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