Monday, June 5, 2023

Minutes May 10, 2023

 COTMD Board Meeting May 10, 2023

We met at Virginia Winn's house around 7pm to enjoy some dessert and conversation.

The meeting was called to order at 7:31pm.

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

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

Treasurer's report.

Dianne presented.  Details appear in a spreadsheet dated 5/6/2023, which is posted on on the COTMD Board google group discussion board (as are all COTMD Board conversations).  Net of operations, to date there is a $160 loss.  Expect to see a loss of additional for the upcoming 5/13 dance.

In earlier discussions there was some confusion about an $80 discrepency having to do with the first dance of the season back in August 2022. This was resolved: the amount having been paid to Susan Fort for the use of the Lake Murray Contra Hall.

The actual written records for dances in early 2020 just before covid (recall that there were two dances, in January and February) have been either misplaced or lost.  Dianne asked Marguerite to see if she can reconstruct the data from her notes on what the Bands, Callers, and Sound Techs were promised to be paid for these two events.  (Update: Marguerite was able to provide the information.)

As a side note: CFMA appears to like us. They have accepted our credentials documenting our not-for-profit status thru CDSS.

A motion to accept the Treasure's Report was made, seconded, and approved by voice vote.

Booking Report.

Marguerite presented.  David White and Becky Stoval will be the band for 5/13/23 dance at Lake Murray with Kenny Greer calling.  Stephanie Marie will be calling on 5/27/23 at CFMA with Sherlock's Meow playing. Tyler will be doing sound for both.  (Updated: Tyler ended up with a conflict for 5/27, so John set up sound and instructed Fred and Dianne about the main points for operating it, and Fred learned what needed to be done to pack it up and put stuff away after the dance.)

At the time of this meeting there were no additional dates confirmed by Joseph at CFMA.  June 10 and June 24 are of immediate concern.  Karl will express our concerns about the need for timely scheduling with Joseph.  (Update: the June dates, as well as some others, have been confirmed.)

Report on Recent Dances.

Concern was raised regarding the "pace" and activity level of the evening and when there should be break(s).  For as long as we can remember we have been staring at 7pm with teaching until 7:30, with the first half of the dance running until 9pm.  Then there would be a break until approximately 9:15, with the second half running until 10:30.  That means the first break is two hours after arrival.  Pretty demanding for new dancers.  This is a kind of frantic, dance fanatic, schedule.

What we tend to be seeing is that new dancers take the late break as an opportunity to exit, for whatever reason.  Experienced dancers tend to stick around.

It was generally observed and felt that maybe we should have a second break given that the level of activity for some people may be too long without a break. It was suggested that we try something like a short (10 minute) break at 8:30 with the dance to resume at about 8:45 until 9:40 +/- with another short break, and then the conclusion for as many as will.

ACTION ITEM: "Agenda for the Evening" Poster -- "Somebody needs to make a poster."

This would allow us to simplify staffing the admissions table.  The thought is that all dealings with money can be done with by 9pm, including paying the staff.

Also related to admission in general is the issue of various promotional cards ("Get in Free", Two for One,) with mandatory paid admission vs "Free for all" (i.e. no admission) supported by freewill donation.  Discussion of this was tabled for a future meeting.  In the interval, Board members should be mulling this.


We try to keep various advertising outlets updated with event announcements for inclusion in their publication, but it is unclear how effective they are for us.  We need to see if it makes any difference given all the changes in how marketing is done in the modern world of the internet.  Is this something we do because we have always done it? or because it works?  It is a lot of work.

Another question is if we have any paper flyers being distributed at other dances in Charleston or Charlotte.  It's one thing to say you should use QR codes, but QR codes don't post on the frig very well.  We need to explore how to get mutual cooperation between different dance communities to raise awareness of ("promote") other groups.  We need volunteers to get paper flyers to events in other nearby places.  Maybe callers can help with this, just a thought.  Possibly using the communications channel with the caller and our booker to facilitate promotions.  (Here's a not-very-good idea: somehow use fed-ex office to get flyers printed locally to the caller so they can then take them to the local dance in their area.  Obviously this means that the half-life of a flyer has to be more than a couple of flyers, like maybe an entire year.)

Gail will take some flyers to Charleston.

Board Membership.

The board officially adopted the slate of officers posted in the minutes of the last meeting.  A motion was made, seconded, and approved by voice vote. (President: John, VP/Booker: Marguerite, Treasurer: Dianne, Secretary: Fred)  At large members: Gail, Maris, Karl, Virginia, Kenny.

Bob has resigned and is getting married in Virginia soon!

General Stuff.

A Facebook group has been created -- now we have both a Facebook group and a Facebook page.  It remains to be seen if one if more useful or appropriate than the other.  Most contradance groups are represented by a Facebook group rather than a page, it seems.  Expect to see invites, etc.

Texting is a thing that won't go away.  We need to be able to use it too.  Dianne has a plan to get texting integrated into our mailing lists and GiveButter/Venmo support.  Expect to see some progress along this axis.

Contact List Cleanup.  In the past not enough information has been collected to satisfy the data requirements for GiveButter (mobile number for texting; email for receipts; full name for recording donations for IRS receipts.)  We are going to encourage people to update their contacts and then we'll delete all the ones that don't respond to a personal reminder.

With regard to the UofSC, Karl is looking for some help with distribution flyers and cards on campus.  The Russell House initiative has not progressed due to the end of the semester.  Looking try it again in August.  Russell House suggested that we approach individual departments and campus housing about posting in their space.  (For the record, there are upwards of 100 academic units at the UofSC.)  However, the fact that there is a significant amount of off-campus housing does suggest an opportunity that is vastly different from the original situation back in the day when all housing was on-campus.

Dianne will be handling the IRS filing, with support from John.  It is due in September.  But the IRS filing can't be done for 2022-2023 year until after June 30.  IT MUST BE DONE, OR ELSE!!!!

John asked me to make a note about the continuing urgency of not forgetting our next IRS filing.  This note in the minutes will serve as a reminder to keep this item on the meeting agenda at each meeting until we get this done. DNS needs to be renewed.  (Update: done.)


Gail -- Churches: some don't like dancing LOL -- WIP (Work in Process)

Karl -- Posters in Libraries -- CLOSED

John -- Richland Library -- They don't post any except their own flyers, or sponsor the event. -- CLOSED

Maris -- Bill's Pickin' Parlour -- Under new management.

NEXT MEETING.  June 14, 2023

Adjourn: 9:14pm