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Holyoke Local Cultural Council Meeting October 2, 2023

Oct 2 2023

6:30 pm City Hall Holyoke

536 Dwight St, Holyoke 01040

Posted September 22, 2023, 7:52 AM

Holyoke Local Cultural Council Meeting Notice

Date: Monday, October 2
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Holyoke City Hall, meeting room adjacent to ballroom, 536 Dwight Street

Agenda:

Grantee communications

Treasurer’s report

Review of HLCC-sponsored events

Grant writing workshop update

Grant process review and expectations

General announcements

Previous business

Other business

posted 9/22/23 8:10 am

Holyoke Local Cultural Council Meeting Minutes                                          October 2, 2023

 

Location: Holyoke City Hall, meeting room adjacent to ballroom

 

In attendance: Anne, Tim, Navae, Nadia, Mark, Gloria, Chris F (ex-officio), Chris D, Chris D

Absent: Gabriela, Koco

 

Agenda

Grantee communications

Treasurer’s report

Review of HLCC-sponsored events

Grant writing workshop update

Grant process review and expectations

General announcements

Previous business

Other business

 

Meeting called to order at 6:44 PM

 

Opening remarks

  • Navae had binders in her car for grants and brought them to store in the same room as HLCC meetings
  • Chloe has stepped down from the council

 

Grantee communications

  • Nothing new from last time
  • Some people turned in some forms and some asked questions about forms
  • Website for grant applications has been publicized

 

Treasurer’s report

  • Anne doing treasurer’s report due to Koco’s absence

 

2023: 

Grantee amount = $87,578 

Reimbursed = $37,729.45

Encumbered = $48,848.55

 

2022: 

Grant amount = $59,145

Reimbursed = $42,758.72 

Encumbered = $16,386.28

 

2021:

Grant amount = $60,022

Reimbursed = $34,608

Encumbered = $25,414

 

  • Anne distributed list of all unclaimed grants from the past 3 years, including organizations/grantees, events/programs, and grant amounts
  • Discussed unclaimed grants including events and programs that have been held that members know of and/or attended
  • Grantees to be reimbursed for the specific projects that have been awarded; they can’t seek reimbursement for events that they held that may qualify for HLCC grant but was not actually funded/applied for
  • It is not responsibility of council members to remind grantees to submit their paperwork
  • Anne responded to inquiries of council members about unclaimed grants
  • Conversation between Navae and Anne about unencumbered funds that need reconciliation. Anne and Navae will discuss and update at next meeting

 

Review of HLCC-sponsored events

  • Inquiry if anyone had attended HLCC-sponsored events
  • Gloria asked if Nina Simone event was funded by HLCC, Chris F. confirmed they did not  apply
  • Inquiry about calendar of events and communications about HLCC-funded events. Anne noted that we do not maintain a calendar or specific marketing for grant events. Council members are encouraged to share as they please
  • The list of 2023 grant recipients is available online on the MCC website and on HLCC Facebook page

 

Grant writing workshop update

  • Nadia noted small attendance. Anne, Chris D, Tim, Koco, and Nadia attended workshop. Discussed looking at ways to market applications next year and re-envisioning workshops
  • Anne said that 10-12 people said that they were excited we were doing it, but that they didn’t felt like they didn’t need it because they are familiar already with process
  • Potential to re envision what this could look like in future years. Discussed Gloria’s recent experience with Holyoke Media grant workshop panel with cultural councils from Berkshires and Somerville; potential for her to do Spanish version of workshop in future
  • Tim noted that good questions were asked
  • Navae noted prior discussions about having open office hours during grant writing season. This HLCC office space is now available. For next year, instead of doing a workshop, would we be interested in hosting office hours? Anne noted that we would need people to commit to schedule etc. 
  • Chris D asked if we have a website; confirmed that we do (facebook). Noted we could store recorded versions online. 
  • Navae – we could make office hours virtual
  • Anne – we still don’t have wifi or zoom account
  • Understanding that mayor is using ARPA funding on infrastructure for entire building
  • Anne discussed how council members are encouraged to do things related to promoting grant eligibility etc. as long as body of HLCC is kept in the loop
  • Potential to do zoom with cultural councils in other locations to see what they do to promote grant applications. We can learn more best practices from other councils 
  • Tim – thank you to Anne for going and facilitating. 

 

Grant process review and expectations

  • When we begin the grant review process, each council member will get a binder. In that binder there will be printed grants as submitted (not edited by us), instructions, and a rating review sheet. The rating sheet will also be online. Expectation is that members will read the grants, score them and input their ratings on the online sheet at least 24 hours before the scheduled meeting. This can be a long process due to the number of applications. When we meet, we will all individually have read the grants before our meeting, added our ratings to the online sheet, and we can have a conversation about funding. 
  • Unclear how many meetings we will need to go over grants. Please hold the scheduled meetings dates in your schedule: November 6th, 8th, 9th and 16th from 6-9 PM. These are in-person meetings. They will not be virtual or hybrid.
  • If a member is not able to attend a meeting, they should still read the grants and put in a rating; you just won’t be present for discussion. 
  • In first meeting we will go over the first half of the grants, 2nd meeting the second half, 3rd meeting we will use for reconciliation, 4th meeting is included in case we need it
  • Question of what we should bring to meeting – snacks are welcome
  • We will go into the larger ballroom meeting space due to COVID-19 increases. May need to get here earlier to help with set up
  • Navae will ask Nilka/the mayor if the ballroom is available on these dates. 
  • Will need to read grants ahead of time – most likely last week of October. This will likely be busy for many people as it is election time, Halloween, etc. Please be aware that this work is coming and figure out a workflow that’s best.
  • Chris D inquired about the estimate of time to allot for reading grants – Navae noted about 10 minutes per grant if you’re going to read them thoroughly and give an accurate rating.
  • Panel books from prior years available – Chris D will review 
  • Grant application reading and rating instructions passed around from 2022 and 2021. 
  • 4 = lowest rating, 1 = highest rating
  • Deadline for applications is October 17th
  • Anne recommended we talk up grants and encourage everyone to apply. If someone wants to make a flyer that we can hand out at the Brick Race, please feel free. Remind  grantees to hit submit, some people fail to do so. 
  • Tim – may have idea in your head about what is the best rating; conversations during grant review are very illuminating as people are able to share their perspectives. Discussed scenarios when council members need to recuse themselves. 
  • Chris F is ex-officio, if you’re a council member you can stay on for 3 years, and then apply for extension for 3 additional years, but then you have to take one year off. 
  • Quorum = 6 people as we now have 10 members. Reminder of recusal process, e.g. Nadia and Anne are both on local Pride Committee – will need to recuse from Pride grants. If we were to continue meeting we would need at least 8 members present. Navae suggested we review the Pride grant applications when we have the most amount of people present. 
  • Navae – there is no wrong rating, it’s your feeling about it. There are disparities in ratings. Often end up somewhere in the middle. This is a cooperative process where we come to consensus to determine how much to award. Allocate enough time to each application so you can give a fair rating. 

 

General announcements

  • No general announcements

 

Previous business

  • No previous business

 

Other business

  • The Brick Race – HLCC will have “disco inferno Barbie” themed brick per previous meeting
  • October 7th there is Brick Race test and BBQ (prior Saturday)
  • October 14th is the actual Brick Race from 12-3 PM
  • Nadia will be available
  • Is anyone available to put together Brick?
  • A council member buys the items to attach – Mark offered to donate
  • We already submitted/registered application 
  • Previous years we have done music theme (Bowie, Prince, Van Halen etc)
  • Anne will be there as grant recipient with the Postcards For My Future Self project. Asked if anyone would like to table for HLCC. Nadia and Tim are both available. 
  • Asked if someone would like to put together a flyer about HLCC – simple blurb about HLCC, encourages people to apply. Chris F will make QR code that will link directly to application. Anne will make the English version of flyer, Gloria will translate flyer into Spanish. We can drop off flyers in different locations.
  • Inquiry about banner – unclear where it is. We need a new logo. Can look into this in the beginning of 2024. 
  • Next time we meet will be our first grant reading. There will be e-mail sent about availability of panelbooks. They will likely not be available until October 23rd.
  • Mark suggested numbering grants; he’s willing to pick up copy of panelbook and number them, and then bring them to printer to make additional copies. Anne and Mark will figure out logistics to see if his schedule will allow. 
  • Chris F – Need to change Google calendar event on November 6th to 6-9 PM meeting time (not 6:30-8 PM). (note: this is corrected; calendar invites for grant series have been sent)

 

Tim motioned to adjourn meeting and Chris D seconded, meeting adjourned at 7:44 PM.

 


Nadia Scheussler, Co-Chair
Anne Thalheimer, Co-Chair

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