Agendas and Minutes

Citizens' Budget Committee (View All)

Economic and Cultural Grant Presentations

Minutes
Wednesday, April 07, 2010

 

 

 

 Economic and Cultural Grant Presentations

MINUTES

April 7, 2010, 6:00 PM –Presentations from Applicants

 April 8, 2010, 6:00 PM-Proposed Allocations determined by Committee

Civic Center, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

 

CALL TO ORDER 

 

The Citizen’s Budget Subcommittee meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm on April 7, 2010 in Council Chambers at 1175 East Main Street, Ashland Oregon.

 

ROLL CALL     

 

Mayor Stromberg was present.  Committee members Baldwin, Chapman, Everson, Jackson, Lemhouse, Silbiger, Thompson and Voisin were present.

 

 STAFF PRESENT:    LEE TUNEBERG, ADMINISTRATION 

                                       SERVICES/FINANCE DIRECTOR

                                       BRYN MORRISON, ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE

                                       MELISSA HUHTALA, ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY

 

ELECTION OF A CHAIR    

 

Thompson/Lemhouse ms Everson as chair.  All Ayes.

 

STAFF REPORT

 

Ms. Morrison spoke to the memo regarding the late grant application.  The Organization asked to turn in their application late due to oversight of dates.  The City’s legal department advised the organization to fill out an appeal.  Also given to the Committee was a letter from Martha stating the results of the appeal (see attached).  The appeal was granted based on the fact that other late applications have been accepted.  At this time resolution 2010-06 does not state that late applications will not be accepted so the Committee will have to make a recommendation to Council to get this resolved for future. 

 

The Committee discussed the deadline.  Committee member Voisin stated her concern because she knew of others that would of wanted to submit had they known they could appeal.  Committee member Silbiger stated that the deadline is very clear we need to make it clear in future.  Thompson stated it would wreak havoc at this point to allow others to appeal.  Mr. Tuneberg stated that believes this should be addressed for those that are late and also for those who are incomplete.  It is crucial to staff.  The Committee had unanimous consent to issue a recommendation to Council to not accept late or incomplete applications in the future.    

 

The Committee decided to give each organization three minutes to present and one minute for questions.

 

Committee member Thompson serves on the board of directors of the Rogue Symphony and stated she will have no participation in any deliberations concerning Rogue Symphony allocation.  Committee member Baldwin serves as board of directors to Siskiyou Singers and will not be participating in deliberations regarding Siskiyou Singers allocation. 

 

Mr. Tuneberg explained that there is a new part in this sustainability which Resolution 2010-06 states that it requires at least $12,500 is granted.  When the Committee gets to the point to allocate money based on sustainability it is important to be very specific. 

 

PRESENTATIONS: In order of receipt.

 

St. Clair Productions-They thanked the City of Ashland for the continued support for the past years.  The Blues Festival has been going for 10 years and eclectic music and more series has been going for 14 years.  For the last 14 years they have become part of the cultural climate in Ashland.  They have a variety of talents, and are family oriented.  Many workshops have been added in the series, and have added school performances to the mixture.  Currently they are working on several shows. 

 

Ms. Everson questioned the income exceeding expenses.   St. Clair Productions answered that they are projecting an income surplus depending on economy.  Ms. Voisin questioned if they had heard from other grants applied to. They answered yes they have received $2500 from the Private Foundation and will not know about the two Tour West grants until June.  Mayor Stromberg questioned whether or not they would do the Blues Festival if they do not receive the full $15,000.  They answered probably not but will be doing the rest of the season.

 

Ashland Independent Film Festival-Tom Ulbrich thanked the Committee.  The Film Festival received a grant 9 Years ago from the City of Ashland Committee and has since then continued on to make it all possible.  The association is all year round.  They have education programs with southern Oregon University and the local high schools, and launch student film competition are all year round cultural impacts on the area.  On the tourism area Tom stated that people are coming in and it’s working.  This is a great program to continue. 

 

The Committee questioned if they are recovering more cost in ticket prices.  Tom answered that last year leveled out to the prior year.  Next year they will need to look at a ticket price increase.  The Ticket prices have stayed the same for several years to keep it affordable.  He stated that about 20% budget is from ticket sales. 

 

Ballet Rogue- Bob Cole spoke to Ballet Rogue.  He thanked the Committee for supporting them for the last 25 years.  They have new artistic director coming on board this year.  There are two professional performances a year the Nutcracker and Ballet in park.  There will be three performances which are on July 11th, 18th, and 25th starting at 6:00 pm.  They generally have from 500-600 viewers. 

 

Mr. Lemhouse questioned if the money that was allocated last year was in fact used for a new floor.  They answered yes.   Ms. Voisin questioned if they have applied for other grants.  They stated that they will be applying for a carpenter grant and that there are supporters that give X number of dollars to do ballet in the park.  Ms. Voisin questioned if the board contributes in terms of revenue for the organization.  They answered no nothing other then time. 

 

Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute-The Permaculture Institute is an educational demonstration sustainability center.  This year they are offering courses on the Permaculture design for the community.  The courses they have to offer include how to build and sustain the community, pruning, propagation, seed saving and processing, green home design and self sustaining food gardens.  They offer tours internships and workshops.   If they put together an ad campaign they will have impressions for 560,000 people for events and education within Ashland.   Permaculture is great to educate the local community on how to be more self reliant and the courses listed are not taught by out of town people they are all locals. 

 

Ms. Thompson questioned when they got their 501 c3 and if it was finalized.  They answered that it is in for submission and review.  Mr. Baldwin questioned the marketing campaign what kind of yield they will get out of it.  They answered that in the first year have had many applications Internships and have had many people sign up for classes.  They anticipate that they won’t have to come back for grant monies after this year. 

 

Thrive-They would like the city’s support for their economic development programs including the new Buy Local Buy Rogue campaign and their Local Food Guide Book.  Their work falls under two categories: community education and outreach, as well as business work to rebuild infrastructure.  For now in the economic climate they are committed at keeping cost low their fees are $75 for farms and start ups and $250 for larger businesses.  Currently have 106 Rogue Flavor business members and 21 Buy Local Buy Rogue members.  The reason they don’t list their activities under the category of sustainability is because Thrives work is to create models for sustainable economic development. 

 

Imagine Project-The Imagine Project is an Ashland Historical audio tour.    There are Historical sights all over town and at the moment there are no ways to share this with the public.  The Imagine project created tours for the people.  Each tour is about an hour.  By using the navigator people can go at their own speed.  You can pick up a tour at Ashland Springs Hotel.  This is a non-profit organization.

 

Ms. Jackson questioned what the charge is for the tour.    Currently the charge is $7 dollars and they will have a special family service and off season rates.  The small charge can keep the program going and will cover reprinting and updating tours.  Mr. Baldwin questioned the response to the tours.  There has been a very good response.  They have evaluation forms and they were very well received by the 150 people that have taken a tour. 

 

ScienceWorks-In the past 8 years ScienceWorks has entertained and educated 300,000 visitors from all 50 states.  In 2009, 8000 visits were from tourists coming from beyond 50 miles.  They serve infants to 99 year olds; they design and build exhibits that are sold all over the world.  Science intrigues children before entering middle school.  They stated that without city grant assistance ScienceWorks would be a lesser experience.  Last year they cut expenses by $130,000 but rallied and did more with less, their attendance increased they created new programs and ended the year in the black.  City funds helped them to host NASA to record attendance, create a preschool family network which now has 250 families participating, develop a girls after school engineering club and host earth week which is a 6 day even. 

 

Ms. Voisin questioned where their contributed income of $188,000 comes from.  It comes from a combination of individual and private donations.  Ms. Voisin asked if they spend money to raise money.  They have staff and volunteers that go out and help with the grant process and do private fund raising.  The board contributes anywhere from $25,000-$50,000. 

 

Ashland Gallery Association-They thanked the Committee for past support and hopefully continued support.  The City funds really help them to meet their objectives each year.  Their mission is to be a champion of visual arts in Ashland.  And specific objectives are to boost Ashland’s economy and enhance cultural offerings of the town as well as bring in tourists.  They have First Friday every month.  Annually they have A Taste of Ashland which brings in hundreds of people to see the town, art, food and wine.  Publications also go out and a First Friday map.  Some of their recent successes are Elder Hostile trips which are based around A Taste of Ashland and were sold out this year.  They also increased their individual artist membership by over 100%. 

 

Mayor Stromberg questioned the only revenue listed as CDBG funds.  It was just listed wrong.  Mr. Silbiger stated that for next year for applicants to be aware that revenues are not supposed to be listed in the CDBG fund. 

 

Dancing People Company-They are a local homegrown professional dance company, the only professional dance company in Southern Oregon.  They have hired dancers professionally to order to come here.  In the last 4 years they managed to bring 4 individuals in who are paid on contract for 20 weeks a year.  The company focuses on creating and performing professional work as well as focus on education.  The Winter Solstice performance has 65 singers, dancers and songwriters from the community.  They also have a Salon Series performance in the spring which educates the community on Modern Dance.  They have 3 High School residency projects per year.  Part of their education program is their school in Ashland.  People of all ages go to the studio.  The studio also provides the space for other dance groups to rent.

 

This year they are applying for the Winter Solstice Program which has grown every year.  Last year ticket revenues were up by 20% for the Winter Solstice.  A total of 800 people saw the show. 

 

Ms. Jackson questioned if the $15 ticket price for the Winter Solstice is for the whole series or one of the dates.  It is for one of the dates, and they also have a $13 matinee.  Ms. Voisin questioned if they applied for other grants.  Yes, for Winter Solstice they applied to the Oregon Arts Commission and received $3,200.  For the salon they applied to NEA for $10,000 which is pending. 

 

Ashland Historic Railroad Museum-They are a 501 c3 non profit volunteer operated museum located in Ashland’s historical district.  The museum was founded by a group of dedicated historians, writers, artists and business people who believed that Ashland deserved a historical museum.  The board felt the museum should be a railroad institute.  They feel that a railroad museum will attract a larger more diverse group of visitors not only Ashland’s Shakespeare tourists but locals and rail fans.  The typical rail fan is well educated.  Since doors opened on December 17, 2007 they have attracted 5800 visitors with little advertising, 23% of those are from 50 miles away or more.  They are asking for grant to draw visitors to the City of Ashland by upgrading their webpage and producing and distributing a new brochure.

 

Mr. Lemhouse questioned that they have not applied from the City before.  No, they are a fairly new non profit.  Ms. Voisin questioned how much of the contributions and gifts in their income come from the board.  The board contributes 50%.  Ms. Thompson questioned why the amount they are requesting is more then their total income last year and questioned what their plans are to sustain the museum outside the support of the City of Ashland. They are looking for other grants and initiate a membership program to pay for operating costs as well as a number of other sources of funding.  Their long term vision is would like to purchase the old railroad depot to create a 3000 square foot museum within a 5 year range. 

 

Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon (YSSO) -They thanked the City of Ashland for its long time support.  This is the 22nd year for the YSSO.  This year they have 150 students from throughout the area, 69 of those students are from the Ashland area. Next year there will be 3 more Ashland students who will be featured as soloists.  YSSO is led by a volunteer board of 16 community members.  They are working with a number of volunteers throughout the Rogue Valley.  The low cost of their concerts offer a lot of opportunity for people that wouldn’t be able to listen to otherwise. 

 

Mayor Stromberg questioned the category in revenue for tuition and partial scholarships.  He questioned if these categories meant they charge students for to play in the Youth Symphony.  The policy of YSSO is that all qualified students may participate. They have an entry level group, intermediate level ensemble orchestra, and an advanced symphony.  If a student is unable to pay tuition or partial tuition they are still allowed to participate but they do charge tuition for the whole year.  They also seek funding from private organizations.

 

Ms. Voisin questioned what other grants they have applied for.  They have applied for Avista, Carpenter Funding Foundation, US Bank Foundation, Ashland Rotary Community Support Foundation as well as a whole list for the fall.  This year they are very successful in receiving grants this year. 

 

Siskiyou Singers-They have been Ashland’s community choir for 28 years.  They have 4-8 concerts a year which are held in the SOU concert hall as well as local events.  Two years ago they started a school outreach program and since then they have done 10 concerts free of charge for local schools.  Most singers are Ashland residents.  The registration fee for singers is $35 a term.  There are scholarships available for those who meet the audition.  Tickets prices are $5 for students $15 for adults.  A grant from the City would allow them to achieve three goals that they couldn’t do otherwise.  First goal is to have a special concert next December.  Second, would like to resume the school outreach program.   Third, they need storage unit.

 

Ms. Thompson questioned the fees that are charged to singers.  Amateur groups are charged $35 a term a term is 6 months two terms per year one in the fall and one in the spring. The fee went up $5 a term last fall. 

 

Southern Oregon Repertory Singers - They stated their appreciation for the support of the Committee.  They have managed to hold their attendance steady due to doing outreach in the community and by changing their venue in Medford this year as a result they sold out their Medford and Ashland event.  The next event is coming up on April 16-17 and they are looking forward to a successful turnout.  Next year they will be celebrating their 25th year and plan to have 3 Mozart concerts as well as a lot of changes for next year.

 

Mr. Lemhouse questioned how many events are in Ashland.  There will be 3 Mozart concerts and another 3-4 events in Ashland next year. 

 

RV Symphony Association- They spoke to being in a time of transition.  The final concert of this season will be at the end of April.  After this last serious they plan to meet the first week of May to go through each of the finalists to choose a conductor.  Two projects being worked on; one is a free concert in Lithia Park in September and another even is a Monday evening chamber salon series. 

 

Peace House-They are looking to put on a Bike Town Camp.  The focus is to find ways to help children to understand complexity of life.  They want to teach kids capture creativity and understand whole system.  The model that best shows whole system is permaculture which is principles based on observing nature.  Bikes would be great for kids because they learn best when having fun.  They want to create a camp where they can explore, have fun and learn about re-localization.  A way to create whole systems lenses kids can look through.  The plan is to have the kids build a bike town using recycled materials, studying how to design bikes and look at how this impacts their life.

 

Ms. Jackson questioned how many students are expected and how long.  Its one week pilot program with 20 kids maximum.

 

Transition Town Ashland /Peace House-Their grant proposal is for the Ashland sustainability Micro Grant Program.   They are a new organization 1.5 years.  Peace house is there partner.  Their mission is to work with local community to plan for a future with lower energy resources.  Everything done is about education not like classes and presentations but demonstration projects.  The Micro Grant program is intended to work as an incubator to bring in several hundred members.

 

Mr. Baldwin questioned how many grants they expect to have.  They would give between 3-8 grants giving a couple thousand dollars for each. 

 

Rogue Valley Farm to School-They are asking for support to broaden some programs to include doing more work to connect families and children to where their food comes from by using farm field trips, gardens, and outreach materials.  They would like to help increase participation in school lunch to benefit local economy and help local farmers increase market opportunities.  They will reach out to parents and schools through their website to inform locals about food programs and how they can engage in the local food system. 

 

Rogue Farm Corps-They are a small educational non-profit with a mission of training the next generation of farmers.  They have a program called Farms Next which is an internship training program for beginning farmers.  The interns live and work on a host farm.  2-3 times a month rogue farm core organizes a class and tour on each of those farms.  It is a 30 module training curriculum that they conduct over the course over 15 class days.  Classes are taught by farmers and other agricultural professionals.  It is important to grow new farmers the average farmer today is 57 years old. 

 

Ms. Jackson- Questioned the relationship with the OSU program.  They work in collaboration with OSU as a peer relationship.  They have programs that are designed for existing farmers but Rogue Farm Corps is a more geared towards young people with zero experience.  Ms. Voisin questioned how many internships they have.  For this season 16 people have already signed up and are expecting 5-6 more. They are paid interns.  The grant money funds would be used to help with expansion. 

 

Rogue Opera-Stated how fortunate they are to have the City support them over the last few years.  They are asking for grant money to continue the opera in the school program which is over 20 years old and they have served 240,000 students in the program during that time.  This coming year they will support another 8000 students in Southern Oregon and hope $3000 of the grant money will provide between 4-6 schools in the City of Ashland.  The other programs that they working on is the Ticket for Youth Program to provide some free tickets for students who are under privileged and would like to attend productions. They are also looking to do a new pilot program called Opera in the Streets which is the newest outreach program.  They also have Opera for seniors which have been very successful.

 

Siskiyou Violins-Absent.

 

Ashland Community Theater-They have a new board president.  Next year will be ACT’s 20th year.  They will be performing a show called Aleria.  The thanked the Committee for the grant received last year.  This year they are asking for grant money to perform Aleria (played music). 

 

Lithia Arts Guild- Innovation begins with the creative process.  Through festivals and events they are able to serve every aspect of the community while highlighting the broad spectrum of creative pursuits the Art Wing supports.  Art wing residents and local non profits provide projects for the kids local musicians and enrich the sprits of the festival.  Events are a life line for the Art Wing and the Ashland school district.  As Art Wing enters its 6th year the project has reached beyond the scope of a volunteer staff for the first time they are asking for help for administration, operations and building maintenance. 

 

Mr. Lemhouse questioned what the $6000 that was allotted last year used for.  It was used for festivals that they do, primarily entertainment directly into the festivals.  Ms. Everson questioned if they are a 501 c3.  They answered yes.

 

Web Spirit Community Foundation – They are an Internet system with information management systems.  They discussed the importance of learning on the internet.  Comprehensive resource database system is an online localized resource and communication hub which increases efficiency and decreases redundancy. 

 

Ms. Jackson questioned how the information they develop will connect into the current emergency response systems.  They will link in other organizations that do emergency response systems. 

 

Disabled United in Direct Empowerment (DUDE) - This is their first application to the city for a grant.  DUDE is the only advocacy group in this area that represents people with disabilities (seniors as well) stats show that 4000 to 5000 people with disabilities are residents of Ashland.  They can go from mile to severe disabilities.  26% of people below the poverty line have a disability.  Since 2004 DUDES mission is to help people with disabilities through education and media production to advocate for quality of life and economic stability.  DUDE was formed in 2003 to find a solution for department of human services (DHS) budget reduction where the department was reclassifying people that had home health care.  They would reclassify them as less disabled without updated information to save budget. DUDE passed a law that people have a right to appeal and that DHS can’t change things without medical evidence.  DUDE also responded to the transportation budget crunch when route 4 was taken out which was the route that went to all hospitals and medical facilities. 

 

Mr. Lemhouse questioned if they applied for a social grant. No.

 

Ashland New Plays Festival- They stated that 75 years ago an organization was born here in Ashland which has redefined the City which is Oregon Shakespeare Festival an organization devoted to the presentation of plays.  The heart of these plays belongs to the writer and the writer is what the Ashland New Plays Festival encourages and supports.  They are trying to raise money with fund raisers to put on the play “Death of a Salesman.”  They have a hard working board of directors and local young writers.  They have worked with both SOU and the local high school.  They have a national outreach of 40 readers who read 200 plays a year from 27 different states. 

 

TBL 21 (Triple Bottom Line for 21st Century) TBL stands for social equity, environmental health and economic prosperity.  There are three proposed programs that would greatly enhance the sustainability of Ashland.  Energy advanced project.  The first project is the energy action pilot project, second a sustainability center business plan, and third, a TBL 21 program development. A website up grade and marketing materials are needed for TBL 21 as well as informational and local events. 

 

Ms. Thompson questioned if they are a 501 c. Yes. 

 

Klamath Bird Observatory-They want to use birds as a central component of their proposed outreach campaign to build social capital for local stewardship efforts, to diversify tourism opportunities, and to teach the community about the fundamentals of sustainability.  Birding is the fastest growing reaction activity in the Country and it is growing.  Their outreach campaign will be based on sustainability education.  They will use birds to consider the three E’s of sustainability the triple bottom line.  The grant will support further development of the yet to be completed Rogue Umpqua Oregon Birding Trail.  The funds will also be used to develop two Ashland specific products a brochure that outlines self guided birding trips around the area and a birded guide to wine tasting in the Rogue Valley.

 

Ms. Voisin questioned what the proposed $35000 will be used for.  It will be used for campaigns, brochures, public presentations and online presentations and also to contribute to Umpqua Trail.

 

John Muir School Garden Project-Scott Maguire stated that he is a farmer, gardener and teaches classes in sustainable living. Currently he teaches a class at Rogue Community College “Eat Your Yard” two years ago he was one of the founders of the John Muir School Garden.  The garden itself needs a deer fence and irrigation improvements.  They would also like a green house so they could provide winter greens for all of John Muir’s School and a portion of the Middle School.  They are excited to work with the Farms through Schools program. 

 

National Center for Conservation Science and Policy- Their proposal is to launch a first annual practitioner’s conference for climate change readiness.  They have completed three pilot projects in Oregon.  They also have projects underway in California, Oregon, the Rocky Mountain States and the Gulf States.  This year at the conference proposed they are expecting 60 participants all of whom will be outside of Ashland and will stay for 3 days and hope this will become an annual conference. 

 

Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center-They thanked Committee.  They are focused on the signs “the water has so much bacteria don’t touch”  they have had many agencies over to a lot of testing for the presence of bacteria but no one has done supplemental testing to find the source of the bacteria.  Their proposal is to fund supplemental water quality testing in Ashland Creek to find the source and to ultimately stop the pollution problem.  Bacterial levels in Ashland Creek that post health signs isn’t good for tourism, community well being or sustainability goals.   Another issue that they are looking at is storm water pollution.  The second part of their proposal is water pollution reduction education regarding pesticide use.

 

Ms. Jackson questioned if the money would go towards laboratory costs or to staff.  Both, they have volunteer interest but the testing is expensive it is $40 for e coli test and up to $1000 a test to determine if it’s human or animal. 

Much of the budget would be for testing and printing materials.

 

The Ashland Art Center- They thanked Ashland for the help last year they have now been open for a year.  They have 180 artist members and 25 of those artists now rent studio space in their facility.  The Central Art Supply of Medford maintains a satellite store in their facility where artists and students can purchase art supplies.  Other artist services include graphics design, web design and photographic services.  They are seeking another grant to target their creative spaces program which encompasses a full array of education program.  This includes classes and workshops for all ages, career and development workshops for professional artists, working studios with equipment supplies and training provided and mentoring young artists. 

 

DISCUSSION

 

The Committee discussed the differences in requests by the organizations.  Some base their funding on their own personal assessments on need and merit.  Some felt uncomfortable funding for capacity and others had problems funding organizations for start up.   The focus changes each year with the make up of the Committee.  The Committee discussed the appropriateness of funding organizations salaries in the allocation process.  By funding an organization’s salaries the City is putting itself in a long term commitment which is difficult since this is a yearly process.  Some felt they are more comfortable paying for things not people.  Some felt that organizations don’t need things they need people. 

The Committee stated that it is important to keep in mind that the money being allocated is not “their” money and in terms of the allocations its best to think about where the money would be best invested to the right organization.

 

The Committee discussed the process for allocations tomorrow night.  Each member of the Committee is to submit their recommendations to staff via email and a spreadsheet is prepared showing each Committee members allocations and shows the average. The Committee will then discuss the allocations. 

 

The Committee questioned making changes to proposals in terms of how much money goes into each category.  Mr. Tuneberg responded that the Committee could make a change but would need to contact the organization prior.

 

This meeting will be continued on April 8, 2010.

 

ADJOURNMENT

This meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Melissa Huhtala

 

 

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