- Steve

All I’s


Dani’s review is set for tomorrow.  

New business

Fine line and Dani are putting together a Fox River Arts Ramble in April. Started a partnership with SciTech in Aurora. Visiting artist program. Sculpture Park- Bill McGrath has taken a lead on this. Buzz is looking at sites throughout the city- Park District, Austin, identified a contact at Siemens. Steve thinks we should have a sub committee to support it since the city is interested in it.

Buzz says there is 10 paintings that are in storage on the 3rd floor. Use them as a kick off to get sponsors to hang them up. Any one willing to support the committee? Christine & Steve

Dani is having a difficulty in supporting print lab due to lack of interest. Kim gave her an estimate on what we would get on selling the equipment in the Print Lab. The thought to move clay lab into print lab to save $1,800 from rent on the storage area. We pay $150 a month to use the clay lab with BEI. Steve says we should look at the dollars and cents. It makes sense.

Stacey says it’s a good idea; however, there was an initial interests thinks if we promoted it we might be able to generate the interests. One way to differentiate from Fine Line is to have a screen print. Dani will put together the numbers and present to the board in December.

Please come to Artoberfest- Oct 17 

Closed session begins.

Motion to adjourn meeting at- 9:10 AM- Kurt

Second- Buzz


September 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting
September 13, 2017

Present: Steve, Christine, Kurt, Buzz, Richard, Stacey, Dani and Ramon

Meeting Called to order at 7:42 AM

Motion- Steve

Seconded- Ramon 

Minutes from August 8, 2017 were approved

Motion Kurt

Seconded Christine

Treasure’s Report (See Attachments)

Dani and Stacey met with QB for 4 hours.Budget was put in QB and some lines won’t match. Dani recommended that we review the budget and make the adjustments in QB from the approved budget on the spreadsheet. Stacey reviewed the reports. She recommends that we scan the bank statements and email in advance of the meeting.  Kurt states that we don’t need to do that since it will be in QB. Average teacher salaries is $7,000 per quarter. August and September in SOA is challenging to get kids signed up. Dani and Karine will start tracking the ebb and flow of enrollment to decide if it’s worth to fight against the downturn

President’s Report

Board Engagement Meeting- Sunday, Oct 8 start at 9:00 AM

Foundation Search- Denied refunding us because they say we were late on submitting decline notices.  

Executive Director’s Report

Karine’s 1 year Review hasn’t been scheduled yet. Kurt said that Karine is under Dani’s authority.

Steve says that we should get a recommendation from Dani on giving Karine a raise.

Sept 21 is Dani’s 2year anniversary and recommends that she has a review with the Board.  

Dani has been calling our monthly subscriptions to see if we can get discounts.

School of Art- some decline in September.

Ripple Effect

Dunham Fund: Karine & Dani are looking at a shorter program with a project that the kids can complete and be able to take home at the end of the program. Kurt is interested to find out how many students that converted from Ripple to SOA. Total enrollment last year: 150 (40 per class which is too much and now have 20 per class) Added a home and private school class and now we are serving 250

Dunham Fund- Received $30,000 which $7,500 is restricted for Nicholson Elementary in Aurora art supplies. Also the Dunham fund will be awarding an additional $1,500 to send the kids here to get them involved. Dani will be meeting with some of the board members from Dunham to put together a naming rights package.

KPI’s: Clay Lab is almost full. Struggle with metal. Over budget with Bar Sales and Individual contribution. Need to work on getting more event rental sales. Steve recommends getting with Wedding Planners and Caterers. Richard recommends that we promote it at the next opening

Kim Romaro update

Project Fusion budget of $4,000 was met! We need to continue raising funds.  Dani requests that the board send the flier out to 5 people to sponsor the event. Steve asked that we get a list of current donors so we don’t send to the same people. Ramon asked what the deadline is to get the sponsorship in so they get the name/logo placement? Christine is asking Sabrina.Stacey is asking for people who we want to invite so we can send out invitations. Deadline for that is Sept 25. Stacey is asking if Mask Sales should be taxed since it goes toward fund raising. Steve is making a call to ask about donations vs that we buy. Dani believes the board should eat the sales tax that we didn’t collect on the purchased portion of the mask. Stacey hoping that the South Classroom will be revamped for extra room for retail art sales. Gallery opening before Project Fusion: Should we have one since most of the art will be covered. Christine and Steve says we should have one with gallery sales for next day. Request for volunteer for decorating.

Trying to to determine the flooring near the coming into the board room. Buzz spoke with a couple of contractors last year and the cost was prohibitive at that time.  

BAC Grant- We won. Added $1,000 will be receiving at the Live Art Series.

Live Art Series- will be using Event Brite with a $5 ticket to help get commitment from attenders. 

Winterfest: Kathy will be stepping down as committee chair next year. Looking for a new committee chair to attend this year’s event so they will be up and running for next year.  

Please share the promotional videos on social media. They have been very successful such as the anniversary show reached 8,000 views!

Old business - Dani

Wheelchair lift needs to be inspected and it can’t be used until it is.  

Stakeholder’s Meeting- September 18

Dani will be doing a short presentation so we can get pledges. She requests that we say the same things because there will be a call to action.  55 RSVPs so far.  

New Business - Dani

Giving Tuesday- Nov 28 (Guardian of the Gallery) $10,000 goal. Dani peer to peer fundraising. Pledge forms to set their own goals. Board to help secure pledges. She is also trying to find matching grants.

Dani was invited to a Forefront Conference in October.

Dani was voted 40 under 40! September 20th is the event. Do we want to sponsor a table?

Richard was invited to speak at the National Arts Society and promoted WSS.

Closed session begins.

August 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studio Board Meeting
August 8, 2017

Board Members Present: Steve, Buzz, Stacey, Richard, Dani, Ramon, Christine, Kurt

Meeting call to Order- 7:45 by Steve


Motion to accept-Kurt

Second to accept- Buzz

Treasures Report- Dani

Treasurer’s Report Approved

Motion to approve- Christine

Seconded to approve- Kurt

Include treasure’s report and minutes with current board minutes.

President’s report:

Steve- Received letter from law firm indicating that we are exempt from taxes on the revenue from Event Rentals. Beer is donated so we shouldn’t be taxed on the revenue. We need to have a level of documentation to support the reason for reimbursement. Accounting Course for Dani and Stacey.Dani has spending authority up to $1,000 so she doesn’t need board approval.

Board Engagement Meeting- Sunday, October 8 10:00- 1:00PM Party afterwards

Executive Director’s Report

Waiting on the State for permit for the wheelchair. Anniversary Show would be a good target to be completed. Two new Resident Artists- Maribeth Coffey-Sears & Jessica Gordon

Summary of Insurance- Fine Arts- $100,000 up to $10,000 per piece

SOA Outreach Report- Nothing new to report. Registrations

Working on possibly changing the name of the school with Karine.Water Street Art Education


The Dunham Fund- They are meeting today to approve grants. The remaining amount goes to General Operating Account.

New website going live by end of the week.  

No information on Foundation Search

Update on Project Fusion numbers- Big increase from last year: Gallery $19,720 this is our 50%. Artists Consignments $8,751. $3,500 in sponsorships

Gallery- Partnering with Kiss the Sky for music during openings

Anniversary Show- Golden Birthday September 8

Bulldogs Unleashed during gallery opening

Marketing - Dani

Both/And Pictures- Videos are becoming very impactful and effective. Estimate $2,350 need Board Approval

Motion to approve- Christine

Seconded to approve- Kurt  Approved!

Marketing Intern request to Northern IL

Old Business - Dani

Steve recommends a semi-annual review for bonus and a pay increase in 6 months for Karine. Christine recommends that we review the budget with adjustments for bonuses. Dani recommends that we should review it at the end of the quarter. Dani expressed possibly taking a break on the Live Art Series in September. Steve and Kurt mentioned that if it’s based on money as the reason not to worry because we get a significant return on them. Dani and Jaime recommends a committee for the Live Art Series. Board thinks it’s a good idea. Paint & Sip in conjunction with September’s opening (2nd Friday’s). Targeting 10-12 people. Students over 21 can go to the bar & purchase drinks

New Business - Dani

Giving Tuesday is November 28th. Dani propose using team captains for raising X amount of dollars. Wendy and Steve are meeting to put on a music festival in Batavia. They want Water Street Studios to be a part. Artist workshop- October 14 10:30 AM Buzz requested approval to start a committee about the sculpture park. Board approved his request. Allison from Park District says board of park district is concerned with vandalism, insurance and up keep. Kurt asked if we can reach out to the city about a new sign on Wilson street to replace the small brown sign on Wilson St.

Motion to adjourn- Kurt

Seconded - Christine

Meeting Closed- 9:10

July 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

Water Street Studios Board Meeting Minutes
Wednesday July 14, 2017 7:30 am

Meeting Called to Order: 7:39am

June Meeting Minutes and Special June Meeting Minutes Approved

Treasurer’s report

Presidents report

Taxes: Steve to engage Baker & McKenzie for pro-bono counsel – Buzz moved, Richard seconded, All in favor.

Executive Director’s Report

General/Administrative: New Security System is installed-video surveillance installed and existing key cards still valid for this system. Wheelchair lift installation and ribbon cutting postponed due to State red tape. New target date for lift install and ribbon cutting is September 8th gallery opening

School of Art/Art Flow/Ripple Effect/Outreach Report:
Outlined in Karine’s July report


Reviewed Dani’s Funding Needs list and KPI list (see end of document). Blues and Roots netted $2,500, which was weaker than expected due to lack of anticipated sponsorships. Eight declines for funding from foundations recommended by Foundation Search will be sent out to FS which will entitle WSS to a full subscription fee refund. Batavia Arts Council event at Steve’s House is scheduled for September 17th. William Blair’s matching gift, arranged by Stacey has been processed.


More downtown Batavia businesses  are now participating in 2nd Fridays which will hopefully mean a lift in attendance for WSS gallery openings. In lieu of entry fees for the September Anniversary Show, we are inviting applicants to sign up for membership. December’s Winterfest event will be using temporary floating walls along the north-side stone wall in the Dempsey gallery instead of building any temporary or semi-permanent structures to make up for display space that will be taken up by the new wheelchair lift. Use of KCC gallery for this purpose will also be considered.


Dani, Karine, and Lori have been building a new website using the SquareSpace platform and template and it has been progressing quite well with a target launch of mid August. Brooke took a full-time position and is no longer volunteering or interning in the Fall at WSS and we are looking for recommendations for marketing help

Old Business

Board Engagement Meeting-Charlene and Julie will be setting up a three hour meeting for board members training. This could be funded by a Technology Assistance Grant from the Donnelly Foundation.

New Business

All board members are encouraged to “like” and share ingoing event and program notices

No CIA meeting was needed

Funding Needs