PAC Minutes


Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

March 3, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on March 3, 2017 at Bright Ideas Brewing, 111 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams.

Members Present:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Nancy Ziter
Eric Kerns           
Gail Kolis Sellers

Absent: none

Also Present:
Katrina Staaf
Tammy Daniels
Phil Sellers
Griffin Labbance

Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at 5:32 p.m.

Ziter moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its February 16, 2017 public meeting, with the revision of titles “Chairperson” and “Vice-chairperson.”  Dixon seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Kerns reported that he has purchased the domains the commission had been seeking for the PAC website; Katrina can now link the website. 

Dixon crafted a proposed budget of $1,097, comprised of $585 for fees related to developing a Friends of the Public Arts Commission, $250 for the development of the PAC logo, $46 for purchasing domains, and $216 for the hosting of the website.  Ziter advised exploring reimbursement for recent expenses, but next year having a separate line item for the Arts Commission.

Labbance is a fifth year student at MCLA interested in creating a series of student murals painted on Montana Street, a city street, though many students perceive it as a piece of the college property, as it is central to the MCLA campus.  Discussions with police led to a plan to use circular rather than rectangular murals to avoid confusing them for crosswalks. Labbance intends to complete project on an afternoon in April, or in the fall if necessary, as far before the winter as possible, knowing that the wear and tear on the road would likely damage the art. He plans to invite college students to apply to submit proposals for the mural to a committee to be approved. 

Ziter pointed out that the students would need to inform the traffic commission, and possibly public safety, as well, and suggested talking with Mike Canales. Kerns suggested spinning the MCLA lettering to correspond with the flow of traffic, and adding to the call the idea that the images should not have a specific orientation, since the primary audience will be pedestrians coming from either direction.  Gail and Phil Sellers advised the use of road paint that comes in four colors.  Dixon advised submitting a call as soon as possible, and seeing what responses are received.

Ziter motioned to vote to approve the initial concept. Kerns seconded.  All voted in favor. None opposed.  Motion passed.

Dixon offered the committee’s support and help with pursuing the project and navigating the process of approval with the city.  Manville offered to go with Labbance to speak with Mike Canales.  Sellers offered to help further advise the work, given her experience with similar projects.

Dixon reported on the requirements for starting a 501(c)3.  First, the commission would need a lawyer and an accountant.  The commission would also need to have a board established and committed before filing.  There are no exclusions for board members regarding participation.  The primary issue to be concerned with is the potential for conflicts of interest. Board members do not need to be North Adams residents.  There are also related filing fees that the commission would need to cover.  There is no minimum number of board members required.  The “Friends of” would need to apply for the federal 501(c)3 status, as well as the Massachusetts charitable status.

Kerns proposed that we each identify two potential board members and talk with them before the next meeting.  Dixon has already reached out to Krystal Henriquez.  Dixon pointed out that it will be more work up front for the board members as they will be developing the initial structure the ”Friends of” group, its bylaws, etc.

Art About Town is thinking of creating totems to display along the center median of Main St. this summer.  Some have criticized the use of the word totem to describe the art pieces, as a totem is typically considered spiritual in nature, so the description may change, but so far this has been the group’s term of choice.

Future agenda items will include interested potential board members for a Friends of the Public Arts Commission, and a group photo. Dixon will make a call for additional agenda items via email.

The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be held at 4p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at City Hall.

With no other business to discuss, Ziter moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:30 p.m. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary