Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association
Minutes of Past Meetings
In attendance: Helen Bechdel (President), Joan Blasko (Arts Coordinator), Carol and Kevin Burke, Jim Dunne, True and Rob Fisher, Rob Gannon, Ann Jacobs, Melady Kehm (Vice-president), Judith Shardt (Treasurer), Joanne Tosti-Vasey (Secretary), Dave and Sarah Trost, Joe Vasey, Porter Versfelt
The meeting was held at the home of Carol and Kevin Burke. Helen called the meeting to order at 8:10.
The Treasurer's report was not available at the time we wrote these minutes.
Arts Coordinator's Report (and related discussions)
Joan announced that local government grants have made funds available for four projects. They are 1) the library ($5400 to the general fund, $500 for a portrait restoration), 2) the Arts and Crafts Fair ($150), 4) the Gamble Mill Gallery ($1500), and 4) the Film Series ($400).
A budget meeting was scheduled for Sept. 24., involving Sarah, Judith, Nancy Perkins, and Joan. One of their tasks is to design a standard form that all committees can use to make their budget requests.
Joan has received membership invoices from two groups that BHCA might want to belong to. They are Citizens for the Arts and The Victorian Society. Rob Fisher made the point that it would be good in general for BHCA to belong to arts planning groups on as many levels (state, county, regional, borough) as possible. Involvement at many levels would provide good networking opportunities and give BHCA greater visibility on several levels at once. The group agreed to join lobbying groups at all levels, but decided not to join the Victorian Society.
Gamble Mill Gallery
A new system for hanging pictures and other works of art has been installed in the kill!. The general consensus is that it works well and is unobtrusive. Most importantly, the Mill is happy with it.
There is a tentative schedule for showings through next year's Arts Festival. Several artists are Penn State faculty. Suggestions for new exhibitors are needed. Also, volunteers are needed to help with setups.
The group discussed a problem with the bulk mailings of Gallery announcements. Although they are mailed well in advance, announcements are often delayed, especially to addresses in State College. Joanne noted that bulk mail has a low priority at the Post Office. The group suggested than Joan talk to the Post Master about the problem. Sending the mailings out earlier is also a solution, but is not guaranteed to solve the problem.
The Summer Sounds concert series was a big success. As evidence, Melady brought a plastic bag full of money from the Little German Band concert. Nearly 600 people attended this event! There seems to be a strong community interest in polka / German music. How about a "Polka Madness" theme for a fundraising concert?
Jim Dunne reported that this season's activities are looking pretty good. Four of six performances have been finalized, including Dianne Gold (Mozart and Cole Porter), Simple Gifts (folk renaissance), The Victorian Brass, and a Swiss pianist, whose name unfortunately escaped us.
In conjunction with the concerts discussion, the idea was floated that perhaps BHCA could help out with the Garman Opera House restoration. Ideas included sponsoring a fund raiser or holding concerts in the Opera House. Dave Trost suggested contacting Pat Casher, who is restoring the building, to brainstorm collaborations between BHCA and the Opera House. An ad hoc committee (Porter, Dave, Helen, and Melady) was formed to explore this further.
Rob Gannon reported that there hasn't been any activity regarding historic building plaques recently. Helen raised the idea that if BHCA doesn't sponsor an Old House Fair this year we might instead provide plaques for historic buildings that don't already have one.
Application forms for the Arts and Crafts fair during Victorian Christmas will be mailed out soon. Contact True if you are interested in helping with setup, manning tables, making coffee, etc., during the fair. The fair will be two days long, December 14-15.
Melady pointed out that she's the only person who's currently trained to conduct walking tours of the historic area, and she could use some help. Dave, Judith, Joe, and Joanne expressed an interest in learning how to give a tour. Melady agreed to meet with them and give a "training tour." Hopefully, this will result in five people who will be able to conduct tours.
Melady suggested that BHCA invite Pierce Lewis, a landscape architect from Penn State, to come to Bellefonte to lead a discussion on Bellefonte architecture. This would probably be on a Saturday or Sunday. The group agreed that this was a good idea, and Melady agreed to follow it up by seeing if / when Pierce is available.
Odds and Ends
• The Nominating Committee will get together before the next meeting to prepare a slate of nominations for office.
· Yearly dues ($10) will be collected at the October meeting - bring your checkbook.
• The possibility was raised of an excursion to the Williamsport Historic District. Details will be provided at the next meeting
· Ann Jacobs is a new member on the board of directors of the Nittany Valley Symphony.
• True Fisher noted that she is on the Arts Appreciation and Education Committee for the Bellefonte School District. This announcement generated a lot of discussion, including suggestions about promoting student involvement in arts-oriented activities around town.
• As part of the the discussion about student involvement, True announced that Edward Albee will be visiting Bellefonte High School this coming February.
Next Meeting: The next meeting will be a potluck, at the home of Rob and True Fisher (228 N. Allegheny Street, Bellefonte). The potluck will start at 6:30 P.M.