Annual Meeting

2018 Stone Valley Arts Annual Meeting – Public Welcome!

Date: Wednesday, September 26th, 2018, 5:30 pm
Location: Stone Valley Arts at Fox Hill (145 E. Main Street, Poultney, VT 05764)

2017 Stone Valley Arts Annual Meeting – Public Welcome!

Date: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017, 5:30pm
Location: Stone Valley Arts at Fox Hill (145 E. Main Street, Poultney, VT 05764)

2017 Annual Meeting Minutes

Present: David Mook, Rod Bell, Burnham Holmes, Susan MacLeod, Gary Schmidt, Erika Lawlor Schmidt, Howard Banow, Phil Whitman, Krista Rupe, Bianca Zanella

Guests: Devin Balcacer, Dave Burns

12 present total

David Mook, President, gave order to the meeting at 5:37 pm.

Minutes – Amend if necessary and approve.

  • David M. passes out the minutes for August to the board to review at leisure. Will approve by email.

UPDATES on Board Members:

  • New board members: Paul Donaldson?
    • Burnham nominates Dave Burns and Devin Balcacer for board members. Gary seconds. No further discussion. All in favor. Welcome. (Interested in events and programming and relationship building with the younger population)
  • New officers:
    • President: David Mook
    • VP: Erika Lawlor Schmidt
    • Treasurer: Rod Bell
    • Secretary: Burnham Holmes
    • Gary nominates and Bianca seconds. No further discussion. All in favor. Congrats!
    • A moment of thanks to Gary and Bianca for their service & a minute of thanks to Hadrien, Heather, and Shelley (for their service as well) and a reminder / thanks to the new board members came mid-year: Howard, Rod, and Susan. Thanks all around!
    • Committees (4 official):
      1. Building and Grounds: David, Burnham (Bill C. / Chris Sykes)
      2. Communications and Marketing: Susan, Burnham, Dave Burns, Krista, Bianca, Intern – Kennedy Hunn ( )
      3. Finance and Fundraising: Rod, David, Burnham
      4. Events and Programming: Erika, Phil, Krista, Devin?, Dave Burns?

*Unofficial committee needs: Education and Fox Hill Stewardship (fluid)

  • Kennedy Hunn wants to do an internship with Stone Valley Arts – Devin will communicate to Kennedy our excitement to have her working with us

Building and Grounds

  • Heater / Building Heat Topic of Discussion
    • On Monday, Sept. 11, Bill C. met with Ken Reed of Yorkmont Plumbing and Heating of Whitehall (518-499-3500) to discuss heating options.
    • Heating unit is 40 years old. It is quite inefficient compared to new units. A new unit might use half the fuel. Ken also doesn’t like the way the oil is stored, so we may want to consider using an outside storage tank.
    • Bill C. is coming next Wednesday, September 20 to look at the heater at ten am. Ken and Bill will start it up and see if it works well. They will fix any short-term issues and we can keep it on low so pipes don’t freeze, or we can drain the system like last winter.
    • Heating is the biggest issue for the building. Let’s keep the system going until we at least own the building. Could cost about $12,000 to $15,000 to replace.
  • David called and left a message for Paul Bruhn (PTV). They have been playing phone tag. NO date given. A message from Paul reported that he is working on it today. He is still working on the MOU (Memo of Understanding) – separate than the legal document.
  • PTV October 9-10 Retreat – if you can go, register by Oct. 2 (SVA will cover expenses)!
  • Tree is gone.
  • We are mowing.
  • Food goes in the plastic box for leftovers. Let’s avoid the mice.
  • Poetry nook upstairs? Three boxes of poetry books have been donated by Ruth Hamilton. Thank you to Ruth for her generosity and support for SVA. David M. is also bringing in poetry books. Please keep in mind that Poetry book donations are welcome! Thanks!

Communications and Marketing

  • Dave Burns could book shows at SVA (music) and could promote it on social media. Bianca could add him as an editor to the Facebook page, but Dave needs to get back on Facebook first. Gary says, “Find us a band.”
    • Music would help the heroin scene in this region, too. Relationship building and a more targeted approach to tackling this issue.
  • We are beginning to expand. Susan brings in show and tell of newspapers of our coverage.
  • Rod’s survey is passed around. Quick survey. Instructors should suggest participants fill out the survey during classes. Also, it has been added to the registration form about, “How did you hear about this class?” Rod will add “website” and “board member” to the paper form.
  • See Communications Committee 9/13/17 handout.
    • Weekly Goals (free)
      • Need help with social media: Dave Burns and Kennedy Hunn (youthful voice)
    • Paid promotion: will reassess after Rod’s survey returns with results
    • Future advertising: Susan has collected quotes from Manchester Newspapers, Rutland Herald, and other
    • We are being supported by Lakes Region Free Press – so we should say thank you by buying best for us ads.
    • Valerie: Special ad for Chili Cook Off ($75 for first week + $37.50 for second week). Wrong audience. Relationship building though? “Artists can make chili, too.”
    • Donate two family memberships to the Chili Cook Off raffle. Susan will make a family membership poster to make it enticing (gift certificate).
    • Dave Burns could do some flyering at farmers market in Rutland.
    • A big thank you to Susan!

Events and Programming

  • Need to figure out a way to continue event programming in the community in other venues during winter – Erika says and reminds us about the Meeting House as another location option
  • See brochure or online calendar for full list of events.
  • Gallery coverage 1 – 4 pm on Sundays.
    • Tara will be here Thursday afternoons. Sign needs to be changed. 1-4 pm.
    • Erika will be here rehearsing Sunday morning.
      • Howard can do Sept. 17, October 15, November 19 for the gallery coverage.
      • Sept 24: David M
      • October 1: Gary S.
        • Postal Art Show down October 2.
      • Tara said she could leave some postcards so that we could sell them for fundraising (we have a post card rack).
      • Next show: Homage Show (Work + Inspiration) – only 5 people have responded to this open call so far. Opening: October 14 @ 2-4 pm.
      • David and Phil will be away during Open Studio Weekend: October 14 – 15. 10 – 5 pm. Howard will cover October 15 from 1 pm to 5 pm and Bianca can do morning from 10 am to 1 pm. Dave Burns can play and cover Saturday 2-4 pm. Phil will contact artists who sent in work to cover the rest of the hours. Rod and Susan may also be available.
        • Saturday, October 14 from 10 am to 5 pm. (Also, town wide yard sale day in Poultney)
          • Open/9 – 11:
          • 11 – 1:
          • 1 – 3: 2-4: Dave B (play guitar)
          • 3 – 5/clean up:
        • Sunday, October 15 from 10 am to 5 pm.
          • 9/10 – 1 pm: Bianca (put out signs at 9 am) – bring hot cider, sell?
          • 1 – 5 pm: Howard
        • Open Studio Weekend: Art Member Yard Sale – David will make flyer (tag sale / tents?)
          • David will get yellow signs flyers from Council
        • CHILI COOKOFF (SVA to participate): Gary will make the chili the night before (5-8 gallons). Bianca, David, Phil, Devin, available to cover the table. That night is the Media Mix at 7:30 pm.
          • David M. will confirm with Rotary that we are registered and they will give us a table.
        • Dave Burns will organize about a band show for Halloween (young band).
        • Dave B. could offer a free guitar class. Guitars could be available. Monthly? Dave will write up a paragraph proposal. We need more avenues for music for low-income demographic of Poultney.

Finance and Fundraising

  • Income for August: $831 (2 new members, programs are bringing in money)
  • Expenses for August: $260 on marketing spent for July Our Town ad, $350 on events, $164 on instructor reimbursements, $776 total (net profit of the month: $55)
  • Musician checks Gary wrote will come out of grant account (scholarships and outreach/marketing)
  • Donation of a Family Membership to the Chili Cook Off (Rotary) Silent Auction -approved.
  • We will have to launch a membership renewal campaign. Most of our members end soon at the end of 2017. When and how to do this?
    • How do we thank people for becoming members? Should we create a formal process? It’s important to thank our supporters. David does send an email. Need link to calendar, list of member benefits, etc. in the thank you and Welcome.
    • Can we come up with a template to email out that can be personalized?

Other Business

  • Simon James request promotion about Carrie Newcomer concert at GMC: Add to Mailchimp newsletter in brevity. Facebook. Reach out to our community. November 18th at 7 pm, FREE.

Meeting closes at 7:30 pm.




2016 Agenda

  • Introduction and update on our progress and current programs offerings from President Erika Lawlor Schmidt.
  • Financial report from Treasurer David Mook.
  • Update on Stone Valley Arts collaborations with Green Mountain College by Bianca Zanella.
  • Update on communications & marketing efforts from Heather Thomas.
  • Introduction of current board members by Burnham Holmes.  Nominations of new board members. Nominations of new officers.  Election of new board members & officers.
  • New Business:
    • Plans for Winter 2016-2017
      • Programs, Events & Venues
      • Re Fox Hill: Heating & Insurance
    • Discussion of Open Studio Weekend
    • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Open Forum: Questions, Comments & Suggestions

Refreshments will be available.


Stone Valley Arts Annual Meeting

September 29, 2016 from 6-8 pm. 



Board members: Erika Schmidt, Heather Thomas, Burnham Holmes, David Mook, Phil Whitman, Bianca Zanella.

Nominees to the board: Shelley Fairbanks, Krista Rupe, Gary Schmidt, Hadrien Redouin.

Members: Dick Weis, Howard Banow, Bridget Neutenberg, Wilda White.

Guests: Garret West, Angelica King (Green Mountain College student).


Erika Schmidt talked about the origins of SVA, significant events, and brought us all up to the present moment – the exciting happenings of SVA at Fox Hill.

We were reminded of our good fortune thanks to the generosity of Rita Fuchsberg, Irene Minkoff, and Paul Bruhn/Preservation Trust of Vermont. We have a capital campaign underway with nearly $17,000 raised so far. Programs are on-going as well with the building in use most days of the week: Mondays – jazz ensemble, Tuesday- GMC student evening programs with meditation and quiet activities, Wednesday – a GMC  student and  professional ballerina is teaching ballet to young children, also every-other Wednesday is figure drawing, Thursday- Shakti belly dance class taught by a GMC alum, Fourth Fridays – Literary open mic, Saturday – modern dance and ballet classes. More to come…


Burnham Holmes introduced and nominated the following new board members:

Shelley Fairbanks, Krista Rupe, Gary Schmidt, Hadrien Redouin.

Nominations were seconded and approved unanimously.

Election of new officers: Nominations were made, seconded and approved unanimously.

David Mook – president

Erika Schmidt – vice-president

Gary Schmidt – treasurer

Bianca Zanella and Shelley Fairbanks – co-secretaries


Opening this Saturday October 1, Mareva Millarc’s show.

October 1,2 and 8,9 are VT Open Studio weekends with SVA open all four days from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with volunteers staffing the gallery.

October 1 will be a reception for Mareva Millarc’s show.

October 9 will be the opening of our second community art show “Peek Foliage” with the Poultney Community Jazz Ensemble performing.

Thanks to Phil Whitman for hanging both of these shows!

Participation in Vermont Open Studio weekends is an opportunity to show off the building. Erika added, “It’s about increasing our visibility.”

Oct. 15 & 16 Dick Weis will teach a painting workshop for five medium and/or advance artists – to strengthen your vision for abstract painting.

Erika Schmidt is organizing a Dance Performance on Immigration on November 14. This off-site event will be an SVA fundraiser (West Rutland Town Hall).


So far we have raised $16,500 with additional pledges totaling $4,000!

We currently have 51 supporting members with a goal of 80 by December.

We are still waiting to hear from other groups and foundations we have solicited and/or applied to for grants – Rotary, Casella. Individual solicitations are on-going. Suggestions of names of potential donors are welcome.


Heather Thomas reported on Social Media and Website: It is important to have photos and stories on the website to look back on. A conference (Common Good – Storytelling for Nonprofits) Heather attended noted the importance of building a narrative for nonprofits to share their success with stories and testaments.  To think about who our audience is.  All who are receiving messaging from us.  Telling stories about where we are in fundraising, programs, special events, community involvement – a continual communication. When 45 people were here, we want to know and others want to know we are full.  Our mailing list is 350 people.  There are a lot of people following us on social media – 359 likes on Facebook.  Invite friends to like SVA on Facebook. Share the page and our events on your newsfeed, too.


Bianca Zanella reported that we have solid volunteers this fall.

Three students hauled the carpet to the transfer station. Bianca met with Mindy Blank, an ethics professor, about supporting SVA.  Six students (including Angelica) agreed to help SVA.  They want to learn how to hang a show, and also want to offer a couple of programs:  leaf art, fun prints.  Also a wreath making opportunity.  A community photo album.  Brandon wants to help with accounting.  Sign-up sheets for open studio weekend.

GMC Writing a proposal to GMC student senate and getting package of GMC memberships.

New director at GMC health center– the college is willing to pay $5 per student to come to yoga and dance.

New art professor at GMC – Valerie will be bringing students to visit SVA.

CommUnity Project (interactive public art project about community identity) will be installed in Slate Quarry Park from October 5-26. Participate by getting free yarn from Bob Williams’ Hardware if after October 8th. Thank you SVA for “sponsoring”.

Howard Banow: Has met on campus with the chaplain and said, “It’s nice to be at GMC and also be promoting SVA.” We are lucky to have a growing group of volunteers like Howard and others.

Yes, we have a good team of board members and volunteers with complementary skills.


Keyser Energy got our heating system operating! We need two parts replaced: a switch and chimney pipe.  We will get an estimate and replace those two items.

THANK YOU to all our members and everyone who attended the meeting. We are very grateful to this community for the continuing support and love.