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/

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Minutes August 9 2023

 COTMD Board Minutes August 9, 2023

Present: John, Fred, Virginia, Dianne B, Dianne P-Q, Maris, Gail, Karl (via Zoom)

Absent: Kenny, Marguerite

The meeting was held at Virginia's house.  John called the meeting to order at 7:31pm.

Minutes from the Previous Meeting.

    A motion was made, seconded, and passed to accept the minutes of the previous meeting.

Treasurer's Report.

    CFMA has been provided a YTD list of zip codes recorded from dancers since last August.  They were happy to get this.

    The YTD dance season spreadsheet has been posted to the board blog.

    CDSS annual report has been submitted.

    A motion was made, seconded, and passed to accept the Treasure's report.

Booker's Report.

    Marguerite provided a written report via email because of her planned absence.

    The Booker is very concerned about the lack of commitments to dates for the CFMA venue and alternative.  This indecision is creating problems.

    There was some energetic discussion.  Different opinions were expressed.  Some strong opinions were voiced.

    John resolved to clarify the role of the Booker.  A different role (the "Joseph Whisperer") would be identified to help facilitate the approval of dates from CFMA and to secure the alternative venue from Susan Fort if needed.  The Booker would be only responsible for lining up the talent (bands and callers) for the expected dates.

    ACTION ITEMS: John will produce a written description of roles.  John and Dianne B would discuss scheduling issues with Joseph.

Dance Report.

    The July dances were very uncomfortable because of inadequate cooling in the hall.  Our space in the building in particular is inadequately cooled.  Several (many) dancers left early because of it.  The July heat this year has been particularly oppressive.  It was noted that for many years earlier this century we didn't dance during the summer.  We forgot why; and now we've experienced an Ah ha! moment.

    Free passes have been coming in; not in great numbers but some.

    Attendance is still low, as recorded in the Treasurer's report.

    The AC (cooling) appears to be under some kind of automated schedule; it would be good to see if that can be altered to accommodate the times of our events.

    It was noted that the cooling might improve if we can keep the door to the room closed.

ContraCola Open Band.

    There was a report on the goals and progress.

    This group would like to play in the Fall.  Two dates are available: 10/28 and 11/11.

    It was suggested that the group might be able to play a few times a year, something like once a quarter beyond the initial debut.

Mailing List Status.

    We will be inviting/reminding people on our newsletter e-mails to update their contact info.  We now have over 100 names with phone numbers.

Child Safety Policy.

    Maris researched the topic of child safety at dances and gave a report on how other groups handle this.  There is a lot of good material to draw from.  ACTION ITEM: Maris and John will formulate something.

Next Meeting.

    September 13.


9:31pm.  Yes we went much longer than usual.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Minutes July 12, 2023

COTMD Board Minutes July 12, 2023

The Board gathered at Virginia Winn's house at 7pm to enjoy some dessert and coffee.
John called the meeting to order at approximately 7:30pm.

Regular board members attending: 

Gail, Maris, Marguerite, Virginia, Fred, Dianne, John, Karl (via Zoom) 

Motion to accept the minutes of the last meeting (June 14) was made, seconded, and approved.

Treasurer's Report
    Turnout numbers are lower than expected for no specific reasons.  Hall credit is 20% of gate receipts, not $2 per dancer.

    The spreadsheet was published on the Contracola board (private) blog.
    A motion to accept the Treasurer's report was made, seconded, and approved.

Booker's Report:
    Coverage at the dances will be tight as folks go out of town.
        Marguerite will be out of town July 22 and Aug 12.
        Karl may be out of town July 22.
        Fred & Dianne will be out of town Aug 26.
        Gail and Karl will coordinate key exchange for the dance on July 22.

    The current schedule looks like this:
    July 22     band: "Chris & Bobby"  caller:Tom Machlin
    Aug 12      band: "Blueridge Rounders" caller:Chris Hernandez
    Aug 26      band: "Square Root"    caller: TBD
    Sept 9      band: "Tea & Whiskey"  caller: Kenny Greer
    Sept 23     band: "Sherlock's Meow"  caller: TBD

    The Booker wishes to note that hall dates for October and beyond have not been committed. This makes it very difficult to schedule bands and callers.  We must implore Joseph to approve these dates ASAP.
    David Knight and accompanist are asking $310.
    The Booker's report was accepted.

Report for Recent Dances:
    Two short breaks at approx 50 minutes after start are working OK.
    Bands should be prepared to play three waltzes instead of normal two.
    Callers are being helpful in implementing this.

Free Passes: Worth it?

    Yes; not a lot of response but some.
    Consensus: We should continue it.

Contracola Open Band (CCOB):
    Rehearsals have started held. Turnout has been good.    Interest is there.  Some participants are interested in playing.

IRS Filing:
    Dianne will do this.  John will assist as necessary.
    This is entirely gated by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

   There are two pieces: the CDSS report (detailed), and the Federal Form.
    Current issue: records for capital expenditures from previous years are being hard to locate.
New Board Member:  A motion to appoint Dianne Palmer-Quay to the board was made, seconded and approved.  Dianne will add her to the board email lists, etc.

Mailing Lists:   There are three: the master mailing list, the musicians list for the CCOB; and the "hold harmless" list created when we had people sign waivers.  We are missing phone numbers for a good number of emails on the master list. These were not collected originally because we had no use for them.  Now we have the capability to send text messages, so there is a need.
Dianne will be initiating a campaign to have people update their contact info.

    Marguerite noted that there is some interest in the Scottish dance community to participate in contra dances.

Child Safety Policy:

    We need to have some child safety policy writings.  Other groups probably have material that we can adapt and use.  Maris volunteered to look for some.

Next Meeting:      August 9, 2023

Adjourned:      9:04pm     /s/Fred Druseikis