Sunday October 10, 2010
1110 SE Woodward Ave, Portland 97202
In attendance: BenD, Deadletter, Melissa Casburn, Eric Bagai, Brian Moran, Chuco the Driver, Ether Skawtus, John, Rich, Lorien Stormfeather, DiAnna Conda, Andy, Joy
Meeting called to order @ 2:20pm. Reviewed draft purpose, values, ranked list of 10 Principles, and brainstormed functions list (all of these items are included in last week’s meeting notes)
Agenda items for today: events (weekly/monthly) and event names, grants, non-profits, communication (people & methods), structure
BenD said that Keith, who attended a previous meeting, emailed his contacts in Chicago, who have offered to help review our 501c3 application if we choose to go that way. BenD also has info about Seattle’s process that can be shared. He hopes that next week we may be able to vote on our recommendations to the community, and then do some outreach @ Burnout on October 23. He sees that followed by a Town Hall meeting, details and agenda TBD.
Events: What can we do that’s not in direct competition with existing events? Idea to publicize at Burnout for a November event. Suggestion to have featured art or a featured artist at each event, to fill in because we don’t have seed money to start anything large right now. Suggestion to do something like that monthly or even weekly, in order to build legitimacy, followed by discussion about whether having events that frequently will be too much to manage and expect, and whether that would require us to make something artistic available to show at each meeting vs. having something much larger once a month.
Discussion about weeklies, where the first one is a bigger event than the others within that month. Discussion about possible locations, and suggestion that a core group commit to attending most or all events for 2 to 3 months to give it a kickstart.
Discussion about what’s required to give life to a self-organizing meetup: parking/public transportation, consistency of day/time/location, signs & a greeter, alcohol & food. Suggestion that each meeting is about actively looking toward the monthly, and about the new weekly taking the place of this meeting (being partly planning and partly social). Agreement to contact Plan B about moving to that space: lots of space, outdoor patio allows for fire, opportunity to do larger events. Agreement to start just after Burnout; Chuco will explore options by talking to his contact at Plan B and seeing which nights may have fewer conflicts (targeting Tuesday, Wednesday); Sunday was suggested as it may be easier for people in the service industry to attend; the group voted for Tuesday or Wednesday. Discussion about whether having the bigger monthly on Sunday would make sense; the issue was left open for discussion.
Agreement to have first weekly social on Wednesday 10/13 @ 6pm to 8pm; suggestion that we start with simple meet-n-greets to do outreach about the purpose of what we’re doing. The next two will be held on Wednesday 10/20 and Wednesday 10/27. Group reset the purpose of each meetings: Sunday mtgs for process & planning, weekday mtgs for social time & outreach. Discussion about using weekday mtgs in the future to discuss the upcoming agenda items once we get to non-profit status, in order to keep the board meetings under control. Hands were raised by people who can commit to attending the first meeting. Suggestion to talk to Décor about their schedule, as it’s known that they meet on Wednesdays; BenD will make that contact.
Idea suggested to have the large monthly event in the back of a truck so it can move from neighborhood to neighborhood. This would allow the event to pair up with local neighborhood events already on the calendar. Monthly event can be coordinated by a person or a group, and may be held at variable times as well as locations. It was agreed that Wednesday November 3rd will be the first larger monthly, also @ Plan B, and suggested that we incorporate a costume theme as it’s just after Halloween. Suggestion that it be named Playa de los Muertos and that we create a piñata shaped like the man; suggestion that we build it at Plan B @ one of the weekly meetings (after Burnout). Joy offered to host and it was also suggested that we collaborate that with Décor. Suggested that people bring playa swag to the next meeting, to stuff the piñata. Joy is in charge of ensuring the piñata gets built for the event.
Discussion about outreach to Burnout; suggestion to attend the Sunday afternoon portion (as well as clean-up) and talk to folks who will be there. Suggestion to have an info booth @ Burnout, perhaps as an interactive booth, to talk about the events and invite people to the weekly on the 27th, and the monthly on the 3rd.
Discussion about the group name; suggestion that “burn” not be included anywhere in the name. Open brainstorm on potential names for the group, and agreement that anything we choose now does not have to be the name of the non-profit. Suggestion for Regional Arts Development Northwest (RAD-NW) – name voted in by the group as a temporary (and possibly permanent) way to refer to the group.
- Wednesday & Sunday night announcements that include info about the meeting held that day and to announce the upcoming meeting(s), Andy to send
- Facebook fan page; Melissa to create & maintain
- Post meetings to calendar on Burningmanportland.com (including monthly event); Melissa to create & maintain
Discussion about when we might want to explore a website. Suggested that wiki be used for now, and that we may want to purchase related domains to point to the wiki. Discussion about whether or not we should utilize any other aspects of Burningmanportland.com; that idea was tabled. Suggested that a single webpage on a RAD-NW domain could be used to state the purpose, host to resources, and point to other assets. John purchased radnw.com, radnw.org, radnw.net; he also offered to host a website and/or mailing list when we get to that point.
Discussion about how/whether money will be made from the early events; group agreed that we are initially trying to build credibility and momentum and are not focused on money-making.
Suggestion to create bumper stickers as a simple way to promote.
Some attendees know about the details of a non-profit and some do not. It was noted that art can be defined broadly to include any expression of creativity. Membership vs. non-membership organizations are different and were discussed. A description of Seattle’s first election was shared, to illuminate how they determined their membership: each prospective member declared their material contribution to the community. Discussion about whether to consider an LLC that gave greater shares (and power) to people who contribute more hours to the organization; it was agreed that a structure of that type isn’t appropriate for this group.
PROS of a non-profit:
- Tax deductible donations
- No income tax
- High degree of accountability for actions of the organization
- Makes it easier to support experimental structures (councils, constituencies, etc)
- Eligibility for grants
- Government & community oversight
CONS of a non-profit:
- Cannot disburse money as easily
- Required paper trail adds overhead
- Government & community oversight can slow things down
- Membership organizations can be “hijacked” by a large group with a different agenda
Upon consideration of the pros and cons, the group agreed to recommend a non-profit as the future structure of RAD-NW. Suggestion for the group to consider what types of members and groups might exist within the non-profit.
MEETING ADJOURNED 4:01pm