Saturday, March 2, 2024

Minutes January 10, 2024

We gathered at Virginia Winn's house at 7pm.

Present: Fred, Dianne B., Victor, Gail, Virginia, John, Dianne P-Q.

Absent: Maris, Kenny

Via Google Meet: Marguerite

John called the meeting to order at 7:35pm.

Minutes of the last meeting (November 29, 2023) were read and approved.

Dianne B. gave the Treasurer's Report.  The current balance is down $230 from last meeting and $130 since last dance (which was in December last.)  She estimated that we are seeing $150 loss per dance over the last year to date.  The report was approved.

Marguerite presented the Booker's Report.  The dance schedule follows:

Jan 13, Band Cloud 10, Caller: Chris Hernandez, at CFMA

Jan 27, Band Sherlock's Meow, Caller: Leslie Bowers, at CFMA

Feb 27, Band: Lettuce Prey, Caller: Tom Machlin, at Bill's Pick'n Parlour

March 23, Band: CCOB, Caller: Joel Wilder, at CFMA

April 27, Band: TBD, Caller: Chris H, at CFMA (expected)

May 25, Band: TBD, Caller: Kenny Greer, at CFMA (expected)

June 22, Band: TBD, Caller: TBD, at CFMA (expected)

July: No Dance

August: No Dance

The discussion centered around the decision to reduce our dance production from two dances per month to one dance per month, staring in February.  Also, we will not be producing dances in July and August because of inadequate HVAC at CFMA.

Discussion regarding the possibility of using Bill's Pick'n Parlor as a venue ensued.  The board expressed generally positive remarks about the prospect.  We would need to see how this experiment turns out.

The Booker's Report was approved.

General Business.

Victor Gascon was elected as an at-large board member, filling the slot that became vacant after Karl resigned.  The vote was unanimous.

Dianne P-Q reported on some informal discussions she had with CDSS executive members at the recent Berea College dance week regarding the whole process of restarting a dance community after covid.  Possibilities for grant development and workshops to engage the community are possibilities.  For example a caller's workshop.  She recounted a bit of how some other dance communities have dealt with the restart.  She will investigate further.

Last dance Report:

Table staffing, and staffing the dance in general is something that needs to be proactively managed.  Because we have been trying to produce two dances a month it is inevitable that there will be some months with personal conflicts.

ACTION ITEM: Fred will provide a consolidated list of tasks that need to be considered to put on dances at CFMA.  We have a lot more to do there to set-up and tear-down in that venue.

Also, at the last dance we forgot to get water so that was an example of the kind thing that can fall through the cracks but can have a big effect.

Another item identified in the discussion was this:  Caller's need to provide more detailed instructions on how the swing works to keep a proper distance between dancers to minimize collisions (not able to express the exact sentiment from my notes).

Change of Venue.  Bill's Pick'n Parlor is eager to have their facility used by dancers on 4th Saturdays, so it make sense to try to align our dance series with theirs.  The February dance is an experiment to see if and how this can work.  More to come!

ACTION ITEM: John will check into the requirements for our insurance and to have Bill's venue added if necessary.

Mailing Lists: No changes.

Meet-up Group.  Dianne P-Q. has investigated and restarted the Meetup Group established by Karl earlier.  One insight gleaned from the Charlotte group is that they see the contra dance as an activity that helps provide a context to further socialize.  Their objective is not dance per se rather social interaction with members of the meetup group; they regularly have dinner before coming to the contra dance.

Child Safety Policy.  Not really a big issue.  Back burner and maybe not needed.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 13.

The meeting adjourned at 9:03pm.

s/Fred Druseikis

The following additional items have transpired since the date of the meeting and the date that I transcribed my meeting minutes:

(1) The second January dance was called by Stephanie Marie in place of Leslie Bowers, who had become ill with respiratory symptoms.

(2) During the interval since the meeting, Marguerite had the foresight to compile a list and field test it in the several e-mails she prepares in the days leading up to the dance date.  Here's the list of tasks she identified that need to be covered when producing the dance at CFMA.

___ unlocking the CMFA door at 6:00 pm

___ bringing chairs upstairs

___ bringing tables upstairs

___ running the table: collecting admission, verifying venmo payments, making the zip code list

___ counting the receipts and recording attendance statistics

___ handling the money (either doing it or oversight)

___ paying and thanking the band, caller, and sound person for their work

___ making the general announcements before the break (publicly thanking talent & sound guy, announcing future local dance schedule and dances in other areas.)

___ bringing water, ice, pitchers and cups

___ bringing snacks

___ putting up directional signs

___ bringing chairs downstairs

___ bringing tables downstairs

___ gathering and putting away directional signs

___ neatening the pink studio after the dance

___ sweeping the dance floor

___ making sure our group is out of the building and locking up after the dance

___ other [please specify]


The items in italic are the ones needed at Bill's Pickin' Parlor.


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Minutes November 29, 2023

The Board met at Virginia Winn's house at 7:30pm.  Some of us gathered earlier to enjoy some conversation and dessert.

John called the meeting to order at 7:33pm.

Present: Maris, John, Virginia, Marguerite, Fred, Dianne B., Dianne P.-Q.

Absent: Gail, Kenny, Karl

Karl has resigned from the board effective immediately. Kenny is in the process of relocating to Kentucky and might possibly be less available than when living in Myrtle Beach.  We do however continue to value his involvement and hope that he will be able to continue to advise us on relevant matters.

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.

Dianne B gave the Treasurer's report and noted that our seasonal loss from operations is expected to be approximately $1000 for the interval from July - December 2023.  One person overpaid and this will be handled informally.  The CCOB played at the November dance and for this reason the gate receipts balance the expenses (which were quite minimal since the band was free.)  A motion was made to accept the report was made, seconded and approved.

Marguerite gave the Booker's report.  Some discussion was had about the nature of the commitment to bands and callers for the specific venue (e.g., either CFMA or Lake Murray.)  Some verbiage was discussed for inclusion in e-mails spelling out the nature of our somewhat fluid venue situation and -- in the interest of full disclosure -- being up front about our commitments to all concerned; and the timing requirements for notifying CMFA and LM about the need for their hall.  The  Booker agreed to provide this notification.

The board discussed, and a motion was made, seconded, and approved, to begin to use the 4th Saturday of the Month as the nominal date for our events; and that we would begin transitioning to this as soon as possible.  The two dances scheduled for January 2024 (Jan 13, and Jan 27) will take place, both at CFMA (Cloud 10 and Sherlock's Meow, respectively.)  The dance schedule starting in February will be 2/24 (TBD see discussion below; CFMA is not available and LM would be the nominal fallback, except for the possibility of Bill's Pickin' Parlor); 3/23, 4/27, and 5/25 all at CFMA.  The  second appearance of CCOB is being planned for 3/23.

Also in the discussion was the prospect of using Bill's Pickin' Parlor as a venue due to apparent interest of the owners in being inclusive of all varieties of live music (among other things.)  This was being actively investigated and the Board authorized the possible relocation of the February dance to Bill's from CFMA if that made sense.

A motion was made to accept the Booker's report, which was seconded and approved.

Other Business

Dianne P.-Q. brought up the idea of trying to use "" to better effect.  There was discussion; the Board approved a budgetary expenditure for fees to so that Dianne could further investigate how best to use it and to be able to model that on how it was being used effectively by the Charlotte group.

Staffing the table at dances needs to accommodate the times when Fred is planning to be absent.  There may be some ways to allow dancers who are interested in helping out to do that.  This could be possible with increased use of venmo or some other ways of reducing the amount of paperwork and the amount of money in the pouch (e.g., to find a way to keep just a minimum amount of money -- enough to make change -- instead of the entire amount needed to pay the talent.)

Child Safety policy.  On the back burner for now.

Mailing list updates.  Dianne B. reports that we have 139 complete entries (names, emails, and phone numbers for texting.)

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, January 10, 2023.

The meeting adjourned at 9:13pm.

/s/ Fred Druseikis

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Minutes October 4, 2023

Present: Dianne B., Dianne P-Q., Virginia, John, Marguerite, Fred

Absent: Karl, Kenny, Maris, Gail

The meeting at Virginia's house was called to order at 7:46pm. (Yes, we got started a little later than usual.)  It was believed by those present that there was a quorum.

The minutes for the previous meeting (August 9, 2023) were approved, with the notation that the next meeting, which had been scheduled for September 13, was postponed due to illness.  It is the meeting being held presently.

The Treasurer's Report was approved.  We have had only nominal expenses and our run rate has been consistent with date reported in previous months.  We will be paying CFMA for the hall on a quarterly schedule at which time we will use the communication to reaffirm the intended near-term schedule.

The Booker's Report communicated the following data:

10/14/23  Band: Cloud 10, Caller: Tom Macklin, Sound: Tyler, Table: Fred

11/11/23  Band: Contracola Open Band (debut), Caller: Joel Wilder, Sound: Tyler, Table: TBD

12/9/23 Band: Evil Twins, Caller: Kenny Greer, Sound: Tyler?, Table: Fred

1/13/24 Band: Cloud 10; Caller: TBD, Sound: ?, Table: ?

2/10/24 Band: CCOB?, Caller TBD: Sound: ?, Table: ?

(Note coverage for staffing the table where we collect admission fee and zip codes.  This is here as a reminder that it needs to be addressed by the board sometime before the dance; it is not a new responsibility for the Booker.  Often this can be addressed in the few moments while the hall is being set-up. Fred normally volunteers for this but needs a substitute when he's not available.)

Dance Report: The overall assessment of the CFMA hall is that it is marginal at best and Lake Murray is a much better choice for ambiance; CFMA's obvious value is proximity but that doesn't mean much if dancers aren't showing up.  In that respect if we are going to continue to sponsor dances with low attendance we can just as well do it at Lake Murray as CFMA.  We have also relearned why we don't hold dances in the summer, viz. Columbia's well-earned reputation for being "famously hot."  One of our possible out-of-town bands privately communicated to us that they would not be available for awhile for us for a couple of reasons; the first being that the travel down to us (and back in the dark) on I26 was especially difficult for them because of all the construction; and second, because the dances have been too low energy to make the trip worth the effort.  Hopefully we can get them back after things improve.

Other Topics

CCOB: The band has been practicing and several players are excited about performing.  Some are still content to either sit it out or wait for another time after the November 11 debut.  The CCOB would like the opportunity to play more often if that suits the Board.

Child Safety: We will carry this forward.  Maris and John will prepare something.

Mailing List: Nobody has been taken off lists yet.  There are 2-3 additions every month.  The Givebutter platform had a technical issue that resulted in not all to receive text messages; it is working now.

Advertising: There was discussion about the effort required to publish our events in different media.  It's not simple.  There is a certain amount of work to get it done and it varies by the outlet.  There are services that will help with this, but of course they cost money and we have no idea if they are really worth it or even appropriate for our need.

Meetup Groups: We have heard from folks in both Charlotte and Charleston that Meetup is working for them.  We need to understand how they are using it to their advantage and the effort required to make it work.

Two Dances per Month: There was considerable discussion about the wisdom and ability of continuing to produce two dances per month given the level of attendance we've experienced since our restart last August (2022).  The consensus in the room was that we need to cut back to one dance per month.  This is an opportune time because of events.   The following was motion was proposed:

Proposed motion to be voted at later time: We will soon be voting on (via email) about whether to end  our experiment of running two dances per month year round.  We may be going to go to one dance per month, on the Second Saturday, with the primary venue being CFMA with Lake Murray being backup.  We thus may also not produce dances during the summer months, viz. July and August.  Note: John Wetzel edited these minutes by modifying the italicized portions of this paragraph and the following sentence.

(For parliamentary nerds: a motion was made, it was seconded, it was discussed, but further discussion and action has been tabled pending discussion and an eventual vote via email.)

John will send an email summarizing his analysis.  That e-mail shall be incorporated by reference into these minutes, as will the responses by others to it.

Next meeting: Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Adjourn: 9:18pm

s/Fred Druseikis/