KLSD ArtsALIVE Board of Directors Meeting
April 9, 2019
Call to Order:
KLSD ArtsALIVE Co-President Julie Oyen called the regular meeting of the KLSD ArtsALIVE Board to order at 7:10 p.m. at the John Jay Middle School conference room.
The following Board Members / Committee Reps were present:
Angelina Cerami, Student Rep
The following Board Members / Committee Reps were not present:
Dr. Steven Siciliano
Sarah McMahon, Alumni Rep
Mary Ann Davis
Kathleen Fay Wisehart
Liz Gebbia motioned to accept the minutes from the March Board Meeting. Andrew Meikle seconded the motion. Approved.
Julie opened the meeting by expressing her thanks you to everyone who volunteered at recent events and helped to raise money through concessions, selling KLSDAA items, etc. She added that the pizza and water were some of the most popular concession items.
Guys and Dolls: Colleen reported that while there was not a Roll the Dice game as previously discussed, roses were sold out by the Saturday matinee, “love” notes were sold and she echoed Julie’s comments that the boxed water and pizza sales were very successful. There were four tables for concessions at the musical this year as opposed to having only two tables at shows in previous years. The KLSDAA student board decorated the theatre hallway with life-sized dice used for photo ops and they also coordinated the display of pictures of the cast/crew/pit. Ticket sales were moved to an online service, Brown Paper Tickets. Going forward, the site will stay up until one hour before the show begins.
Colleen also discussed a social media post on two sites that strongly expressed concern about general support for the arts at JJHS. Colleen handled one of the posts, while Julie handled the other. Julie also direct messaged the parent who posted the message, but didn’t get a reply. In collaboration with the JJHS PTO, Colleen had a PTO Blast that was sent to parents promoting Guys and Dolls as well as accurate times for the performances.
There was a discussion about the positioning of the Guys and Dolls message on the outdoor JJHS sign. For future shows, it was requested to switch the side of the display and have the message visible to cars when they drive into the high school from Rt 35. There also was feedback about confusion in locating the auditorium entrance from the parking lot since there is no sign indicating the theatre doors. Julie requested the garbage pick-up from the dumpster next to the theatre entrance be timed differently so it doesn’t correspond with the times of the performances.
Vinnie noted the Katonah-Lewisboro Times didn’t pick up Rite of Spring this year. Colleen said KLSDAA promoted it on our sites and that she saw a lot of parents going into the show.
Unfortunately, there were errors in the Program. Liz suggested ways to improve the show’s program for next year to avoid potential copy errors. She agreed that it’s efficient to re-use a program template from a previous show, but it’s also important to check that content from that original program is removed.
Anything Goes: Colleen reported that both roses and “love” notes were sold at the performances and they were both successful. She added it’s not unusual for the flowers to be sold out by the Saturday matinee.
Rite of Spring
Amanda reported that Diane had asked for help in taking down the art show projects once the run was over; it was disassembled in about 90 minutes. The hard copy invites, which cost about $300, definitely helped to increase attendance. It seems to be a good investment and worthwhile expense. Julie thanked Amanda for her work on Rite of Spring and added that Diane appreciated all the support, both volunteer and financial, from ArtsALIVE.
Vocal Jazz Recognition
Maureen reported that sweatshirts might be ready by the end of the week; Colleen is working with Steve on determining a good time to present the sweatshirts to the Vocal Jazz kids and recognize them for their Berklee win.
Rock The Halls, May 10th
Maureen is scheduling a meeting with Jesse Weiss. Colleen requested a list of the student performers (singers and musicians), as well as and other details about RTH, which will be integral to the show’s program and any PR efforts. She added a student is working on artwork for the program and a RTH tee shirt.
Variety Show, June 7&8
Julie noted this event is quickly approaching and a chairperson is needed. Last year, ArtsALIVE sold concessions and tickets, but we don’t need to manage ticket sales this year; Steve Morse is producing the Variety Show and will set up ticket sales. It was suggested to add the grades of each student who is performing in the Variety Show as part of the program.
Maureen mentioned that Tri-M usually wants to cover concessions for the One-Acts and Spring Concerts.
End-of-Year Student Recognition Event
The group discussed recognizing seniors who are going on to study the arts in college. As
June 11th would be the last KLSDAA meeting for this year, possibly recognize these students at that meeting and add underclassmen who are getting arts-related awards or who have received recognition in the arts outside of JJHS. Julie asked the group to send in names of any students who are receiving an award.
Vinnie expressed concern that someone might be left out regarding underclassmen if we don’t get a comprehensive list. Julie asked how this is handled in Athletics. Vinnie replied that since Athletics is a larger organization and it has an athletic director who is solely responsible for that program, they can ensure they capture all the students who should be included. Vinnie added we don’t list recognition of accomplishments outside of school on the JJ website because we are afraid some students will missed and not included. Vinnie noted he will try to get some additional information on students’ accomplishments outside of school, but he didn’t know if this is permitted without a parent waiver. He also said he will talk to Marisa Merlino, director of counseling, to see about accessing student award information. Barbara asked can we send an email to teachers and Colleen offered to launch information on social media as another avenue to gather information. Maureen added we should include students who receive the annual ArtsALIVE scholarships.
Wall of the Arts
Barbara noted we will sell plaques for $135 and that we have all the seniors’ names; Julie suggesting sending a communication to all listed in the data base. Besides honoring students, people can buy a plaque in honor of a teacher. Julie noted that in the older plaques that were purchased several years ago, the text on the plaques was more informal and fun; recently added plaques are much more formal. Julie suggested we might sell more plaques if there is more flexibility regarding the messaging. Barbara reported she will re-work the order form and suggested we take a picture or video for Facebook to promote the plaques.
BOE Meeting Update
Maureen reported only two other people attended the most recent BoE meeting besides the BoE reps. Julia Hadlock loved JJMS play and the Board offered congratulations on the Rite of Spring. They reported the Learning Café was well attended. The Board also reviewed the proposed budget and announced there will be a public hearing on May 9th. The Board also thanked KLSDAA for the spotlight donated at IMES.
Student Board Update
Angelina reported the students had created the oversized dice for Guys and Dolls and people took pictures in the theatre lobby. She added the Student Board has been trying to schedule a picture for the yearbook, but they have run into challenges. Steven got involved and Vinnie will talk to the yearbook advisor to ensure the picture is taken and included in the yearbook. Julie thanked Angelina for all the decorations. Barbara added that several people commented on how the theatre lobby looked nicely coordinated with decorations, concessions, etc.
Julie announced we have to put together an Officers slate. Technically, it should not be Colleen or Julie and she said we will need a volunteer to put that together.
Update on Enrollment Status and Programming in the Arts
Vinnie reported information about schedule changes will not be available until Friday, 4/12 and that the Counseling Dept. would have to provide specifics. In response to question from Julie, Vinnie noted there will be fewer arts courses next year– only one orchestra section and one chorus section instead of two for each, as in the past
Theatre Tech and Acting are being combined as there are only two actors in the acting class; if Bill Friedman feels some are students are strong enough, they can be moved up to Advanced Acting.
Julie asked how many students are required to fill a class. Vinnie replied the contractual class size is 30 and if 32 sign up, students will need to be put on a on waiting list; a new section can’t be added.
Julie asked if teachers can be moved around to accommodate student demand. Vinnie replied that it would be possible, but he can’t discuss in detail because it’s a personnel matter. He added that only APs or classes with students with disabilities will run with very low enrollment. He explained our enrollments are declining and KLSD is on a tight budget due to funding from Albany. He shared KLSD makes the best staffing projections that it can and that it is challenging to make these projections on some of the arts course or other electives.
Julie asked if the BOE knows about the changes to the arts courses. Colleen expressed concern that it is very difficult to teach to both levels in an acting class and that the more advanced students might be frustrated. Vinnie reiterated they are trying to give the best instruction possible given the circumstances and enrollment numbers.
Regarding the loss of period zero, Julie asked if lessons are part of a teacher’s day, how does a student take a lesson if no free period exists; it appears a student must either leave a class or give up lunch period. Vinnie explained students are allowed to miss one class per week per ensemble and that we rely on students to make good decisions about what class they might miss. He added that lessons are not as popular as they once were; there are no longer lessons in Acting, but we could talk about it for future. He didn’t know if the district would want to consider this option with declining enrollment.
Colleen also brought up that strong student actors may need extra time to work on a piece and time is being taken away from them for the technical instruction if the Acting class is combined. Julie then asked how find out about trying to institute lessons for Acting students. Vinnie replied this request needs to be brought up at the building level. It would involve an FTE to make it worth the personnel investment. Vinnie said that Stage Craft, a combined acting and technical class, was offered in the past and Bill Friedman is looking at that past curriculum to see how they will offer it next year.
Topaz added there is also a struggle in the arts at JJMS. For example, students get pulled out of Art to go to Music, and it’s an ongoing issue.
There being no other business to discuss, Julie adjourned the meeting at 8:30 pm.