Monday, February 20, 2012

2/18/2012 Meeting notes

16 people attended the first social discussion around the potential use of the fire station as a cultural community center including Mayor Tabke and Councilor Jay Whiting, Amy Mc Garness of River Valley Theater Company, Ryan Koch of Coffee Ta Cream, Kathleen Klehr of the Scott County History Museum,, Judy Vermeulen and Ruth Siefert of the Seniors Club, area artists and citizens.

Discussions revolved around a few central themes:

Who would own the building. - Our city representatives outlined the pros and cons of city ownership of the building. Councilor Whiting believes that it would be definitely easier for the city if the building was not city owned and shared his concerns that the project may not fly if the building is city owned. Later conversations with the members of the seniors club really brought the issue to light as they have been trying for awhile to get a city-owned senior center established. Mayor Tabke believes that the project is more likely to succeed with city ownership, stating that it would be easier to promote if city funded and that there are ways to do this that hold the center not the taxpayers accountable for the operation of the center such as a minimal leasing fee with the group responsible for operating costs. Members of the arts team added that not only would much much of the grant potential disappear without city partnership, but the community aspect as a whole would be minimized, making the center less approachable to the groups it wishes to engage, such as the Native American, latino and Russian communities as well as our seniors and youth. Also at risk, without city involvement may be legacy funds for historic buildings.

Inclusion. - All agreed that the strength of the plan to create a cultural community center in the fire station space is at its strongest when it is fueled by the community and all of its cultures. With Shakopee's first city hall cultural summit on the calendar in March, it will be great to see if a center such as the proposed can be a tool for bringing some of the more insulated area groups together in one space.It was great that we were able to get the input of the Seniors Club. While the group is very focussed on finding a place of their own that meets the needs of their group. They provided a great 'users' perspective for our group. From our discussions, we discovered that regular use groups may wish to have lockable storage or shared office space. It was interesting to note that the group was interested in art classes, but that so far it wasn't clear to them that the center was open to all. Hopefully with a common space like a coffee shop and some direct attention such as Senior Art Month or other culturally focussed programming we can overcome this perception. In the case of area senior men, the seniors representatives were positive about the potential access to woodworking and other tools, noting a lack of programming in the area serving senior men. Mickey Jurewicz, Kathleen Klehr and Steve Snider are beginning outreach to the Russian, latino and tribal groups.

Logistics. - While the group is currently focussed on creating a business plan, it was agreed that the formation of a non-profit arts organization for the area is also needed. There will be separate meeting for this purpose Saturday, February 25th from 10:00 am to Noon again in Mt. Holly. Because of the interest we are getting from artists in Jordan and across the river in Chaska, a Minnesota Valley Arts Association may be in order. Kathleen Klehr, of the Stans Museum, is researching by-laws and establishment of a non-profit.

The group was given access to the fire station for a half hour tour and Q&A. While the goal is to maintain as much of the character of the building, there are some major points of work. ADA work will need to be done around the doors (most too narrow, external doors needing motorized entry) Restrooms will need a major upgrade and the grade of the inside ramp will need to be lessened. Sprinkler systems need to be installed. The roof and windows have been recently repaired. Although the windows are not very thermal. The kitchen would need minor upgrades if used as a resource for the briefing room renters such as family reunion potlucks. If food was to be sold on premises, a commercial upgrade would be in order. Upgrades to a quieter heating system and soundproofing of the lower bay should also be looked into. Parking opportunities are available from rezoning the areas around the station now that it is no longer active Also, we need to look into parking spots. Do they need to be owned or can they be leased / rented. If parking spots can be rented, we should approach St. Marks about their parking lot. Marty Berens, architect, has volunteered to dig into the building a bit more.

We are still looking at the building as a flexible use space. We must think of scaling options that may include sharing the building with other businesses. We must be sensitive to the fact that in these instances, the building upgrades would need to be shared with the other business unless they fell under the arts requirements of the grant organization.

The remaining meeting was focussed on short term (2 week0 tasks and opportunities toward the goal of having a business plan together by the first week of April. A couple larger ideas have popped up the deserve additional thought and will be brought up at a meeting March 3rd from 10:00 am to noon in Mt. Holly.

  1. Knowing that the grant process is slow, what can we do to cover at least the bare costs of keeping the building of the market (min utilities + min insurance) and out of taxpayers' pockets.

Short term tasks available: Please email firestationarts@gmail.com if you can help

Coffee Shop Learning:
- Coffee Ta Cream
- Savage Depot
- Hopkins Depot
- Eden Prairie Dunn Bros

Administrative support:
- Meeting note taker and typist
- Spread sheet keeper
- Contacts
- email handler

Parking:
- Look into parking spots. Do they need to be owned or can they be leased / rented
- If parking spots can be rented, we need to approach St. Marks about their parking lot.
- Zoning updates to the on-street parking now that the station is no longer active.

Alternative / Seed funding
- Brainstorming alternatives
- look into Cub Bagging

Business Plan
- Team of at least 2 to handle the actual creation of plan (Mike Haeg - ?????? - ?????)
- Delivery of plan

Tasks taken:

Cultural outreach:
Youth - Shakopee Art Teachers – Mickey Jurewicz
Youth - Chaska Art Teachers – Mickey Jurewicz
Youth - Jordan Art Teachers – Mickey Jurewicz
Latino – Local connections – Kathleen Klehr
Russian – Area School Interpreter – Mickey Jurewicz
Native American – Tribal contacts – Steve Snider

Art Center / Groups learning:
Bloomington Art Center – Mickey Jurewicz
Edina Arts Center – Kathlen Klehr
Savage Arts Council – Todd Jacobs
Northfield Arts Guild – Todd Jacobs
Orono Art Retail Space (I missed the name) – Amy McGarness
Duluth Art Institute – Jason Huntzinger
Minnetonka Center for The Arts – Jocelyn Jourdan (?)
Franklin Art Space (Brainerd) – Mike HAeg

Rental spaces / Space users learning:
Shakopee Parks & Rec – Sarah Olson
Jackson Town Hall – Sarah Olson
Researching others – Sarah Olson
CoCo - http://cocomsp.com/ - Sarah Olson

Coffee Shop Learning:
Cafe at Minnetonka Center for the Arts – (Jocelyn Jourdan ?)

Building
ADA– Marty Berens
Sprinkler system – Marty Berens
Building general – Marty Berens

Grants / Funds
MRAC – Amy McGarness
NEA grants – Mike Haeg
Forecast – Mike Haeg
Legacy – Kathleen Klehr
McKnight Foundation - (Jason?)
Funds for Planning (?) - (kathleen Klehr ?)

Nonprofit information:
gather sample bylaws – Kathleen Klehr
outline filing process – Kathleen Klehr

Alternative / Seed Funding
Tribal – Steve Snider
Rahr – Steve Snider / Marla Estenson (?)

Digital Spaces
Patch Blogging – Sarah Olson
Blog development – Mike Haeg
Social Spaces – Mike Haeg
Communication – Mike Haeg

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