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

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Minutes June 14, 2023

COTMD Board Minutes June 14, 2023

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

Regular board members attending: Gail, Marguerite, Virgina, Fred, Dianne, John, Karl (via Zoom)

Absent: Kenny, Maris

Guest: Dianne Palmer-Quay

The minutes of the previous meeting (May 10, 2023) were approved by voice vote.

Dianne Britton presented the Treasurer's Report.  Details are in the spreadsheet available to board members only.  The treasures' report was approved.

Booker's Report

    June 24, Marshal & Lucy w Chris Hernandez calling
    July 22, Chris & Bobby w ? calling

    CFMA Hall Commitments
        Aug 12
        Aug 26
        Sep  9
        Sep 23

    Kenny Greer will call Sept 9.
    Other bookings not committed at this time.

General Discussion

    There was some discussion about gender roles during dances. There was a concern expressed about the practice of dancers changing roles in the middle of dance, and that some might find it confusing etc.  We decided to avoid a general discussion of gender issues as this was going to sort itself out by the mutual behaviors of dancers in the moment and not some dictum or policy originating from the Contracola board (LOL).  As for how callers should practice their craft (i.e., gents & ladies, larks & robins, etc, etc.) we feel it be best left to the caller.

    The Darlington Post Office has been renovated and its management is interested in starting a local contra dance series. They contacted us via the Contracola web site and John followed up with them.  They may visit us some to see how it works and get further guidance.

    The liability insurance is coming up for renewal per requirements of CFMA.  Thank you John for addressing the onerous task of answering the of the multitude of questions the insuror asks.  Dianne reported she has renewed the hall insurance.  John noted that we need to keep a copy of the policy in an accessible place.  We are using Google drive to store the documents for this year as well as last year.  Google drive provides board members with exclusive access.

    Frustratingly, we have discovered that Charlotte is now dancing on 2nd Saturdays in conflict with us. It's not exactly clear that there may also be some irregularity in the schedule.  Some consternation was expressed.  Externally it seems like an insensitive move, yet we are ourselves aware that there are externals that often force decisions certain ways.  We're not going change as we have enough trouble already getting dates cleared with CFMA in a timely manner.

    With regard to dance operations, we've been experimenting with how breaks work (i.e., longer intentional pauses between dances) during the dance.  We agreed to try two shorter breaks.  If breaks are too short it's hard to get time to socialize.  We are working toward two breaks, with a waltz during each for those who wish; limited to 5 minutes, unless the band has issues and needs some more time.  Trying this out on the fly.  It was noted that there ought to be some kind of "agenda" displayed at the table in order to set expectations as folks arrive.

    Cleaning up the contact list is an ongoing process and a task.  We are going to continue to use Mailchimp for emails, rather than convert entirely to GiveButter (which we use to support donations, and to provide technical support for text messages to mobile phones.)

Marketing Efforts

    Anticipating students return in early August, Karl would like some volunteers to help distribute literature on campus.

    Gail will be at Soda City next Saturday to pass out a few free dance cards.

    Dianne is continuing to post our events to various outlets.

    Maris is actively talking up the Contracola dance.

Children policy.

    It was noted that there were some rambunctious children at a recent dance.  The lack of adult supervision posed a risk to safety of both the children and the dancers.  We need to articulate an expected behavior policy for children.

    Admission is free for children.  Teens and adults pay.


    AI - John - Federal Tax Filing (waiting on June 30 to pass to trigger next fiscal year.)

    As write the first draft a cryptic note appears in my notes, literally:

    AI - Fred - "agenda"

    That's all she wrote. I’m not recalling what this means. Anyone care to refresh my memory as to what seemed so obvious to me at that moment I could never forget it?  I didn't think so.  It may come to me.  Before posting, it came to me; see comment on dance operations above.

Next Meeting

    The next meeting will be July 12.  July 26 was an agreed upon alternate, depending on John checking his calendar.  John reported to me that July 12 is good, so July 12 it is.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:28pm.

/Fred Druseikis/