Annual Executive Director’s Report  approved July 9, 2012

Submitted by Susan J. Mumma

The 2011-12 Fiscal Year began July 1, 2011.  Initial contacts and grants, networking and contracting for most of the events were made by Executive Director, Susan Mumma.  Members of the Seldovia Arts Council Board then divided the responsibility of organizing and staging the events.  Susan Mumma attended a week of conferences: Arts Northwest, and FAR-West in Eugene, Oregon, which are invaluable in networking with other arts councils state wide and nation -wide for the purpose of block booking. She also attended quarterly Alaska state wide Small Presenter’s teleconferences, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts Conference in Anchorage.  She worked on web development, and keeping the websites for the Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival and the Seldovia Arts Council up-to-date, BMI and ASC reports, developing a fiscal  budget,  writing WESTAF grants and the annual ASCA Community Arts Development Grant.  These grants include the initial grant petition and the follow up evaluations of each grant.  The Community Arts Development grant, awarded by the State Council on the Arts, supports and underwrites the whole year of activities presented by the Seldovia Arts Council.  Seldovia Arts Council received Two Westaf Grants, one for Muriel Anderson and Terra Negra  (July 20)  and one for Rider’s in the Sky (September 28), and One Community Arts Development  (ASCA)grant for $4500 that will be used for the 2012/13 programming.

Seldovia Arts Council presentations included eleven events:

July 9 Women of One Soul was to include Melissa Mitchell, Shawn Zuke and Michelle McAfee. This show targeted to young adults who enjoy the folk rock genre and poetry.  Melissa Mitchell is a well known Alaskan musician whose band had been very popular with younger people in Seldovia in a previous year.   This event did not go as planned as Melissa Mitchell became sick and did not come, leaving Shawn Zuke, Michelle McAfee and poet Marina Del Gado to create the show.  Some of Melissa Mitchell’s fans were disappointed not to see her, the audience, which actually represented an older generation, found it a bit hard to understand. 27 people attended the event.   Organizer: Susan Mumma

July 20 Jason Farnham pianist was a Los Angeles based musician. His music ranged from jazz to classical and was surprisingly humorous in presentation.  It was a pleasant surprise to have this event well attended and received at the new Sea Otter Community Center.  Desserts were served.  40 people attended.  A new audience was reached via this new setting.  Organizers: Laurel Hilts and Betsy Scott.

August 27 Nancy Lord Book Talk Seldovia Arts Council partnered with the Seldovia Public Library to present Alaskan Poet Laureate Nancy Lord for their annual, Getting to Know Alaskan Artist Series.  This fun event is held at the Seldovia Public Library and enjoyed an enthusiastic following.  40 attended   Organizer: Seldovia Public Library. Tania Spurkland via Tracie Merrill

August 2 Art Walk   Seldovia Arts Council worked with the Seldovia Chamber of Commerce, Seldovia Village Tribe and local artists to create a First Annual Arts walk around Seldovia, re-visiting the artworks that are housed in resident’s homes and galleries.  This event was well-received by the community as they walked around town viewing art in various locations.  60 attended. Organizer: Laurel Hilts

September 3 The Guitar Master’s Concert featuring Chris Proctor, Steve Kaufmann and Jet Blue was again presented.  This partnership with the Acoustic Alaska Guitar Camp brings Master guitarists who have been teaching at a week- long camp in Wassilla prior to coming to Seldovia as a group to do a final show. The artists presented are well known guitarists who draw a larger following.   The event has become a traditional event over the last six years, taking place over the Labor Day Weekend.  40 attended Organizer: Susan Mumma and Darlene Crawford

October 30   Sweet Plantain Latin Jazz Quartet (Westaff)  This jazz fusion  group, touring from New York City, featured cello, viola, violin and base and  was part of a joint effort between several Alaskan Arts Councils and the Anchorage Concert Association.  A Westaf Grant was written to provide help with artistic fees. The event included an ice cream social, and school presentation.  Being a winter-time event and taking place over the Halloween time period it was tough to get an audience for this event, however, those who attended were very pleased with the quality and variety of the music presents.  30 attended. Organizers: Tania and Tobben Spurkland

Dec. 17 Billy Goat Bluegrass:  Local Seldovia musicians were given the opportunity to perform at the Sea Otter Center as part of a new Winter Concert Series. The winter series was originated to provide a showcase for local musicians and to be a free community event at a time of the year when fewer people are in Seldovia.   A dessert potluck was provided. This Christmas themed event was attended by 20 people. Organizer Laurel Hilts

Feb. 18 Brian Slover Native American Flute  Brian Slover and his students, Aliah Wheeler and  created an evening of Native American Flute conversation at the Sea Otter Center.  This event was particularly encouraging to young musician Aliah Wheeler who has become quite accomplished at this new instrument and has gone on to perform in front of larger audiences.  10 attended the event. Organizer: Laurel Hilts

May 18 Membership Benefit featuring Dan MAC Trio   This event held at the home of Suzie and Jerry Stranik was a kick- off event for the Summer Season and a benefit concert for members of the Seldovia Arts Council.   It was a beautifully created, semi-formal concert featuring one of Seldovia’s favorite artists Dan Mc Elrath.   Organizer: Suzie Stranik and Laurel Hilts 28 attended 12 new members were recruited.

May 28 Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin   This event was created to be part of the Memorial Day Celebration.  It was felt that it would be well attended by locals and tourists alike.  Stephanie Bettman and Luke Halpin preformed beautifully for audiences at Susan B. English School. Timing for the Memorial Day Event should be considered when deciding whether to continue this event in the programming.  27 people attended after a very busy weekend of community events.  Organizer:  Susan Mumma.

The Seldovia Arts Council also sponsored yoga classes by Betsy Scott during the summer and fall of 2011 and 2012.

June 21-24 Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival This event is Seldovia Arts Council’s largest event.

Two headlining acts are showcased among fourteen other Alaskan Acts in this four day event:

Beginning with the  free jam on the Tustemena ferry, this event includes, a community out-reach meet and greet, a free  open mike, Friday workshops, Saturday Workshops, two free around the town orchestrated jams, and two large paid  evening performances.   A group of about 35 performers created the event, including acts from California and the Northwest.  James Lee Stanley and Cliff Eberhardt, Dan Crary and Thunderation were nationally known musicians chosen as paid main acts.  The sound men      (Dan Mc Elrath and Sadi Synn were also paid for their services).  Other acts for the festival included some of Alaska’s finest professional musicians who donated their time to the event.  All musicians received a travel stipend. The main acts’ domestic travel was paid.    All housing or the artists was donated by the community.  A large performer dinner was orchestrated from donations from the community. This included green-room snacks.   T-shirts were sold as merchandize as were desserts.   Graphic artist, Kathleen George donated her professional services for the creation of the program and the Seldovia Village Tribe donated printing (for the first time in color). Board members headed up committees for transportation, housing, performer dinner, stage set- up and clean up, merchandizing, program printing and sponsorship.  Including the visiting artists, over one hundred people volunteered their time for this event. Artistically, the event was highly applauded. Many people commented favorably about the organization of the event. The show was well attended, especially Saturday night. All of the 15 workshops, including the two special Friday morning  workshops presented by Suzanne Summerville and Dan Crary were well attended. The jams around town were also well attended. A goal for next year’s festival would be to create more emphasis on the workshops, and to find a way to include more local folks into the festival at all levels, including talent.     Directed by Susan Mumma. Board members leading major committees for the event: Tobben Spurkland, Tania Spurkland, Laurel Hilts, Suzie Stranik, Sadi Synn, Darlene Crawford and member  Jerry Stranik. 350 attended the highly successful event.

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