Minutes – Arts and Culture WG 10/18/2011

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Meeting Minutes    October 18, 2011
OWS Arts and Culture Working Group

Facilitators – Alfonso and
Timekeeper – Rudy
Stack – James
Minutes – Alex

  • Agenda Points
    • Transition from e-mail and google group to websites
    • Mission Statement
    • Open letter/AMC General Assembly Meeting
    • Meeting Outline for Internal Use and Press Dissemination
    • No Comment – Red Zone Response?
    • Announcements
  • 6:14: Meeting began with discussion of meeting format developed last night
  • Transition from e-mail and google group to websites
    • BEN started talking about about the current situation of communications. Two potential solutions: new NYCGA website or Occupenniel Wiki
      • Idea behind Occupenniel Wiki is a collaborative writing space
  • Side Note
    • ANDY began speaking about the situation with drummers making the Manhattan Community Board unhappy. MCB is coming to Liberty Square to hold a tour/press conference which can go one of two ways. They can either oppose OWS or show support to continue the occupation. Union 1199 made a cash donation of $1100 to create signage designating specific different areas of the park (legal, medical, press, etc.) Requesting volunteers to accompany him to Home Depot to buy materials, transport them off-site, and build all the signage tonight at the Brooklyn Free School. G Stop @ Clinton/Washington
  • Mission Statement Overview
    • IMANI has shared information about the bullet point list that currently exists for the concepts of the group. Looking to create a paragraph format mission statement off-site from the current bullet points.
      • LOW priority
  • Open Letter to Non-Profit Organizations in the City
    • IMANI shared basic concepts about collaborating with other organizations around the city to share materials, labor, etc.
      • MEDIUM priority
  • Meeting Outline for Internal Use and Press Dissemination
    • IMANI informed everyone of an organizational outline for meeting structure to be agreed upon.
      • HIGH priority
  • No Comment Art Show Response
    • NATHAN informed the group of some bad mojo about how the response was done and that the group should
    • Understood that there was a letter drafted directly to the artist
      • HIGH priority
  • 6:36pm – After reviewing the overall topics, NATHAN suggested that the proposals be reviewed before other meeting points in order to be ready for proposal to the GA at 7pm if necessary.
  • ALFONSO explained the process of getting an item on the docket for the GA for approval to JOHN and A&C.
  • 6:41pm – JAMES asked how long the meeting should go – 7:30p was agreed upon with 7:30-8:00 reserved for separate break-out sessions
  • IMANI announced that A&C now has a kiosk in the park at the north side near sanitation.

 

  • Transition from GG to Website
    • BEN has been working on getting A&C situated with the new NYCGA website. He has also been doing a lot of work on the Cccupennial stuff. BEN asked how to divide the information that is all currently stored on the GG and is overwhelming and disorganized.
    • PAUL agrees that there are many good options currently available to everyone. Began to share features of Occupennial that can do things.
      • Forum Discussion for questions of Art, Story Telling about Artistic OWS experiences, and other threads.
      • E-mail listservs get directed to the guilds and have forms to track dates, goals, etc.
      • Each guild can have a blog of their own to discuss what they would like and show documentation of how their process is moving along.
    • ALEX spoke about a desire to have a team of First Responders that will be 10-20 individuals that can receive the e-mails and distribute appropriately. This core group would be responsible for distribution and organization of all e-mails. Said to speak with BEN to become a FR for all incoming e-mails.
    • BLITHE feels confused about the multiple forum areas at the NYCGA and the Occupennials. Which should take precedence?
    • NATHAN is concerned about information fragmentation. While it has failings, the GG does allow all the information to be stored and accessed by all in all places. By splitting information, you will receive redundant communication and parallel discussions that might not facilitate effective communication.
    • PAUL agrees with the dangers of multiple communication sources. Suggests using NYCGA as a place for essential information and Occupenial as a place for big idea discussions and internal communication. Wants to optimize the role of current social media in our communication.
    • JEREMY has been in Boston for the last four days. Curious about the new website whether just for NYC or spreading further. Proposes that he creates one template that can expand to other cities. Also wants to be able to connect to other cities more easily and disseminate ideas. Instructed to direct towards Internet group, not necessarily A&C.
    • IMANI personally doesn’t know the features of NYCGA website and suggested the formation of an internet task force to get together outside the meeting and develop an outline for organization.
    • FIRST RESPONDERS PROPOSED: IMANI, BEN, JOHNNY, CLAIRE, ALLISON, DORJAY
    • INTERNET TASK FORCE: ALLISON, JEREMY, BEN, JOHNNY, PAUL, NATHAN, BLITHE
  • 7:02p – Meeting Outline for Internal Use and Press Dissemination
    • IMANI shared information about the alternating day schedule developed last Sunday at A&C and mentioned people having issues with rigidity. Press has requested a meeting outline. Requested for people to make comments on the GG and be able to respond to the press concretely by the end of the week.
    • PAUL shared other’s structural concerns with who can actually be represented at the meeting due to schedule conflicts. Maybe a system can be developed by the internet group to share information and get opinions from those who cannot attend meetings. Another point is current theatre troupes with numbers of 100s/1000s ready to mobilize at any moment. Being able to get in touch with these folks efficiently could be key.
    • JOHNNY shared information about making more inclusive. Options include live streaming and electronic vote gathering. Notes that these efforts will require significant volunteer dedication. Suggests that every member takes small steps volunteering to be successful in growth.
    • IMANI brings up Brad’s point about voting at the meeting. Feels that it is important to have discussion accompanied by the voting. Taking voting online removes the importance of debate.
    • PAUL is paranoid about people manipulating votes online and thinks that we are moving too quickly with assigning tasks and shifting responsibility. Wants to draw more active participants to the WG.
    • IMANI specifies back to the press requests for concrete materials regarding the meeting outline. Says that current outline is an expansion of facilitation outlines and is not necessarily constricting.
  • 7:15p – No Comment Art Show and Response
    • JAMES was reading threads on Google and doesn’t want to dwell on the past since the contracts are now null and void. Thinks that good can come of the mistakes that were made.
    • NOELLE wants to offer an opportunity to workshop together on what we see between the law and art, and explore the corruption there. Seeking individuals with experience in the fields to offer their experience and expertise.
    • JOHNNY says that others on the threads feel really strongly that a statement/report to the GA must be made regarding the situation. Debating whether to make report or informally learn from the situation and continue responding without the GA.
    • SARAH thinks that we shouldn’t say a mistake was made, just that the situation had gotten away from us. She had read a letter from the curator stating that the particular clause (of ????) was null and void after the closing
    • PAUL says that as far as he can tell, the only major problem came from a contact change in the middle of the show. Suggests that any time there is a contract involved, the entire group should be involved. Many good things came from the show.
    • IMANI says that there is a draft report back developed as a Google Doc. She reads it aloud. She requests modifications, reviews, changes, to be submitted immediately
    • NOAH thinks it is a good idea to read a version of it at GA. Thinks that our little issue is actually a big issue because it informs the GA that we are interacting with the real world and the safety of all artists in our group. Important to show support of all artists.
    • ADAM thinks it is important to get musicians and composers unions, screen actors guild, etc. because artists are not working through unions anymore.
    • IMANI proposes to remove the percentage details outlined in the current version and will bring it back as an announcement at the end of the meeting after cuts
    • JOHNNY thinks that the larger question is whether or not OWS should be creating and maintaining contracts with any organization outside OWS. Should commercial activity exist with the outside world?
  • Open Letter/A&C GA Meeting
    • IMANI suggests tabling for the moment until revisions and changes have been made online. Will repost fresh copy on the google group. Explains about reaching out to arts organizations around the NYC Metro area to join onboard and gain momentum for our organization. Organizing a larger GA-style meeting including the broader arts community for a large discussion.
  • 7:32p – Announcements and Proposals
    • JANELLE, REBECCA, ADAM, PAUL, AMY, JOE, IMANI
    • DORJAY wants to host an Open Mic Night for OWS giving everyone an opportunity to speak. States that there is no space to speak your spoken word and express yourself freely to a group. Important to host a weekly open mic night, maybe at battery park.
    • JOY received an e-mail from a forum in charge of two things: Poetry and Open Mic. Offered to forward the informational e-mail along.
    • NOAH announcing that on Thursday, we are occupying museums. Meeting at the park at 3:30 for a teaching about the museums we are going to occupy. Trying to go in front of the museums and make a people’s mic. GG postings for each location
    • JANELLE is from Blue Stockings Book Store and they want to host an art show for OWS and is gathering interest of those who wish to be involved. Offered to do it as a benefit for A&C and to continue the discussion offline.
    • REBECCA is a freelance radio producer and is doing an hour-long show with others on OWS next Wednesday, October 26. Wants to keep a kind of Halloween vibe, connecting with JOE offline.
    • ADAM wants to pursue the recording studios, design studios, visual artists about gaining more support for equal opportunities.
    • The performance guild shared information about a  circus troupe in Wash. Heights about OWS in English, Spanish, and Hebrew and said that the crowd was very welcoming. Community outreach is an important thing to continue supporting
    • PAUL says that everyone should take a look at the CONCTACT of some sort . PAUL met with Third Ward in Bushwick and they are developing an outreach program to happen at Third Ward including an OWS A&C presentation for all of Brooklyn.
    • AMY teaches arts administration at Baruch College and wanted to learn what was happening and how they could get involved. Wants to offer a performance of The Threepenny Opera as a benefit for OWS A&C and as a way to involve theater and entertainment unions.
    • JOE announced about the puppet guild’s first meeting today at 5:00p. Requested people to e-mail powertothepuppets@gmail.com to get involved in construction and performance. Check the GG OccupyHalloween and wants to present another budget to the GA requesting money to fund all the Halloween puppets and future projects. Requested $100 from the A&C for funding puppets further as the daily proposal.
    • IMANI returns to the letter earlier with edits she had made. She requests help to work with her offline to distill the document to its essential elements. Suggests the third paragraph in current version as the statement to be made to the GA for efficiencies sake.
    • BEN says that if we make a statement saying we made a statement, not necessary to make cuts in explanation to the GA.
    • PAUL says that the artists should be represented and that cuts would be offensive to the artists involved in the conflict.
    • JAMES suggested Occupying open mics all around the city to speak to a crowd of people who may not be involved in the movement yet. Many are free, some require a small cost, but all could be helpful.
    • ALFONSO recaps that we have gone through all the agenda items from today. Closes the stack and suggests that individuals continue their dialogue about specific items offline.
    • A vote took place on JOE’s proposal request for the daily $100.00 to Power to the Puppets and was approved unanimously.
  • AGENDA ITEMS FOR 10/19
    • Occupy Halloween budget preparation for presentation to GA
    • Announce about Amy’s upcoming proposal for a performance of Threepenny Opera to be used a focal point to mobilize the entertainment unions.

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