Return to Archive – 2018-2019 Board Meetings

October 9, 2018 Minutes: KLSD ArtsALIVE Board of Directors Meeting

KLSD ArtsALIVE Board of Directors Meeting

October 9, 2018

Call to Order:

KLSD ArtsALIVE Co-President Julie Oyen called the regular meeting of the KLSD ArtsALIVE Board to order at 7:00 p.m. at the John Jay Middle School conference room.

Roll Call:

The following Board Members / Committee Reps were present:

  • Co-Presidents Julie Oyen & Colleen Cerami
  • Vice President Andrew Meikle
  • Treasurer Maureen Birmingham
  • Recording Secretary Liz Gebbia
  • Corresponding Secretary Barbara Milone
  • Director of Membership Amanda Godsoe
  • Director of Community Relations Mary Ann Davis
  • District Liaison Vincent Bell
  • Kathleen Fay Wisehart
  • Gia Miller
  • Topaz LeTourneau
  • Lauren Doyle
  • Septa Rep Lori McQuade


The following Board members / Committee Reps were not present:

  • Maria Colaco
  • Jen Dembo
  • Soren Klares
  • Deb Spieler
  • Margaret Adasko


A quorum was established.

Opening Comments

Julie opened the meeting by thanking Vinnie Bell and Maureen Birmingham for their fantastic execution of Music on the Lawn during JJ’s Homecoming. She also mentioned the successful partnership with JJ’s Sports Booster Club and shared there would be future opportunities to collaborate with this group.

Julie announced two items would be added to this evening’s agenda:

  • #9 – Review and vote on a grant request
  • #10 – A Board of Education Meeting report by Liz Gebbia who attended the October 4th meeting

September 12 Minutes

The minutes from the September 12, 2018 meeting were accepted by Maureen Birmingham and seconded by Amanda Godsoe.



Treasurer’s Report – Maureen Birmingham

Highlights of Maureen’s Financial Report included:

  • $32 raised from face painting at JJ’s Homecoming
  • $133 raised from the bake sale at JJ’s Homecoming
  • $6,689.37 / $3,825 membership
  • $10,689.30 total to date
  • $2,400 monies allocated for invoices
  • $8,290 remaining balance

In response to a question regarding the Children’s Choir, Julie explained KLSD ArtALIVE will need to pay music director and accompanist. There will also be expenses related to choir t-shirts and a photographer. The choir registration fee can help offset some of these expenses.

Membership Report – Amanda Godsoe

To date, there are 63 KLSD ArtsALIVE members. This is 10 more members than last year at this time, however the overall balance is less. It was discussed that more people may be choosing to join at the lower membership levels; these lower levels were not offered last year.

Newsletter Update – Andrew Meikle

The second KLSD ArtsALIVE newsletter was recently distributed. The board discussed potentially getting submissions from the students to diversify the content. There will also be a Director’s Note in each issue regarding upcoming performances. Co-President Colleen Cerami noted that the KLSDAA Student Board is still in need of representative from Reflections. The group also collectively acknowledged and thanked Andrew for all his outstanding work on the newsletter.

Smart Art Update– Julie Oyen

Julie asked all in attendance to help promote the upcoming Smart Art inaugural discussion scheduled for the following evening (10/10/18). To date, approximately 30 people have registered. In response to a request from Liz Gebbia, Vinnie Bell said he would have details about the event added to the next morning’s daily announcements.

A discussion ensued regarding challenges of having KLSDAA communications added to backpack mail or other district-wide channels. Vinnie noted there has not been an official district policy stating what can be communicated through the schools; this lack of consistency in policy over the years has caused confusion. He added attorneys for the district are now getting involved in helping to formalize these policies.

There was also a discussion about KLSD’s Principal’s Meetings. Vinnie reported that he cannot attend these meetings. Julie noted that other local districts have arts representation at these types of meetings and asked if we can explore getting representation.

The discussion returned to Smart Art and Colleen reviewed the logistics for the evening:

  • Seven student board volunteers will come to help set up
  • Photo booth with coverage from Andrew
  • Michelle Blum, past board member, will take photos
  • JJHS Vocal Jazz will sing one song to open the show
  • Raffles – There will be two raffles with Katonah Museum of Art: tickets to Fall Fling valued at $170; Caramoor – four tickets to 2019 summer season and four tickets to Dancing at Dusk valued at $200; a sports booster package valued at $75
  • Help is need for the following: Membership table, Raffle table, Water selling table
  • Set up is at 6:15 pm
  • Kathleen Fay will purchase and deliver water bottles
  • Maureen Birmingham will get change as well as balloons for the JJMS theatre entrance

Upcoming Events Calendar – Julie Oyen

Julie opened a discussion by noting that we need to move to a more proactive approach rather than being in reactive mode when it comes to promoting events. Other discussion highlights included:

  • Public relations content should be out two weeks before an event takes place
  • Artwork is needed for the HS fall drama so we can secure promotional material, post on social media and give to the press
  • Artwork is also need for MS drama
  • Other promotional channels include the KLSDAA website, social media, and PTO blurbs

Grant Request Review

Julie summarized a recently submitted grant request involving a forensic artist who worked for the NYPD. The program would include a presentation and workshop and would highlight the connection between creativity and forensic art. Forty students would be taught how to create a composite sketch. The total grant request is $850. This request has been made in previous years and the artist charges a flat fee despite how many students may attend.

The group discussed the possibility of funding a portion of the request, rather than the full $850, as the Arts in Education fund from BOCES could also help cover a percentage of the cost. Julie also noted the board should consider the return on investment for KLSDAA when funding these programs in terms how many students overall are enrolling in arts courses.

Kathleen Fay asked if art students are invited to attend the workshop as they seem like a good audience for this type of presentation. Following additional discussion, the group then decided more information was needed before taking a vote on the grant request. This item was tabled.

Board of Education Meeting Report – Liz Gebbia

Liz attended the BoE meeting on October 4, during which the Student Achievement including the NY State Report Card was presented. Part of this report summarized student involvement in arts programs. The meeting also discussed results from the most recent Senior Survey. Snapshots from both these presentations are below:



While public attendance totaled only about three people, Liz expressed the value of attending a BoE meeting both as an ArtsALIVE representative and as a parent. She also suggested that board and committee members go to the BoE website and review the reports, especially those that highlight student involvement in the arts.

New Business

  • Topaz will be meeting with Kerry Ford, IMES Principal, to discuss partnership opportunities
  • Topaz asked if monies raised from a certain event, such as a holiday table at Lake Katonah, can be earmarked for arts initiatives at an elementary school. Julie replied that she did not think that would be an issue.
  • Julie mentioned there are efforts underway to build a KLSDAA database since we no longer have access to ConnectEd. This is a tremendous, time-consuming task, but one that will be an important, long-term investment for the organization.


There being no other business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:16 PM by Julie Oyen.

Minutes submitted by: Liz Gebbia

Minutes approved by:

Adjourn at 8:16 pm





Permanent link to this article: