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Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts
September 21, 2017
The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on September 21, 2017 at the Eclipse Mill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, 243 Union Street #102, North Adams.
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Gail Kolis Sellers
CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
With minor corrections provided by Dixon, Manville moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its July 25, 2017 public meeting. Kerns seconded. All voted in favor. None opposed.
OLD BUSINESS: EAGLE STREET INITIATIVE/STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATION UPDATE
Commissioner Kerns will talk with Councilor Lamb to find out more about the Public Arts Commission’s involvement in the development of a logo design, the parklet, and other related components of the initiative.
CULTURAL PLAN/PROJECT LISTING UPDATE
Chairperson Dixon postponed discussion of this topic to another meeting, citing the need for more time to prepare.
NORTH ADAMS CULTURAL DISTRICT DISCUSSION
Dixon reported on the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s recent decision to recognize a walkable area of downtown North Adams as a Cultural District. This title comes with $2,000 to support signage related to the district, as well as marketing support. Local leaders have formed a core group to discuss best ways to leverage the benefits of the new status. Manville moved to designate Dixon as the representative to the cultural district core group. Commissioner Quiñones seconded. All voted in favor. None opposed.
NEW MINUTES RULE CHANGE REMINDER
Dixon informed the commission that the council amended and then approved to a second reading and to be published an ordinance change requiring boards and commissions to have meeting minutes available at the city clerk's office within two weeks of a meeting. The commission discussed the logistics of the ordinance, and how they would apply to the Public Arts Commission, which does not meet frequently enough to have minutes approved within a two-week period. Dixon offered to seek clarification.
PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
Vincent Melito spoke regarding two concerns: 1. Preserving the old signage on Eagle St. (which Kerns said he would bring up during his Eagle St. Initiative conversation with Councilor Lamb); and 2. Pursuing the restoration of the pillars artwork that has been a focal point in this summer’s Public Arts Commission meetings. He expressed his personal feeling that Mass MoCA should pay for the restoration of the artwork, and his concern that the whole subject would fade with time and not be addressed. The Commission responded by discussing how things had been left in the hands of the artists directly involved, and advised Melito to bring his concerns to the artists directly if he wanted to learn more. Kerns noted that he had heard the conversations between the artists had begun, and Manville offered to bring up the matter for an update during her next conversation with the involved parties at Mass MoCA.
MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Kerns inquired about the statuses of proposals the commission discussed in previous months, such as Griffin Labbance’s Montana Street proposal, and Ramona Fabregas’s prayer flag project. Dixon offered to include a project update on the Montana Street project in the next agenda. Other future agenda items will include a cultural district update, as well as a cultural plan update.
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be held at 5:30p.m. on Monday, October 23, 2017, at the Eclipse Mill.
With no other business to discuss, Quiñones moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:16 p.m. Manville seconded. All voted in favor. None opposed.
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary