Bellefonte Historical and Cultural Association
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
Minutes of Past Meetings


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Minutes, January 10, 1992
Location: the home of Dave and Sarah Trost

In attendance: True and Rob Fisher; Carol Wood; Pat Casher; Judith Schardt (Treasurer); Porter Versfelt; Rob Gannon; Melady Kehm (Vice-president); Paul and Mary Ruby; Dave Trost (President), Sarah Trost; Alex and Ellen Dyakiw; Mary Parmenter; Kevin and Carol Burke; Joan Blasko (Arts Coordinator), Helen Bechdel; Joe Vasey, and Romayne Naylor (Secretary).


The meeting, held at Dave and Sarah's home, was called to order at 8 p.m. Dave introduced guest Pat Casher, co-owner of the Garman Opera House. Minutes from the previous meeting were approved as sent.


Treasurer's Report: Nov. 30, 1991 balance: CD $3,000; Savings $3,513.12; Checking $498.69; Total $7,011.81. December 31, 1991: CD $3,000; Savings $3,213.12; Checking $470.16; Total $6,683.28. Income: Memberships $120. Expenses: Operating $144.51; Chamber $50; Gamble Mill $157.02; Victorian Christmas $100; Total $448.53.


Joan reported sending the fund raising letter cost $100. Last year, $1,435 was contributed as a result of the letter. So far this year, $1,300 has already been contributed. We speculated that the difference was the inclusion of a return envelope. It was suggested that we include return postage next year.


Joan reported three coloring books and one Roger Moss book were sold during Victorian Christmas, and that we have 13 Roger Moss books left. True said she and David Bliss had discussed raising table fees for next year's arts and crafts sale because the artisans thought $60 was a bargain this year.


Dave volunteered to write a "letter to the editor" thanking Centre County Prison inmates for helping set up and tear down for the arts and crafts sale.


Joan mentioned a new exhibit started at Gamble Mill Jan. 4. She noted there are 747 names on the mailing list and that it hasn't been updated for some time.


Exhibits at Gamble Mill cost us approximately $250 and we get 35 percent of all sales. One upcoming exhibit will be a jeweler. Clyde Doll's bid of $15.74 per bulb for gallery lights was submitted.


True discussed looking for alternative space for the exhibit of sculpture and subjects, such as nudes, that can't be exhibited at Gamble Mill. R o m a y n e was told to send a copy of the minutes to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and to be sure the Centre County Library gets a full set each year.


A letter from the Council on the Arts said grant money will be coming as soon as they check to see that all our reports have been submitted (they have). This year's local government grant of $2,600 is less than the $5,500 we asked for, but is larger than in years past. Other grants we've applied for include Mid-Atlantic Arts and Pennsylvania Humanities.


Melady tentatively volunteered to go to a Pa. Humanities workshop in Reading Jan. 30. Joan will be unable to attend.


     Other correspondence: a thank you letter from the Centre County Library and Historical Museum for our contribution towards the conservation of the Humes portrait; and a note with $10 from a PSU professor who used the Historical Museum to find out when the Port Matilda Borough was consolidated (we decided to pass the donation to the museum).


Melady suggested adding a "grants" report to the minutes. Joan wants to get local government grants dispersed as soon as the check comes. These are very small grants to individual artists, the Gamble Mill Gallery, the Film Forum and assorted theatrical projects. True suggested revising the grant application form. Peter has suggested Gay Dunne chair the local government grants committee during his absence. Gay was absent, so we agreed for her.


Lorna Rassmussen of the Documentary Resource Center wants to have the Slice of Life film series for this year's Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts ready by April and is looking for people interested in helping. This led to a discussion of our Film Forum. It gives local film makers a chance to present their work and talk about how the project was done. Last year, the Film Forum was funded through the local government grant and money from the Garver Fund. This year we applied for and received a grant specifically for this project.


Jim has scheduled Simple Gifts for February's Library Series concert. Helen said Cece Eastman is considering helping Jim with the series. Melady suggested Jim become artistic director, picking groups to perform, and Cece take over booking and other arrangements. It was also suggested that the art coordinator's interns could help. Rob G. said the library is unhappy because C-Net is no longer recording that concerts. True said that's because filming is too disruptive. Porter said his "Pennsylvania Chronicle" is going statewide and offered to try to get the Library Series on the show, as long as the group is small enough to fit into his studio.


Rob G. moved, and Judith seconded, that we send a letter to Borough Council supporting the proposed expansion of the Historic District. Rob F. pointed out that the expansion is long overdue and that it acknowledges that historically significant architecture is not just in the mansions. The motion passed unanimously, and Rob. G. presented Dave with a pre-written letter for his signature.


Pat Casher presented an update on the Garman Opera House restoration. He said they are now ready to move into the theatre part of the project, but that funds are limited. The theatre is listed with the League of American Historic Theatres. This provides tax benefits and, with a restrictive covenant for preservation with Historic Bellefonte, Inc., assures the theatre will not be destroyed in the future.

Rentals in the building are helping to pay for the renovations, but 2/3 of the building is theatre. This area will be costly to renovate and is not generating any income. Casher and his partner, Bruce Cramer, will be approaching local banks to form a consortium to provide additional funds under the federal regulations requiring banks issuing mortgage money to contribute to the community. He estimated a one­time investment of $350,000 for house improvements and $240,000 in annual programming costs to be the amount needed before the theatre can begin to support itself.


A lengthy discussion of less costly alternatives ensued. Pat agreed to keep us apprised of any progress.


Kevin reported that Manuel Theodor, the conservationist used by Penn State's Palmer Museum, made estimates for the restoration of the Courthouse portraits. It will take about two weeks for each two portraits. Nine works need simple surface cleaning, at a cost of $165 each. Another is in immediate need of restoration that will cost $600. Two others needing quick attention will cost $1,000 each. It will cost $1,000 to repair a poor conservation attempt on another, and Theodor suggested not doing it because so much of the original has already been lost that any further rescue attempt will result in total loss of the original. He gave no estimate for frame restorations.  It was decided that this information should be passed on to Chuck Brown and HBI for further action.

The next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at Alex and Ellen's home, 337 E. Curtin Street.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:12 p.m.

                                                                Respectfully Submitted,

                                                                Romayne Naylor, Secretary