Economic and Cultural Development Grants - Continued From 3/7/01
March 8, 2001, 7:00pm
City Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street
Present: Regina Stepahin, David Williams, Cate Hartzell, John Morrison.
Absent: Alan DeBoer, David Fine.
Others: Citizenís Committee Representative Russ Silbiger
Staff: Lee Tuneberg, Kirsten Bakke
CALL TO ORDER
Russ Silbiger called the meeting to order at 7:02pm.
Tuneberg opened the meeting saying it was a continuation of last nights Economic and Cultural Grant Presentation. He talked about the table he circulated regarding proposed grant allocations. He addressed Williamsí concern about granting to those organizations not qualified as a 501c3, and Fineís request to have a copy of the guidelines for grants. Tuneberg read Resolution #27, Paragraph 4, Item C, A grantee is to be a 501c3. Tuneberg said he looked at the past history and we had previously given grants to those who had applied for 501c3-status contingent upon acceptance of non-profit status. Williams summed up that grants could be offered to anyone who has a bonafied application for a non-profit status. Tuneberg said he talked to Paul Nolte and confirmed this, similarly to what was done with Kudos! Williams said it was consistent with Marty Levineís advice. Williams said that leaves us with the Ashland Writerís Conference as the only applicant who doesnít have a non-profit status or an application. Hartzell proposed if we grant money it can only be received contingent on their non-profit status. Hartzell asked if the application went out with a requirement for 501c3. Hartzell requested that we have a cover letter that says grants are only available for non-profit organizations. Silbiger said that item 9 on the grant application states that 501c3 status is required. Morrison said that he liked that the Ashland Writerís Conference was the only organization that dealt with literature. So its an opportunity to broaden the base. Hartzell said to give the benefit of the doubt put the stipulation on it and if its not met we have money for next year. Stepahin didnít recall that 501c3 requirements were violated in the past. Hartzell said that the government takes a casual approach to non-profit status. Williams motioned to vote regarding Resolution #27 that Grantee shall be a non-profit 501c3 status. Regina seconded that motion. Hartzell opposed. Everyone else Ayes.
Hartzell talked about the median numbers on the table Tuneberg had handed out. She said to start with the median and come to an agreement. Williams compared the request with each agency with there budgeted income. For example SOWAC depends on grants for 25% on annual income. Ballet depended on 70% of annual income. He talked about dependency. Morrison liked the high low mean and said that it was within $50 of average. Morrison made a motion to take that median number because it was in the ballpark of the collective view. Hartzell had a lot of opposition to that, she doesnít see reflected the importance of small business startup. She said it had a direct impact on growing business priority. Silbiger suggested going through line by lines using the median as base point to discuss grant allocations. It was agreed that it was a good starting point.
Stepahin was impressed with their willingness to work with the schools. She proposed $2500 because it was half of what was requested. Hartzell said that this was one situation where they went out into the schools. Giving technical assistance was really admirable. Williams liked their programming and allocated $3,000 based on history. Silbiger said it was more of an educational thing, saw more money going to the schools rather than what he considers economic and cultural. Hartzell asked for clarification. Silbiger said he was looking at things fresh not just the history. Morrison allocated $2,500, he said he looked at past history, merit, number of other applicants, and he looked at figure requested and cut it in half. Stepahin prefaced that she liked collaboration and partnering with other interests. Impressed with the use of other resources. Hartzell said that she saw Economic Development differently than Silbiger. Hartzell wanted to raise it to $3,000. All agreed on $3,000.
Ashland Community Theatre
Morrison said comfortable with $4,000, for the good use of a sound system, and curtains. All agreed on $4,000.
Ashland Gallery Association
Silbiger said they should be self-sufficient. Williams said important Economic Development activity. Hartzell wrestled last year with some galleries not on first Friday map. She was concerned about the number of galleries in town. Williams said the galleries were valuable for the community. Hartzell said its a business association paying advertising budget for high-end wares. Morrison fell in the middle and agrees with everything said, high-end businesses do we want to subsidize. Williams said its not private business but more of an association. Hartzell said we come back to this to draw money. Williams said it promotes jobs for citizens whether or not theyíre effective.
Morrison said he would support $2,500 instead of $3,000. All agreed on $2,500.
Hartzell said historically that Ballet Rogue was one with alternatives, in order for the Ballet to compete, it needs to be more responsive. Morrison said program is reasonably established. Organization was not showing self-sufficiency. Stepahin said she would not object to cutting it. Williams said its part of Ashland. He said in their defense they depend on us for 70% of their budget, and we donít allow them to sell tickets in the park. Ballet in the Park was a bargain for an eveningís entertainment. Hartzell said they could take Monday night ballet to a different venue and charge for the performance. Flip side anybody who uses venue of park can get an audience. Give others the opportunity for Monday night in the park venue. Williams said there were nice testimonials included in the grant application. Silbiger proposed $4,000. Morrison in favor of allocating $5,500. He said based on their history it would send them a message if they were granted between $5,000 and $6,000. Morrison concerned that a lower amount could be crippling. Hartzell said we have given them messages in the past. Silbiger said $5,000 was high for Fine. All agreed on $5,000.
Martha Field stepped forward and asked to comment. She presented last year for Ballet Rogue and said they were trying to make changes. Without being able to collect donations in the park they canít do anything else. Field said after 16 years people look forward to the tradition of Ballet in the Park. She asked the subcommittee to reconsider the amount of their proposed allocation. Merchants stay open until afterward and profit from the Monday night venue. She said that the grant money went to pay salaries, crew to move the special floor, etc. They supported a lot of local talent and principal dancers from other parts of country.
Williams agrees that a lot of people would be disappointed if they were only 2 or 3 Mondays during summer. Field said they donít make a profit and their organization only benefits the City of Ashland. Silbiger suggested that a lot of other worthy organizations could use the opportunity of the Monday night in the park venue. Hartzell willing to consider options to be pursued. All confirmed agreement of $5,000.
Williams willing to compromise. Not as strong as other performing arts and summer evening things. Morrison suggested $2,000. All Agreed on $2,000.
Morrison looking for new opportunities like starter galleries. He said he would rather not use grant money for awning. Williams asked if they could restrict use of grant funds for awning. Hartzell asked if different than a website or radio spots. Morrison said an awning is a sign. Stepahin didnít like the landlord getting money for awning, and $2,000 is generous for a startup. Morrison saw a personal commitment with the organization. Williams wondered about viability. All agreed on $1,750.
Williams said the impact of the grant was small in terms of percentage of income. Williams says its a worthwhile organization but doesnít want to support opera in White City. All agreed on $3,250.
Rogue Valley Symphony
Williams said could be cut in terms of City of Ashland. Hartzell small portion of budget but they operate out of Ashland and are valuable to the community. Better program this year. All agree on $4,000.
Hartzell said low participation from members. Stepahin added up music costs and proposed $2,700. Williams sings with them and they charge for each term. They all pay for own music. Williams said the community supports them, the members themselves support them, and they have great programs for young people. Expose youth to opportunity to bring children to new performance. Morrison was lowest. Hartzell asked how many performances this year. 6 plus Feast of Tribe of Will, an adjunct to festival and Christmas parade. All agreed on $2,000.
Southern Oregon Economic Coalition (Emigrant Lake Powwow)
Morrison in favor of outside the pattern grants. Williams said what their doing was worth while, but didnít find proposal persuasive. He didnít like the idea that Jackson County Parks made money on their events. All agreed on $3,000.
Southern Oregon Film Society
Silbiger said the organization was new and artistic. He thinks it will be self-sufficient within a year, and was a good example of what these grants were for. Stepahin concurred with Silbiger. She said this organization was right on track and had potential. Morrison agrees with the analysis, likes organizations potential and tried to stay at the 50% level. Williams said the Film Society was a benefit to the community and a major attraction for the festivals. Hartzell proposed $5,000 since they hadnít talked about SOWAC yet. Hartzell concerned about diversification of funds. All agreed on $5,000.
Hartzell said there are only two organizations geared to Economic Development, the Arts Council & SOWAC. Teaching people to run a business. Businesses in town got start there. Wants investment in businesses that will sustain us if gas goes up. Morrison not impressed by program, doubts efficacy, but willing to go with $7,500. Hartzell said $7,000. Williams struck by program not very dependent on Ashland City government City of Medford gives $7,500 to them, Ashland doing more than its share. Likes what they do. Hartzell what does it matter what Medford is doing if our students are going there. Williams examined the need. Hartzell looking at the value of the service. All agreed on $7,000
Morrison likes program and opportunity for kids. Hartzell agreed with charging tuition, scholarships. All agreed on $3,250.
All allocations added up to $45,750, $250 under the $46,000 total grants money available. Hartzell said one strategy was to give the $250 to Nuwandart to bring them to $2,000. All agreed on adding the $250 to Nuwandart bringing their proposed grant to $2,000.
Hartzell recommended the grant application form be changed for next year and where possible applications are double sided. Stepahin agreed. Hartzell requested a program budget from each organization and a report specifying how previous yearís grants were spent. Also, a cover letter clearly stating that the applicants need to be a 501c3. Hartzell requested that grants be better advertised. She commented that the presence of Doreen Wood during the entire meeting was powerful for the Southern Oregon Film Society. Williams said most applicants did not receive half of the funds requested. Morrison complemented Tuneberg on presentation of materials. He said they were easy to read in terms of organization.
ALLOCATION AMOUNTS PROPOSED TO THE FULL BUDGET COMMITTEE
Siskiyou Singers $2,000
Ashland Gallery Association $2,500
Ashland Community Theatre $4,000
Southern Oregon Film Society $5,000
Rogue Valley Symphony $4,000
Arts Council of Southern Oregon $3,000
Rogue Opera $3,250
Ballet Rogue $5,000
Youth Symphony of Oregon $3,250
Southern Oregon Economic Coalition $3,000
Horizon Institute $2,000
St. Clair Productions
Ashland Writerís Conference
Stepahin moved to recommend allocations to the Full Budget Committee, Hartzell seconded. ALL AYES. Motion passed.
Silbiger motioned to adjourn. Stepahin seconded. ALL AYES. Meeting adjourned at 9:07pm.
Respectfully submitted by Kirsten Bakke, Administrative Assistant