VIDEO FROM OUR 1ST COMMUNITY MEETING
FEBRUARY 9, 2013
Here are the minutes:
Call to Action
Community Meeting Minutes
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Central Square Library Cambridge, MA
Video footage of the meeting can be found at: https://vimeo.com/62157055
The meeting was facilitated by Mary McCarthy, who was seated at a panel table at the front of the room along with other core members of the Call to Action group including: Jayne Murphy, Danny Swain, Jennifer Burpee, Bill Parsons (operating a video camera), and Anna Myer. Vanessa White, Margot Parsons, and Callie Chapman were unable to attend but have been instrumental in contributing to the foundation of the Call to Action movement.
- Introduction & Welcome – Mary McCarthy
-We are delighted to join together with the assembled group who share the common bond of a vested interest and passion for The Dance Complex
-Overview of the Agenda which was distributed on everyone’s seat
-We have lots to cover, so let’s be mindful of our time. Please bear in mind that as our first Call to Action meeting we have a lot of questions, as we imagine you do as well, and we may come away from this meeting with more concerns than answers.
- Background & History – Jayne Murphy
-Building Manager and caretaker Jayne Murphy gave an enthusiastic history lesson in the origins of The Dance Complex with spontaneous quiz questions for the audience about the building’s iconography and legendary roots in the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows.
- Introduction of the Call to Action Group – Mary McCarthy and individuals
The Call to Action group compromises a core group of staff, faculty and volunteers from The Dance Complex who possess over 100 years of being the Dance Complex from hanging lights, choreographing, dancing, paying bills, drafting contracts, cleaning toilets – the whole gamut. Each CTA member shared a bit about their personal history and connection to the building.
IV. The Call to Action Mission – Mary McCarthy
Mary reviewed the primary themes of the CTA mission including a commitment to the following:
-the best interest, growth, and future of The Dance Complex
-accountability to the community
-an integration of the CTA into the operation of The Dance Complex
- The Petition – Danny Swain lead a point by point review of the CTA petition.
Danny led off by sharing how the staff have been operating without a director since October. This has caused stress on the staff as they struggle to negotiate priorities and make decisions without a director couple with a weak communication link to The Board of Directors. While many on the current staff have been through an Executive Director search before, members of the community may be unaware of the challenges posed to prospective EDs (and the staff) when the post has never been truly vacated enabling new leadership to enter, succeed, and lead The Complex to the next phase of growth. For this reason some of the staff, faculty, and volunteers banded together to engage the community in a request for intervention and attention. This is how the petition originated – it has been a call for help to The Board to take decisive action and protect the best interest of the Organization and the community.
1. Clarification of Rozann Kraus’ resignation from the Board in writing by February 11, 2013, as well as a written list of her privileges as Founder. – This Rozann Kraus’ resignation from The Board has been documented and confirmed.
2. Officially begin the search for a new Executive Director by posting the job description publicly by February 11, 2013 and establish a hiring date deadline. – The position was posted on February 13 to the Dance Action Network, with an executive search now underway. Applications will continue to be accepted up until March 30, 2013.
3. Expansion of the Executive Director Search Committee to include one representative from the Dance Complex staff, and one representative from the greater Boston dance community. Danny Swain and Vanessa White have been welcomed on to the Search Committee.
4. In the spirit of transparency, a full written statement outlining the responsibilities of the Board of Directors, along with a job description for each of the current board members. – In process.
5. Appointment of at least 3 new Board members by March 4, 2013, accepting recommendations from the community. – On March 10, 2013 Bill Parsons and Mary McCarthy were accepted and welcomed onto The Board of Directors.
VI. The Future of The Complex - We were running ahead of schedule at this point in the meeting so we decided to turn our attention to the collected body and have all participants introduce themselves and say a bit about their connection to the complex. All guests were given a cue card at the door when they arrived, on which to write: 1.) What they love most about The Dance Complex, 2.) what they would like to see changed at The Dance Complex and 3.) What experience or skills they would like to offer or volunteer to The Dance Complex by way of the Call to Action, along with their contact information.” At this point in the meeting the assembled body reviewed the first and second items on their cue cards. Many shared connections that celebrated unique associations and beautiful stories of community, creation, and joy.
Here is a summary of some of words that were captured on the cue cards
Things we love about The Dance Complex:
-Community, Staff, SCC
-Such a wide selection of classes
-I love the wildness you get from forming a new artistic project without having a board in place first. Non-profits that have a real board in place before the artist are in picture lack something
-Class diversity/ great environment
-The community, culture, staff, diversity, having a home for dance.
-the location and community classes
-Affordability for dancers to performance in a professional space
-I’m grateful to have a place to dance, rehearse, and perform. It’s Prometheus and the Elders home.
-Diversity of classes and clientele, value for $ for rehearsals.
-The vast and rich diversity and accessibility of dance for anyone and everyone
-Enlarge and improve the theater
-Make the store down stairs a new studio, good for more space and great advertising
Things we’d like to see changed or improved at The Dance Complex:
-Email list, community directory
-Newsletter, How to get other teacher s and students to perform
-Can there be an event coordinator, (for work-studies specifically)
-The DC should have a real Board that thinks of many ways to get the support to grow the DC to become it’s fuller self
-Bridge gap – expand diversity
-Collaborations between companies and instructors
-Engage via social media
-Lights grid in studio #1
-Public outreach, image, and relations
-Overseer of operations
-Get Central Square condo/ homeowners should consider donating to the DC in their wills, affording staffers with very affordable living quarter/ places for touring groups to stay.
-Faculty Concerts- curated by a rotating member of the teaching staff? More effort towards using the theater space- open rehearsals, jams, small theater productions (this is revenue folks).
-More collaboration between companies and the choreographers using the building. A daily posting of what’s happening in the building (auditions, special classes, etc.)
-Accountability, publicity, community connections
-Need committees that are charged with duties, outside of board ( I would help with structure if you’d like.
-Entire board of directors.
-Today studio #3 was filthy (floor) Who to communicate to, collaboration
-New Sound Equipment
-Would appreciate easier handicap access.
-communications, e-mail, newsletter, more concerts, viability, performance, collaborators, social media, open house, include “ALL”, work with the larger community, start a rainy day fund.
-organization, transparency, communication
Things skills & services we’d like to offer to The Dance Complex:
-help with ‘public relations’ committee
-Community connections-within and out of the dance community, energy, has non-profit experience
-I have been an ED, a board member and a consultant for arts and non-profit orgs since 1990. I have helped agencies through ED searches, re-building of leadership structures and re-visioning process. I would love to support and lend an outside eye to this process, helping bring community together.
-brand marketing, finance, administrative work
-Organization planning and implementation – consulting as a business and community based director or multi-disciplinary centers –available for committees for PR
-support in whatever way
-sense of humor
-public speaking and writing
-passion, time, ideas
The meeting concluded with expressions of thanks to all participants for their participation, sharing, and suggestions. The Call to Action group agreed to reflect on the discussion and suggestions made and compile and distribute the minutes.
Since the community meeting The CTA has met with members of The Dance Complex Board and is pleased to share the following advancements:
- The CTA will conduct a survey of the supporters of The Dance Complex to identify and catalog what persons with experience, skills, and interest exist within the community that would like to get involved in various initiatives on special topics like: public relations and social media, community outreach, membership and fundraising, and programming. Stay tuned!
- With the Board’s encouragement and support, such ideas will be presented to the next Executive Director so that that person arrives with cadre of support and ideas to implement when the time is right.
- Two new board members have been welcomed to The Board – Bill Parson who has extensive experience with non-profit board participation, and long-time DC volunteer Mary McCarthy with over 11 years of experience with donor engagement and stewardship.
- Applications for the new Executive Director will continue to be accepted up to March 30, 2013.
You can download the minutes here