Longmont Museum Advisory Board Meeting – February 17, 2021
For a transcript of the meeting, please read below:
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Oh, thank you. Okay, well, if it’s okay, everybody, we will go ahead and call the meeting to order it started here. And for roll call, I think we are all here except for Megan. And Susie is going to be late. So it’s great. Thank you all for for being here. And also, just wanted to mention, you’ve all seen that we have a member of the public, Sheila Conrad is joining us again. She says she’s just going to listen, but if you want to make comments, you look, please let us know if you have something you’d like to add. Oh, well, thank you. Um, first thing is approval of the last month’s minutes. Has everybody had a chance to review? If someone would like to make a motion to approve those? That would be great.
This is Chris, I move to approve.
Thank you, Chris. Is there a second? Okay. All in favor of approving the minutes, please say aye. Aye. And raise your hand or? All opposed? Okay, that passes unanimously. Okay. Moving on, to the proposed accessions. Eric, if you’d do the honors.
All right. So we have a couple of accessions this month. The first one is photographs and a program from online high school class of 1938. So for a long time, this was kind of standard in high school is everybody would hand out their senior pictures with their name on them, and maybe a note if they knew the person. So we have quite a number of years of of these in the collection. So every time I’m offered, then I go back and check to make sure we’re not just duplicating an existing collection. And so in this case, you know, we took about half I think of what was originally in the collection, because we had examples of other ones. And then the program is from a musical called Carmelita that was put on any questions on that expression. If not, we can move to the next one. So this is a fun kind of diverse collection. So the both the donor and her children, or heavily involved in four h. So we have a scrapbook created by the donor, her experiences is sort of a general scrapbook of her life. But I’ve opened it in this photo to the page that shows her you know, grooming horses and so forth a little hard to see on the screen. But that is what what that particular page on the left is showing. And then she also raised sheep and four H and her dam in the fair and up at the top that is a pair of sheep shears that are actually shaved in a piece of a milking machine. So it’s kind of an interesting, reuse agricultural item, and then the ribbons actually were won by her children. So the ribbons date primarily from the 1980s. But we really don’t have surprisingly that many Boulder County Fair ribbons, and really not many at all from from a more recent time period. So inappropriate. Questions on that session? I believe that is the last one.
Okay. Does anybody have any questions or comments about Pete Sessions? I hear a motion to approve the accession of those items.
This is Brian. I’ll make a motion to approve these items.
Thank you. Is there a second?
This is Chris and I’ll second.
Chris. Thank you. All in favor of accessioning these items, please raise your Your hand wave ever. All opposed? Okay, the next session is approved. And now, Kim, if you would give us the directors report, please. Sure.
Um, I think you guys all got a copy of this. So I’m just gonna kind of pull out some of the highlights in the report, and not necessarily read every single end before you. So starting there, under administration, we were able to get the fund development manager position approved. And Joanne shared that job description with you. So please share that with anybody that you think might be interested in the position, this is going to be a really big step for us, we’ve had for some time, Joan has been in the position as three quarter time doing marketing, membership and the development. And so having a full time development person who’s going to be really focusing on fundraising is going to be a serious game changer for us. And as you recall, that is funded through the bump that we got from CFD and the tier two funds. So that took a little bit of time to get sorted out through the budget office and through the city manager’s office, but it’s finally been approved. And so we’ll be hiring for that position very soon. Again, you may recall that through our strategic plan, this was really the number one priority that was identified through that process. And so we’re excited to be moving forward with that. We’ve got all kinds of marketing that’s happening for programs that are going on. And just as an FYI, just on Tuesday, Joan returned from maternity leave. So we’ll be kind of rolling back into her her position in that, but we are maintaining Scott Yoho, who was funded through the NEH grant, until the end of the season, basically. And so he’s going to continue to help with us with the virtual programming. So that’s, that’s a good thing. To have that extra help with that
job that we’ve got. Our education department has had their first art and CIP on Facebook Live. And so Lee Putman was facilitating that on February the third and everything went smoothly. Some of these things you might, if you’ve been watching some of our virtual program, there can be some glitches. But so far, I think, I think it’s pretty charming. And we do have volunteers that are working on the Discovery days kits. And so that program is still going quite strong, we’re going to be distributing probably 90 of those. And that’s basically for curbside pickup. So that’s that program has really been very strong through the pandemic. So that’s been a good success story for us. And then we continue to work with svb, SD, on third and fourth grade history projects. And so, you know, they’re kind of trying to navigate exactly how they are opening up is been a little bit of a challenge. But we’re still moving on those collaboration. So that’s going to be, I think, a really great once we are able to unroll that. And we do have, as you may recall, the VISTA volunteer that’s working with us, Courtney Fletcher, and she’s been a fantastic addition to our team, just by the way. And she’s now working on teacher trunks and sort of redeveloping those that have been in operation for some time now. And so we’re just sort of taking a new look at those teacher trunks and sort of upgrading them a little bit. And I know that Suzy has used these in the past and knows other teachers who have. So I do think that they’re really well received. And so we’re just trying to update some of the content in those. And then we also, I hope, some of you were able to attend the opening reception, our virtual opening reception for the impressionist exhibition. And so included in here is that Jared and Anne had a great live discussion about lithography. And I thought it was fantastic. They just had such great banter and were able to really speak passionately about their knowledge. And so I was really moved by their presentation during that I thought it was really lovely. Let’s see onto the collection section there. Eileen and Eric have been working on doing doing some research for a new question. Elections management system. I don’t know if either one of you want to pipe in to talk about that a little bit. This is this is really a pretty big undertaking. So maybe I’ll let Eric talk about that for just a second. Yeah, I
mean, we’ve been using has perfect in one version or another since 1998. It has been our database that tells us where everything is tracks all of the information about our collection. And so replacing it is a is a big deal. And Eileen and I have been working on, you know, we’ve had sales pitches now from, I think, five different companies and have demo versions of four of those to start looking at, you know, and the reality is, there’s not going to be a perfect system that’s like this does absolutely everything we wanted, it’s you know, we’ll have to make the choice based on what what works best. But the big change is that they are now all cloud based, which means right now, you know, we’ve been able to continue working because we can remote in, but there’s no way for volunteers to continue working or work on things from home because the city doesn’t like volunteers remoting into its system for security reasons. So a cloud based system means a volunteer could log in from anywhere, and, and work on, you know, their project as long as they have in whatever information or digital images are supposed to work from. So that’s gonna be a big jump for us. And then just the way that the technology has advanced in terms of being able to do things far more efficiently than than they could. A few years ago, we’ll help advance not just the collections, but really how the collections are used by by every museum. So we’re excited about it.
It never ceases to amaze me why it’s so difficult to get a good day of the right fit for a database. But this is an ongoing museum challenge like this that everybody faces. But I’m excited to get something new to you. I think it’ll be great. And then also Eric included in that collection section that there’s a lot of activity going on with the 100 and 50th anniversary and he is on a committee to sort of represent the museum for that city wide effort. But I do think that a lot of what’s happening is happening at the museum. And that’s largely as a result of Coronavirus. I think, you know, we we were already doing things. For instance, Eric was writing a book, you know, and we were going to be doing the exhibition regardless. So we kind of are the seat of those celebrations. But there there are some citywide things that are going to be happening. And so we’re working to get those together and make that a great celebration. If you chimed in to the birthday event I thought that that was actually quite amazing to have, you know Chino represented and to have Guzman represented and Vance brand on there. It was just so much fun to be able to see all of those things, I was really heartened by that Happy Birthday event. And so I hope you guys got to tune into that. And if you didn’t tune into it, I highly recommend that you go back to our YouTube channel. What do we have it on? It’s on 880 or you can see it on our Facebook page. So you can find it if you if you want to take a look at it was really fun. And the exhibits section there we have been helping, you know there they have renovated the council chambers and as a result of that renovation, they had to move the mayor’s photos. And so we helped out, I say we I was our exhibits, staff that helped remount those and sort of get them prepared for this new space and beautified in a new way. We have the enduring exhibition and during impressions exhibition that is open now and attendance has been actually quite good, which we were really hoping for. And the in addition to the enduring impressions exhibit is also in our little portal gallery. We’ve got lithography art and process. And so Brock really took that on as an exhibit and we borrowed material from the CSU printmaking department for that. And then it also contains a video from MoMA about the lithography process. So again, if you haven’t had a chance to see the exhibit yet, make sure to check that part of it out. We do have an attendance record As a security guard that is in the gallery for all of our open hours, so we’ve got extra security in the space for this, you know, sort of high dollar exhibition that we have in there. And we also have interns working with the exhibits department. Ainsley walk Ainsley Watkins and Emily Asif, and they’re both cu students. And Jared really relies on these folks, for a lot of assistance. And they do, they’re able to do some really great development and design. And so I think that he, he provides a really great opportunity for the students that work with him. We’re also working with the MOCA on an exhibition that will open in 2023, if I if memory serves. And that’s really kind of getting off in terms of development, we’re working, we’ve got a guest curator that is pulling that together as well. And basically, the idea is that it’ll be a collaboration between an artist and a farmer. And there’ll be some installations at the London Museum, there’ll be installations at be MOCA in Boulder, and then there’ll be installations between the two museums on farms. So we’re kind of excited about what kind of dialogue that’s going to generate and what kind of, you know, ideas we’ll be able to bring into that exhibition. You guys stop me if you have any questions, but I am looking this way. So you might need to say something to get my attention. Um, let’s see, we’ve got in Stuart otter torium. With cares act dollars, we were able to get some new equipment. And that’s now been mounted. And so we’ve got new cameras and new
recording equipment in order to be able to do the live streaming in a more seamless way. And so that’s up and running. And we’ll also be able to use that for any rental clients that we have. So far, our rentals are still kind of slow going, because of restrictions with Coronavirus, but we’re starting to see a little bit of uptick with that as well. Let’s see, Justin mentions here again, the enduring impressions opening, and that we were able to have pianos play at our beautiful grand piano and it was really, really beautiful in that space. And Simon’s Falcon, was there kind of giving an introduction to the exhibition into the mowers who are the collectors, I thought it was really a fun opening, you know, the, what we were able to pull off in these weird times is virtual opening, I think turned out to be quite a nice thing to do. And Simon was extremely complimentary. He felt like it was elegant and very classy and, and I felt like it was really great kudos under the circumstances. Let’s see. We’ve also sort of reinvigorated the Friday afternoon concerts, and so that the first one started on February the fifth and so those are going to be continuing. And Justin’s really put together a lot of interesting programs kind of going forward. So we’ve got the voices of change that happened on the 11th the history of race and social justice in Longmont. Suchi atro celebrating 50 years, which is also so we had the director was the executive director and then also the poet laureate, Bobby Lefevre, who are he has is also a playwright. So they’re going to be on that program together. And then we’ve got the in Car Series, the air we breathe, divided, we stand on the future of democracy. And so I do think that part of what he’s doing is really trying to reach out to make the programming much more diverse, and then also really thought provoking. And so I’ve been really pleased with the programs that he’s been pulling together. And then of course, we do have a couple of upcoming rentals, the long line symphony orchestra is going to be doing a taping, so no audience but doing a taping on the Longmont, I’m sorry, in the Stewart auditorium. And then the greater boulder youth orchestra is also going to be doing some taping. So attendance for the new exhibition has been quite good. Elizabeth mentions in the section under the visitor services, so January the 29th was opening day. And we had 28 that day and then Saturday was 73. And then Saturdays have been close to sold out or sold out. So thus far, so we’ve been doing quite good. And so I think we opened it up just a little bit more, a lot more tickets to be available. So we’re seeing some really good attendance to the exhibition. So That’s very good for us, we’re we’re happy to see that Elizabeth and some of the other people on staff have also been working with Longmont police department in order to be able to create a security protocols with the exhibition on site. And so we’ve, we feel good about the attention that we’ve been getting from police and facilities, in terms of making sure that we’ve got great security for this exhibition. So that’s been a great collaboration that we’ve been able to pull off. There’s also she’s continuing to sell mystery bags for the day, the dead merchandise that she still has left. And so that’s been going quite well. And then we are still working on the attendance numbers from 2020, because of the virtual attendance for all of these programs that we took online. And I’ll just extend that thought a little bit further, that scfd, as you know, requires us to keep track of all of our attendance. And they are pretty rigid about how you know what counts for what kind of attendance and how it has to be documented. And all of these things, and they haven’t come out yet to tell us more about how they are counting virtual attendance. But they are putting a lot of thought and kind of policy behind it. Because all of these organizations are in the same boat, all of the cultural facilities are in the same boat in terms of having to move all of their programming online during the pandemic. And so they will at some point come out with more guidance about how we count what for attendance for
during the time that we’ve had things go online. But so far, what we’ve seen is that we actually had more attendance during the pandemic than we did prior, we are seeing numbers that are well over 75,000 in terms of people who have participated in our programming online. So I think that regardless of what that ends up looking like in terms of CFD counts, we’re feeling really great about the engagement that we saw during the pandemic, and with these online programs. And you know, the thing that happens with online programs is it’s not just people who can come to the door, but it’s people from across the country and across the world, who are also able to participate. So that’s really been, you know, very heartwarming to see a lot of that action happening in our public places. We’ve got new commissioners there. And so Angela is working to do orientations with them. And, you know, they really are a working board. And so what she’s devised is basically a sort of mentor mentee relationship, so that there’s some training that’s happening for those new commissioners. And then there’s also new task force to work on LDA and creative district project. So you may recall that we’ve been talking about a cultural plan for some time. And so art and public places actually is a, this is the year that they are revisiting their strategic plan. And so as a result of that, we decided to just combine all of those efforts. And so our public places is going to be spearhead spearheading the cultural plan from here on out. And so at some point, I hope that you’ll see some invitations to be invited to participate on different kinds of surveys, and hopefully focus groups and things like that, again, timing is a little uncertain yet. And they need to secure consultant before, there’s a lot that becomes clear. But hopefully, a lot of this activity will happen when we’re actually able to meet in person again, so that’ll be a very good thing to have happen. So we can collect some data and try to understand what people want from arts and culture and long map. And then she’s also working on the sister cities collaboration, which is going to be a project at workman part. And that is basically a collaboration that celebrates the sister city, that partnership that we have with Guzman, Mexico. And so those they’re going to be a call to artists to get that one off the ground and Wardman Park is actually in the process of being built. And so they were able to sort of get in on the ground level of that project to be able to make sure that that gets integrated into the building of that park. So that’s all I have on my directors report. Any questions from anyone?
Cool. Thank you. I have, it’s just one little report I’d like to give him as a chairman, just so you all have a feel for some things that are happening with membership. We sent out 428 renewals today to people who either were behind or you know, whose memberships were coming up for renewal soon. The last time we sent them out was last November. So we kind of tried to give people a break, since we, you know, you’re not quite sure what’s happening with people’s money and all that, but, but the thing that I found most interesting, Joanne got some numbers for me today. And our current membership number is 577. And in April of 2019, so almost two years ago, we had 757. So we’re only down 180. from that. And then what I thought was most interesting, we’re really only down at nine memberships, current memberships from last year in February, which was kind of prior to all the pandemic stuff. So, you know, we’ve had really a lot of people who have renewed their memberships, you know, without getting a renewal, and who just have continued to support the museum. So I think that that says a lot for the programming that we’re doing. And just in general, for people wanting to support the museum’s I just wanted you guys to, to know some of those numbers, just to I think we’re doing very well. And I know, when we look at some of the other museums that are really, really struggling, I think we should be very happy about where we’re sitting.
I might add to that, that. Alright, I can’t remember if I told you guys, but there was there’s that state fund arts relief funds that was available for Colorado, and we applied for it, and we did not get it. And I am actually fine with that, because they clearly were trying to target organizations that were on the verge of closing their doors. The application basically had questions like, Do you have enough money to pay your staff next week and things like that? So I felt like, you know, we are really in quite good shape. And I think that we should all feel really good about, you know, how the city has has has really protected us and gotten us through this crisis. So I feel very good about that.
Okay, so I don’t think we have any old business unless someone is aware of something that didn’t make it on the agenda. For new business. The first thing I actually have a second thing too, but has to do with the fact that the city’s attorney city attorney’s office, has asked all boards to augment their bylaws with the addendum. The electronic participation policy during city of Longmont, board and commission meetings. And I think there was a copy of it in your packet. So you could see what it was. Basically, I think we’re just trying to confirm that what we’ve already been doing is part of the bylaws. So by the next meeting, we’ll know better exactly what form that’s going to take because we’re not sure if it’s just going to be a line item in the current bylaws that will refer to an agenda or if this whole thing will be included in the bylaws. But what I would ask is that maybe we approve the adoption of this augmentation. And then we’ll figure out how the logistics of how it’s actually going to be included in those bylaws in which we can update the next month. So I could read through this, but I’m going to assume that you all have taken a look at it. Basically, it’s just a policy that’s in place for emergency circumstances, which I think the pandemic falls into that. And it’s just essentially validating what we’re already doing. So if somebody would like to move that we would augment our bylaws by adding this into it, I would appreciate it.
This is Chris, I’ll move. Thank you, Chris.
Is there a second?
we gotta go Maria.
Maria. Okay. Thank you. And All in favor, please raise your hand and opposed. Okay, that’s proved unanimously. And then the second thing that’s not on here that I just wanted to mention, and for those of you who’ve been on the board for a little while, you have probably maybe have seen this on already. But one of the things that is usually done with a board is to give tours, and to make board members more familiar with, whether it’s curators at the museum, or just different things that the museum does. And since we can’t do that, we thought that perhaps in future meetings, what we’ll try to do is maybe have some of the different curators at the museum, give presentations, or perhaps virtual tours of the areas where they work, just so that some of you can get a closer view of what’s happening at the museum with different staff members. So just wanted to kind of give you a little idea of what we’re going to try to do. I say we, of course, I’m using that very loosely, because I have nothing to do with it. But it seems like it would be nice, and maybe I know there was a virtual tour of the collection center that perhaps we could see part of that or something like that, too. So that for those people who have never seen the collection center, it could get an idea what that looks like. So with that said, that’s all I have. Are there resume, you have comments, or
I have another item to add. We’re ready for that. And I had hoped to be able to get this on the agenda, but I needed to do a little bit of investigation before I added it. And I didn’t get that concluded until today. So I apologize that it didn’t appear earlier on the agenda. But we have been working as part of the Longmont 150 exhibition. We had been I say wheat again, really this is Eric has been working on getting a land acknowledgement statement on behalf of the museum together and he has been working with color consultant Montoya Whiteman, who is both she is Cheyenne and Arapaho. Is that right? Yeah, she’s Cheyenne, and Arapaho, which are the tribes that are most closely affiliated with long lines. And so she’s done a lot of really, really wonderful research for us and has put together a lot of documentation about land acknowledgments, and kind of how they’re used and how they’ve been developed. And so just to give you a little bit more information about them, if you’re not aware of them. Land acknowledgments basically are a statement that recognizes the Native Americans who, whose land you’re sort of operating on, and they’ve become really quite I don’t want to use the word popular because it sounds a little derogatory, but but they are being adopted more and more as sort of best practices in museums and in other areas as well. It’s my understanding, and this comes from Montoya’s research that they really developed out of Australia and the indigenous people in Australia. And, and so they’re used in a lot of different arenas. But certainly museums, and especially cultural museums have been adopting them very frequently lately. And so, in part of what we’ve been talking about with Montoya is that she brought to our attention that the city council of Denver actually adopted a statement that they read before every council meeting in Denver, and and so, you know, it became an option for us to start thinking about, should we should we expand this conversation beyond just the museum and talk about it in terms of the city of Longmont and the City Council of Longmont? And so that’s really the research that I had to do is to talk to my boss, Karen Roni, about how would be the best sort of avenue to achieve that goal. And she then needed to talk to the city manager to try to understand better, what would be the best way to do it. And I think we all have come to the conclusion that it’s you guys who get to help us navigate this, that to try to understand better what, what might be the best process and what how we might be able to develop the actual statement, who should be involved, and how we kind of want to move forward with it, as I mentioned, and Eric, I don’t know if you want to pipe up here to talk about some of the research that Montoya has done. I think that she has really informed this conversation. Lot. And so I think we’ve got really great foundation for continuing the conversation. Eric, do you want to add anything to that?
I think yeah, I think what you said is, is absolutely right. We really been been lucky to get Montoya’s thoughts on this. She has a lot of amazing connections, just people all over the country. And so I think it’s a really good resource. And she’s also working with the Denver Museum on a similar project. They’re also looking at a land acknowledgement statement. So I’m sure you know, if you all would want I can, we can send her send you all some of the information that she’s provided to us about land acknowledgments, but they are what what purpose, they are, things like that as a starting point.
That’d be great. I’d be very interested in that. It’s, it’s
something that we typically do in higher education as well, starting any of our meetings or presentations, we’ll talk about acknowledging the land before we go into this presentation. So
we’ve been doing it pretty informally at the museum. But, you know, developing this exhibition, and in fact, you know, even Eric writing the book, it just made every sense in the world to acknowledge what happened before long that was here, you know, before there was this, this thing called long that you know, and so I think that, that it all just makes, you know, it’s very logical to be able to, to look further back than that, and acknowledge who was here before us. And so it’s unclear to me, you guys exactly what needs to happen. But I think probably Eric’s right, that the first step is for us to share. Montoya’s research with you. And then, and then what we need to do is really kind of navigate what a process would look like. Suzy, I’m sure has an opinion on this as well. So maybe we linger just a little bit longer until she’s able to join us. But I do think that the the key is going to be to figure out the best route to get it to city council. And writing the statement, that’s the thing, we have to actually write the statement. Eric, do you want to talk about Montoya’s thoughts about that.
So if you haven’t heard a land acknowledgement statement, they really run run the gamut. But but a typical one might be something to the effect of, you know, we acknowledge that land we are speaking to you from is the traditional homeland of the Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples. and that type of thing. Montoya is really advocating for it going a little further than that, not just acknowledging it, but actually having some kind of a call to action. It’s like, well, that’s fine. But what are you going to do about it? And so she’s she is talking that, that there should be something in terms of, and this is a way that you can react to that. So that is one of the things that we, you know, kind of need to wrestle with, and particularly as a city, where it’s like, well, we can’t really say, and we think everyone should give to this organization, because the city can’t really say that in quite the same way that say, a private museum might, might be able to make that type statement, but but it just, you know, it raises awareness, but it also is an opportunity, I think, to throughout the organization, talk about, you know, what does it mean to be living on what, what are what on our gallery, we say we are squatters on Indian land. And that is a something that that is sometimes a hard truth to deal with. It’s an important one to wrestle with. And in some ways, it’s that writing of it almost in the the outreach and getting a group involved that is, as big a part of it almost as the final statement. The final statement is, is you know, a good piece but, but you need to have buy in from a large enough group where it’s not just seeming like Oh, the museum wants us to read this. So we’re going to do it where it really becomes something your organization as a whole, as has agreed to? Kim, we’re not able to hear you. Sorry.
I don’t necessarily want folks to have to linger, to wait for Suzy. So maybe what I’ll do is just make sure that she sees the recording of this meeting. And then we’ll, we’ll make sure to share all of the materials with her as well. But I do think maybe by the next advisory board meeting, if we can come up with a good strategy for a process, and then, you know, stakeholders who we want to be involved with it. And sort of how we want to arrive at a final statement, I think it will be a good thing for us to be able to do.
That sounds good. information. So if anybody, nobody else has anything to add at this point. Um, is there a motion to adjourn? Thomas?
And is there a second?
Dale, thank you. All in favor.
thank you all. I have 515 and we’ll see you next month. Thank you very much,
everyone. I thank you, Sheila.