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


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Minutes of the BHCA Meeting, February 21, 1992
Held at the "House on Curtin Street"
By Hosts Alex and Ellen Dyakiw and Mary Parmenter


Members present: Helen Bechdel, Joan Blasko (Arts Coordinator), Carol and Kevin Burke, Gay and Jim Dunne, Ellen and Alex Dyakiw, Rob Gannon, Joyce Hagen, Melady Kehm (Vice-President), Mary Parmenter, Judith Schardt (Treasurer), Joanne Tosti-Vasey, Sarah and David Trost (President), and Joe Vasey.


The meeting was called to order by President Dave Trost at 8:05 p.m. In the absence of Secretary Romayne Naylor, Melady Kehm offered to take the minutes for the first half hour, with the hope that others would volunteer for succeeding half hours.

Dave promised a fast meeting. It was noted that everyone got the minutes from the last meeting, but it was agreed that it would be good to have the meeting notices 1.5 to 2 weeks before the meeting.


Under Correspondence--We received a letter from the Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair expressing appreciation for BHCA interest and support in the past and noting that the fair committee needs notification of activities (presumably like the "Theatre of the Heart" project held by BHCA during the fair last year) that we would like to host during the fair. Joan Blasko suggested that an idea for BHCA participation this year might be a reshowing of the films from the Film Forum this spring. Or some sort of similar program. Film Forum Gurus Joe Vasey and Judith Schardt said they will discuss this with their filmmakers. We decided that we would respond to the Arts and Crafts Fair letter when we had more information about our possible participation.


Dave read a letter he wrote to newspapers thanking Centre County inmates for their help with the table setup for the Arts and Crafts Fair during Victorian Christmas. Everyone agreed that it was a good idea.

Treasurer Judith Schardt gave her report (attached). She noted that, despite the fact that the BHCA post box was closed in error for a while, the response to our fundraising letter has been excellent. Was this wonderful response due to the inclusion of a pre-addressed envelope in the request letter? A lot of attention was then showered on Rob Gannon, whose idea it was to include the envelope. Gay Dunne demanded a search be made for the person (or persons) who opposed the envelope inclusion when it was first suggested by Rob G. We decided it was Peter Schneeman, but this could not be confirmed because he is currently Out West.

Dave noted that we should make a new attempt to develop corporate gifts and asked if anyone would like to chair a committee to oversee this effort.. Rob Cannon suggested a committee of the whole and that we devote 15 minutes or so of a future meeting to this topic. Since we really need the advice of True Fisher, who was absent and who has handled corporate-gift fundraising in the past, we decided to do as Rob suggested. Joan said that Bill Daniels of the Pennsylvania Arts Council told her that Jean Gleason of PAC's Rural Arts Committee could come and talk to BHCA about fundraising and that we could get a technical assistance grant to cover her fee. We talked about doing this in the fall.


Joan Blasko then gave the Arts Coordinator report:


--The current show at the Gamble Mill Gallery--Jerry Maddox and Tom Foral -- is a success. In fact, the reception was one of the --if not the-- best attended. The Dean of PSU's College of Arts and Architecture was among the glitterati in attendance.


--The Concerts in the Library Series will present "Simple Gifts," a trio performing folk, Renaissance, and traditional music, on Sunday, Feb. 23.


--The Finance Committee met after the gallery opening last Tuesday. Budgets have been put together for upcoming activities and Joan will use these as the basis for grant requests.


--We will make three grant requests right now to the Pennsylvania Arts Council: for the arts coordinator, for the Film Forum, and for the music series. We will ask for the Local Government Grant in the fall. True has suggested that we approach the county as well as Bellefonte for a grant. The local arts grant won't get any larger in the foreseeable future, Bill Daniels has said. We also will be asking the Elks Club's Garver Fund for money again.


--David and Sarah are going to a PAC grants workshop in Williamsport on Monday.


--Harriet Rosenberg wants to write a grant proposal for a gallery similar to the one she opened in the former Dazzle Me shop during Victorian Christmas and she would like to use BHCA as a conduit.


--Joan offered Humanities Council, Pennsylvania Presenters, and Pennsylvania Folklife grants guidelines to anyone who was interested. She also read a letter from Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania--a lobbying group--asking us to write letters and call our legislators to encourage them to increase funding for the arts.


--Joan gets dozens of fliers from groups and individuals available for programs. She said she would make these available after the meeting to anyone thinking about a fundraiser or an arts program.


--Joan is going to schedule a Gamble Mill Gallery Committee meeting because she has received slides from several artists interested in showing their work.

--Also, the Baltimore Consort will perform at Bellefonte High School in the near future. More information will be coming.

(At this point, Melady's half hour was up and she turned the pen over to Dave and Alex to record the rest of the meeting.)

This is -the second section of the minutes, taken by Dave Trost. I must note at this point that it takes at least three people to replace the energetic and sharp-eared Romayne Naylor. Prior to this I never realized how slowly I write compared to how quickly people speak. The third section of minutes was taken by Alex Dyakiw and have been blended into the second section. Hats off to Romayne and everyone who has ever taken minutes.


Almost the entire half-hour of minutes from 8:30 to 9:00 involved a spirited discussion of the COURTHOUSE PORTRAIT RESTORATION CONTROVERSY. Kevin Burke recapped his report of the research he had conducted regarding talents of Manuel Theodore, the conservationist used by Penn State's Palmer Museum. Mr Theodore had given Kevin estimates of the cost to repair all the works in the Courthouse. Nine of the works need only a simple surface cleaning at a cost of $165.00 each. Another is in immediate need of restoration at a cost of $600. Two others also need a complete restoration and they're estimated at $1000. each. Kevin had taken this information to Charles Brown, but Maxine Ishler had been handling the matter for Judge Brown and there had been a disappointing lack of response from the county regarding Kevin's report. At this point no other organization seemed willing to proceed with any action toward restoration of the portraits. Kevin moved that the BHCA take the initiative and put some of our funds toward this project since it surely fills our goals of furthering Historic and Cultural development within the community at large. Joanne seconded the motion.


At this point the discussion revolved around the amount of money we would be willing to place toward this project. Other issues raised in the process of the money discussion were: (1) Are the paintings insured? (2) If so, by whom? (3) Do we have the authorization to proceed with the project even if we want to do it? (4) Are we overstepping our authority by "taking the ball and running with it". Melady suggested contacting Charles Brown directly to get his comments. Kevin suggested allocating $1000. for the restoration project. Rob G. suggested asking the Garver fund for $500. instead. Jim seconded. But this motion was never voted on. Eventually it was decided that we proceed with spending the $500. from our general funds if we obtain the approval of Judge Brown and the Courthouse to proceed.


Turning our attention to the latest showing at the Gamble Mill Gallery congratulations were extended to the gallery committee for a very strong show and a large enthusiastic turn out.

Jim Dunne reported that the upcoming performers in the Library Concert Series would be "Simple Gifts" a blend of folk, classical and Renaissance music played on violin, recorder, guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bass viol. The next concert would take place on Easter Sunday and would feature a piano concerto by an Italian Pianist, who's name unfortunately escaped the notes. Stay tuned! Following the pianist will be a concert on May 5, featuring the Victorian Brass. Jim is also in the early stages of exploring the feasibility of having an international jazz concert this summer. Jules Thayer has some connections in this regard and he will work with Jim and with Rob Fisher to see what develops.


Melady and Dave will be contacting the other members of the Summer Sounds committee to start lining up the schedule for this season.


Joe Vasey gave an update on the Film Forum. The films will once again be shown at the Elks Club. They will be shown on four consecutive Tuesdays in April. It is proposed that tickets be available at 58.00 for the series or $2.50 per individual evening. All four films are features rather than documentaries this year. As the PCA funds have not yet been made available a motion was made by JoAnne that money from the treasury be used to start publicity prior to receiving the actual funds. Motion was seconded by Jim Dunne and passed by the group.


As new business, Joan Blasko talked about updating the mailing list of some 725 names. Judith Schardt and Mary Parmenter volunteered to help with the corrections. Joan and Judith will also work on upcoming budgets.


Rob G. spoke about the negative vote in the borough council regarding the expansion of the historic district. It is evident that the door has not been completely closed on the matter and the consensus of the group was in favor of pursuing the matter in the future.


Jim Dunne recapped activities to organize neighborhood associations in the borough. It was felt that the first gathering at the courthouse had been a positive step and that the next meeting would build on the momentum and include a wider group of residents. It was also felt that Jim's presentation to the borough council was well received.

Melady spoke about another group in the area that is interested in securing space for multiple purposes relating to the arts, crafts, and folk culture. They are the Pennsylvania Ridge and Valley Art Center. At this point, not a lot is know about the group and it is felt that we ought to find out more about their intentions and abilities.


At 10:30 the meeting was brought to a conclusion with a motion that the next meeting be held at Porter Versfeldt's home in State College. Although the idea of surprising Porter with this information had some merit, Dave and Sarah Trost took him off the hook and volunteered their home as the site of our next meeting. This will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 1992.

Treasurer's Report January 31, 1992

                                        previous Dec. 31, 1991

CD             3,000.00                        3,000.00
Savings        3,993.12                        3,213.12
Checking         418.06                          470.16
               7,411.18                        6,683.28

   Donations                1185.00
   Book                       30.00
   Victorian Christmas       174.68

   Arts Coord (Dec 1991)        264.00
   PO Box etc                   110.98
   Gamble Mill Gallery          200.06
   Victorian Christmas           86.74