Thursday, February 15, 2018

Minutes January 16, 2018

Minutes  January 16, 2018
Marguerite Frongillo
John Wetzel
Victor Gascon
Virginia Winn
Natalie Weston
Dianne Britton
Fred Drusekis

The meeting began by reviewing the minutes of the last meeting (printouts provided as needed) and then formally approving those minutes.

Virginia presented the treasurers report.  We lost a total of $382 dollars in the last year, according to comparing our most recent bank-cash on hand record with the same from a year earlier.  The treasurers report was formally approved.

The mailing list was discussed.  Natalie has agreed to make sure that all board members are on the "big list" that is to be used to mail out dance newsletters to our dance email recipients (when and as such newsletters are available).  We also agreed that we would resume collecting emails, using a combined form that also allows for people to volunteer if they are interested.   

There were no new reimbursement items to deal with.

There were no reports of issues at the last two dances, which went pretty well except that we could have used a few more dancers to meet costs.

Marguerite gave the booking report.  In short, the current season is completely booked, except for one band that has not yet officially confirmed. John then bought up an item that was already on the agenda for later discussion, which was about Connie's email about possibly giving local bands and callers "first dibs" (right of first refusal?) on ALL dance dates. We formally agreed that once the booker supplies the "all available dance dates" list to the local bands and callers (presumably in writing, via an email perhaps?), those entities would have three weeks to get back to the booker with the subset of dates they would be available.  Also, the band or caller would inform the booker of the rankings of date preferences.  For example, Connie might indicate that her band would like to play the May dance as a first choice, the March dance as second choice etc.  This is assuming that bands or callers have some preference, which they may not.  The booker would then use that information to assign the dates preferred by local caller and bands using that information.  After that three weeks, the booker would be free to open all remaining available dates to all comers, local or distant.  We did not discuss or vote on the related issue of increasing the percentage of gigs to reserve for local bands and callers.  In other words, locals would have a three week sign up to gig advantage over out of town folks.

Addendum:  As secretary, I missed or forgot to write down an important additon to the above.  We formally decided to allow each local band three (as opposed to the former two) gigs per season, thus reserving roughly 50% of the contra dance band gigs of our group to local bands.  Also, we asked that local callers (if willing) each do three dances per season.  The idea of all this being to lower our operating costs and try to break even. John Wetzel, secretary.

We may have a possible new board member recruit.  More news on this as it develops....

No one has any new ideas this meeting on recruitment of new dancers and improving dance attendance.

We are still due some money on a pair of speakers.

Victor asked the group to re-approve the spending of between $100 and $150 for the purchase of 100 buttons, because the previous approval was done some time ago.  This was formally approved.

John mentioned that because of an event the night before our next dance, we will not have use of the area normally used by the band, and we will have to use a small zone of the dance floor for that function.
We also discussed that we will need to arrive ready to be flexible about the pot luck part of the evening, because of the cordoned off part of the dance hall.  It was mentioned that this time we are not providing any food out of the COTMD budget, and are hoping that the dance community steps up to provide all the food we will need.

We briefly discussed the redesign of our "bland" website.  Victor pointed out that although he did change the look and feel of the site, he was just doing a quick "unblanding" of the site, a temporary fix, and did not have any intention of hindering a more thoughtful and thorough redesign by the committee that was assigned that task.  No one has any problem with the site being changed again by the redesign committee.

We then discussed Victor's suggestion of moving to a bi-monthly dance utilizing canned music (see previous minutes for details). 
We discussed the issue of paying or not paying the bands who's recorded music we might utilize.  We decided that we can pay a specific band (such as Contra Force) if we use their music all evening.  However, if someone wishes to utilize a program of music from many sources and bands, we have the right to do so without paying, due to being covered by the ASCAP license Emerald Ballroom carries, and the fact that the music was purchased and is owned by the user for reasonable use purposes.
We also formally agreed to let Victor begin the implementation of his planned "first Saturdays" series, in the form of a three or four month trial run, to begin in February, pending negotiations with Emerald Ballroom about venue issues.
The need to "rebrand" the new series, and make sure people understand that it is different from our current/standard/original live music format, was stressed.

Finally we discussed setting up and utilizing both Paypal and Patreon as "free" vehicles for accepting donations.  Victor explained why doing so would work and would not cause us any expense, while allowing us to accept credit card and other types of donations very easily.

The next meeting will be on March 13, 2018

Meeting was adjourned.