Monday, March 19, 2012

March 17th Meeting Notes

1. John S. from 1st Avenue Picture Framing spoke to our group about forming and participating in a nonprofit board. As a board-member of both the MN Waterfowl & Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, his efforts have helped pass legislation on several important public funds, including the arts legacy. John mentioned that to access legacy dollars, a group should establish as a nonprofit. He referenced Secretary of State for assistance in compiling documents & the Govenors Office for help with fundraising guidelines. John offered advice on types of board-members needed: accountants, lawyers, etc. John volunteered his talent as an advisor if the group needs assistance. Fundraising ideas John discussed with us:

  • Live & silent auctions
  • Spaghetti dinners
  • Calendars
  • Art classes

2. Guests from the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon South of the River Group attended the meeting. They informed us that Shakopee has the largest amount of military in the 7 city Scott County area. Veteran’s outreach would like to utilize the space for counseling & therapy. They seek a space to provide education & support for military people and their families. They need a place to hold meetings and group-counseling session and are looking for a location where they can provide a safe place to give this type of support to veterans. They like the opportunities that the proposed fire station project could bring to their veterans. They think that the arts component might provide these military people with creative opportunities that they might not have ever thought about doing. In addition, art therapy and music therapy can provide healing and therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD, depression, and suicidal thoughts. These types of therapies are effective for veterans as a means of expression and a means to  find their place in the community after being disconnected from the community while serving.

They stated that are looking for a place that has a non-alcoholic venue for veterans to have a space to meet. The VFW and American Legions are not practical places for providing therapy for veterans because of the alcohol component of these establishments. They are looking for welcoming, safe place for the veterans and their families to meet.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon South of the River Group is a 1-1/2 year old group and has approximately 130 members. They are a non-profit and have held several fundraisers, one partnering with Allina. In addition, they work with the schools and they have met with all the city councils in the area. Their goal is to honor, serve and support all branches of the military from WWII all the way to the present. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon brings staff from the VA to any facility that is chooses to serve the veterans and their families, and it’s fully funded and volunteer led.

They advised the possibility of the fire station group applying for a grant from the VA if it is decided to have the veteran component of the fire station space.

3. Todd discussed his progress on fundraising, echoing the need to establish a non-profit.

4. Mike announced that the group now has a mentor from SCORE who will help the group get establish a working business plan. Kathy mentioned the need to have examples of by-laws, which she has given to Mike to use.

5. The group brainstormed about people that are needed for the board of directors. Positions that are still needed are:

  • Business background member
  • Legal member
  • Financial member
  • Non-profit specialist member

6. The group asked Kathy with the Historical Society to be our fiscal agency, which she accepted.

7. Mike reported that the city council is going to accept RFPs, with a deadline of 4 months to present to the city council.

8. Mike voiced the need to form small committees to accomplish tasks. This will allow members who are unable to attend regular meetings to actively participate.

  • Programming – Marty, Mickey, Jocelyn
  • Connections/Partnerships
  • Marketing – Franklin, Tammy
  • Grants / Fundraising – Todd, Jason, Amy
  • Sponsorships
  • Governance – Kathy, Jocelyn
  • Facilities

9. Marty mentioned that by establishing and solidifying our partnerships with other groups (i.e. Veterans, Seniors, etc) will help with facility use planning.

10. The group also discussed the need to establish our long and short term goals.

11. Kathy suggested building an endowment to prove our sustainability.

12. It was mentioned that an asset of the group and this project is that it is an idea, a concept, and it is open to expansion of other ideas that can be incorporated into the project.

13. A brainstorming session took place to decide the name of the non-profit. A vote was taken and the majority chose River Valley Cooperative Arts as the official non-profit business name. The Fire Station Arts Project will be the first major project of this non-profit group. Mike and Tammy will complete the paperwork to establish the non-profit.

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