Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association
Minutes of Past Meetings
October 8, 1987
Members present: Anne Jacobs (President), Joyce Hagen (Arts Coordinator), Kevin & Carol Burke, Joan Blasko, Helen Bechdel, Gay Dunne (Secretary), Royce Venay, True Fisher (Treasurer), Tracey Benson & Clare Kimmel, Melady Kehm (Vice-president), Rob Gannon.
The meeting opened with a motion by Royce Venay to approve the August 26th minutes, seconded by Peter Schneeman. The minutes were corrected later by Melady Kehm, who rectified our report of Boro Council's motion to purchase a sound system (Old Business, III). The defeat of that motion stemmed from their own reluctance to assume ownership. Since BHCA may be willing to take responsibility for a sound system, Boro Council may be approached to reconsider their decision.
A. Historic plaques
Criteria defining buildings suitable for the plaques had been developed by Rob Gannon and were read by Peter Schneeman in his absence. Peter Schneeman objected to the stipulation that BHCA provide a carpenter to affix the plaque to the building, particularly since carpentry incompetence is rampant in the group. Considerable discussion took place on whether to specify a uniform location for the plaque on the building. Kevin Burke opposed such a requirement, as placement should complement building design. He did support a recommendation to the building owner, not phrased as a mandate. The members present consented to this compromise, although the particulars of a suggested placement were not developed. Joan Blasko offered to inquire into Boalsburg's criteria for their historic plaques for more data on this point.
Plaque design was explored. A plaque made by Jim Bathgate during his employment at Cerro was examined and Tracey Benson circulated promotional material from several manufacturers, true to his word. No decision was reached, pending additional information, such as whether or not plaques could be obtained through Cerro and their cost. Recommendations about selecting a supplier, design specifics, pricing and marketing the product, would be best developed by a committee.
Marketing of the plaques was the next aspect. Melady Kehm suggested approaching owners of known historic buildings on an individual basis. Because of concern that some genuinely historic structures might be neglected with this strategy, a more open plan was preferred. It was finally decided to begin with pilot marketing to downtown buildings housing government offices, banks, shops, etc.
Kevin Burke urged seeking a grant for labor and material costs to increase the profit margin. Clare Kimmel later identified a county grant that might subsidize manufacturing costs of plaques for historic countyowned buildings. The Courthouse, Treasurer's office, and Hotel Brockerhoff are three such buildings. Anne Jacobs agreed to try to file an application by tomorrow's deadline.
Finally, Tracey Benson questioned the need for the Architectural and Historic Review Board's approval of the plaque design. True Fisher agreed to seek an informal consultation with Rob Fisher on this issue.
B. Garver Fund
The $2500 application for Arts Coordinator funding is awaiting the correct 501(c) document for completion. The Elks selection committee will then process the application.
II. Local Government Program
Joyce Hagen reported that Bellefonte's Boro Council recently approved a $4000 commitment to this matching funds grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. This represents a $500 increase over 1987's Boro commitment.
I. The Arts Coordinator Speaks
Joyce Hagen reviewed the mail received through the organization's post office box. Of particular interest was the potential value of workshops sponsored by several art agency networks and coalitions. The decision to join one of these organizations was deferred for the time being.
It was decided not to renew BHCA's membership with Central Pennsylvania Arts Council, but the group approved membership in Bellefonte's Chamber of Commerce for a $25 fee.
II. Christmas events
A. Tony Lentz is unable to stage his traditional Dickens "Christmas Carol" reading in Bellefonte this season. Victorian Christmas had already planned the "Christmas Carol" in a play form in the- Courthouse. Joyce Hagen was asked to contact Mr. Lentz to suggest that he substitute other Christmas readings for a performance in the Courthouse on a date not conflicting with Victorian Christmas's production.
B. Walking tours may be offered during the Christmas season, conducted by Peter Schneeman.
Melady Kehm reported on a letter from ASCAP to the Summer Sounds committee, imposing a fee of $15/concert for rights to perform ASCAP songs. Tracey Benson agreed to research the legality of this action, particularly since admission to the concerts is free.
IV. Membership Drive
Joyce Hagen read the letter that she had composed for bulk mailing to our mailing list. It was approved by a 7-4 vote.
IV. Election of officers
The business of electing new officers as well as defining the shape of things to come in BHCA was deferred until the next meeting due to the lateness of the hour.
NOTE: The November BHCA meeting will be held on Thursday, November 19, 8:00 P.M. at the Fishers.
Gay D. Dunne