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