August Board News

It has been a whirlwind year, filled with change.

Here is the last year in a nutshell:

  • The Founding Executive Director resigned in May 2017 after many years of dedicated service to the organization.
  • The Board President filled in as Interim Director.
  • The Managing Director resigned.
  • A search committee hired a new Managing Director in September and a new Executive Director in October.  (More on them next time…)

We heard you!

We are going to  be sending out monthly updates!

Too much email? Not enough email about the things that concern you? We heard you and have subdivided the email list into different categories, and YOU get to choose the options that are most relevant to you. Please click HERE to update your preferences.

Financial update:

MCAC has been running deficits for many years, and in May of 2017, the organization worked with our bank to obtain funds that we had on our credit from our mortgage.  This has helped immensely to manage cash flow. This is a very common thing in the nonprofit arts world. Our situation is a case of being property rich and cash poor. That is, the balance sheet looks great, but we need to balance budgets to become the financially robust institution that can sustain great art for the future in our community. The good news is that we are successfully managing cash flow through budget control and increased income through multiple income streams. In fact, MCAC is in a better profit/loss position than we have been in a decade. This time last year, we had a $17,066 deficit. Today, we are $11,017 ahead. We are stepping up fundraising activities, focusing on individual donors, sponsors, and grant makers. We are also making better use of our assets by increasing rentals to local artists, arts educators, and arts organizations.  If you know of anyone who might want to sponsor or support activities or rent at MCAC, please contact Executive Director Barbe Marshall Hansen at barbe@merrillartscenter.org.

Fundraising news:
The Minnesota State Arts Board has awarded Merrill Community Arts Center an operating grant of $92,972 over the next 4 years! $14,983 will come in this fiscal year. That leaves about $60,000 left to raise to balance the budget this year, so the Board of Directors has decided to take action:

The Board is issuing a Challenge Match to the community. If we can raise $8,000 by Labor Day, the Board will match each donation, dollar for dollar! That means that every tax-deductible dollar you donate will have double the impact!  Look in your mailbox for more details, if you’ve donated before. We’ll send an email to everyone about this opportunity as well. To make a donation to kick off the campaign, CLICK HERE.


Good News!  

We have a new Governance Committee and a new External Relations Committee! They are meeting regularly.

MCAC Welcomes new Board Member, Jamila Joiner! 

Jamila Joiner grew up and went to school in Woodbury before getting her degree in Theater Arts and Business Management from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She also holds a Certificate in Project Management from The University of St. Thomas. Jamila is a professional actor in the Twin Cities, with credits from Woodbury Community Theatre, The History Theater, The Guthrie, The Minnesota Opera, and The Ordway, among others. Ms. Joiner currently works with Minnesota Public Radio as a Project Specialist in the Membership department. To learn more about this Board Member, visit www.jamilajoiner.com

The Governance Committee is in the process of vetting current Board Applicants. If you haven’t yet heard anything back from your application, please give us another 30 days to get through the stack.

Help Wanted:

MCAC is seeking committee members to do the work that feeds the Board and the organization. Meetings are monthly and last about 2 hours. Committee Members do not need to be Board Members. If you support all of the arts in our community and bring financial, fundraising, marketing, communications or human resources skills to the table, we want YOU! Email mcacboard@merrillartscenter.org if interested.

Want to serve on the Board? We want YOU! We especially need you if you are an attorney or upper level corporate executive, support the current strategic plan, and are serious about making arts accessible to all people in our community.

Email mcacboard@merrillartscenter.org if interested.

Policy Updates:

Want to know what happens in Board meetings? Board meetings are closed, but Board minutes are available to the public to read at the Merrill Administrative Offices by appointment. Just email barbe@merrillartscenter.org to schedule an appointment to come in and view the Board Book. These email updates will continue monthly as well.

Everyone is welcome at the Arts Center!

Interested in contributing to theater (directors, designers, actors, playwrights, production and craftspeople), visual arts, dance, music, education? Have some free time that you’re willing to help us keep the office running, help tidy up, take out the trash or answer the phone?  We would love to have your help. If you have any other special skills or talents let us know! Send an email outlining your interest to Managing Director Kajsa Jones at kajsa@merrillartscenter.org.

Think you might want to be a part of the arts community here at the Merrill Community Arts Center, but you’re not sure how you fit in? Email our Executive Director Barbe Marshall Hansen at barbe@merrillartscenter.org and schedule a chat. She loves to meet new people and talk about things people are passionate about.

Questions or suggestions for the Board?

Email mcacboard@merrillartscenter.org and someone will respond within 10 business days.