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Friday, November 20, 2009

Read October Minutes - Come to Party - Buy Raffle Tickets - Send E-mails to Board

If you log into the Saints' website, click on "documents" on the menu at the top and select “membership documents,” you will see a list of three items. The last item is the published minutes of the October 12, 2009 board meeting. [Right now, there is a typo that states that they are minutes from an October 9 board meeting.] The October minutes were approved at the board meeting on November 8, 2009 and posted shortly afterward. This is because of a motion that was passed at the October board meeting.

Posting of minutes will continue on a monthly basis, and I want to encourage you to read them, write e-mails to the board if you have questions, and consider attending future board meetings as an observer. You may click on the blue link to go directly to the Saints' website and check out these minutes. The best way to send e-mails to the board is to select "committees" on the menu at the top of the site, select "board of directors" and type an e-mail. Then click "send e-mail to members" and your e-mail will be sent to the entire board.

You will now be able to see how each board member voted, and in future posts, you will also see which board member made each motion. All of these things, which are generally standard, are relatively new for this board. Allowing a membership that pays dues to know what is going on with their organization has been the subject of heated debate, and even resulted in my membership being revoked.

There still is some dissatisfaction with the quality of the minutes. They currently only state motions, and how people voted, but it is a giant step forward. At least now you can ask questions and find out why people voted as they did. In addition, observers are welcome to comment on this blog and spread the word about what is happening.

At our last general membership meeting, there was a question and answer session with seven of the nine board members in attendance and available to answer the questions. Unfortunately, Linda Berg (Treasurer) and Andy Lingras (Secretary), who are the board members to whom most of the questions were directed, were not in attendance. Hopefully, they will be at future question and answer sessions.

With the posting of the minutes, you will be able to make more informed choices when voting for candidates and deciding who you want to have representing you on the board. There are members working hard on revised bylaws, and a new grant committee that is just getting started. Involvement from the membership is greater than ever, and that is another step in the right direction.

There also has been a request from the Saints president for people to express their thoughts about the printed Spotlight and whether or not it should be continued. This will be a topic at a future board meeting, so you might want to ask to observe. Space is limited but you can always offer to bring a folding chair or ask that they find a larger space. Many of you have taken the time to respond, and have raised some of the peripheral issues that affect this decision. Some of these include looking further at the website, competitive bidding, layout, and more.

There is additional good news. There will be general membership meetings in January and February. Previously, there was going to be a five month hiatus. There will be a question and answer period at these meetings, so think about what you want to know more about.

Spread the word and check this blog frequently. Leave comments. It is unfortunate that we don’t have a forum on the official Saints website where we could communicate with each other and keep it for members only. There is such an option on our current site but as of now, the board has not voted to activate it. In fact, there are many features on our current website that we have not fully utilized. Hopefully, this will also change.

Once again, I want to encourage people to buy raffle tickets and support our grants program. In addition, you can relax and have a good time on Sunday, December 6, at the annual Saints Holiday Party. The party is an opportunity to socialize with other Saints members, talk freely about theater, share your ideas, bid at the auction and hopefully win prizes. You do not have to be at the event to win raffle prizes so don’t let a conflict keep you from buying lots of raffle tickets. Close to a hundred people have already signed up for the party and it sounds like it will be a fun time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Support the Saints Benefit

There is a lot of controversy going on within the Saints but we must not forget our commitment to serve the performing arts community. This year, performing arts organizations are finding it more challenging than ever to raise money and find grant sources. No matter where you stand in regard to recent controversies within the organization, the benefit deserves our full support.

The net revenue raised at this year's benefit will be added to the funds that have already been budgeted for grants this year. If you have another commitment and cannot attend the benefit, buy some raffle tickets, or bid on auction items. In addition, you can help by soliciting merchandise and gift certificates from local merchants and restaurants. Ask them to help you support our annual fundraising activities. If you provide additional items that can be raffled, more money will be raised, and there will be more prizes.

The Saints is about supporting the performing arts community through ushering and volunteer activities. In addition, we proudly award grants to deserving organizations. It is important that we stand together and make this the most successful benefit ever.

Don't forget how much the performing arts community has done for you, and all the great performances that you have attended over the past year. To sign up for the Saints benefit, read about last year's grants, or print out raffle tickets, go to the Saints' website by clicking on the blue link.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Reminder: Board Meeting - 11/8/09

There will be a board meeting tomorrow at the Atheneum, Saints Office, at 12:30 pm. It is requested that observers send an e-mail to the President prior to attending. There has still been no agenda distributed to the board members.

This site will continue to be available for comments from observers, board members, or members who have questions or concerns.

Recently, a motion was passed that approved minutes will be posted for member viewing on the Saints website five business days after they are approved. This means that if the minutes are approved at the meeting tomorrow, you should be able to view the minutes of the October meeting on November 13.

Preliminary review of the October minutes indicates that only motions and "decisions" made by the board are included - extensive discussions or concerns are not even referenced. You may need to continue coming to this blog or attending board meetings to know what is truly going on.

We have made progress but we have a long way to go before information is as accessible and complete as it needs to be.

It is time to start thinking about the next election and finding qualified candidates who are willing to speak up.

Stay tuned...