OREGON POETRY ASSOCIATION board meeting Thursday March 15, 2018
(SKYPE attendees: Lisa, Shirley, Joy, Lynn, Diane, Bruce, Erik, Charles)
President’s Report: OPA’s Gmail account offers a membership box, conference box and the regular general business box. An Oregon Poet Outlook Account still exists and will be the contact spot for the OPA President. Katie Eberhardt our webmaster has resigned. She is writing a job description for this position. Tiel is working with Katie to smooth things out on the web. Dale has been asked to consider acting as new webmaster.
Adult Contest: A last-minute response resulted in 130 entries and 372 poems.
Student Contest: Tiel is putting Cascadia together for the April 28 award ceremony. Caterers for the student contest are expensive. Current plans call for organizers to buy vegetable, cheese, cookie platters and beverages for 80 guests. Coffee may also be provided. RSVPs are arriving for ceremony attendance. We are within budget for this event.
Treasurer’s Report: The board had a brief discussion about the proposed OPA operating budget. Membership is down, thus cutting by almost half our membership income. OPA must make a push to attract more members. To save money OPA could switch from Constant Contact to Mail Chimp. Constant Contact costs us $500 per year. Mail Chimp can handle newsletters. The allowed number and frequency of mailings will be checked. Motion made and approved to approve the proposed budget. Currently OPA has $3224 in our bank account. That amount will be spent in March. We will incur a bank charge for dipping below our minimum limit. Bequest status from a deceased member is still an unknown.
Membership: Membership co-chairs are working to accomplish a careful division on tasks.
Currently OPA has 217 members down from 260 last year. Ninety-one members did not renew. OPA will use a targeted snail mail contact for non-renewals. The directory for members will be emailed to members as a non-editable PDF. It will include a location city for members and email but not street addresses. As OPA seeks renewals we must reconcile membership numbers with the amount OPA pays to NFSPS for members. The membership spread sheet is available to all board members, but “share” status should be locked to allow access for committee chairs only. The OPA membership list needs to be purged and cleaned.
Local Units: The board wants to encourage each unit to host a public reading and to always have paper copies of OPA membership forms on hand at all OPA associated events. Springfield Library and OPA are hosting a reading on April 7. The Portland Unit will be hosting an April 17 reading at Multnomah Central Library. The Southern Oregon Unit will host a series of writing workshops in spring, summer and fall by partnering with Josephine County Library. In Medford a workshop is also planned. Plans are in the works to host a closed Facebook group for workshop participants. Eleanor Berry is the contact person for the Salem unit. There is a reading weekly in Salem. Details are available on the OPA website calendar. On April 21 from 2-4 pm a workshop will be held at Tsunami Bookstore in Eugene. This is an invitation event limited to 20 participants. Almost half the spots are already filled.
Bookmarks: Bookmarks will be available in the near future. They are colored on the front side and black and white on the back. A motion was made and passed to approve the bookmark design and content.
Newsletter: Articles about public facility poetry in the Eugene/Springfield area will soon be published. Dale and Bruce proofread the newsletter. Deadline for submission is the 25th of each month.
Oregon Poetry Collection: The Knight Library/Special Collection Division has proposed a joint venture Poetry Prize for undergraduates. $200 has already been raised for this $1000 biennial prize. The university will provide the bulk of the prize money and notice to undergraduates. OPA would help with judging this event and host the winners at our conference. The president suggested we award a one-year OPA membership as part of the prize. The Oregon Poetry Collection is still being catalogued. That process will take at least another year. Oregon authors are encouraged to submit two copies of any poetry book or chapbook to the collection. Information about this process will be available on the OPA website.
Conference Plans: OPA has a schedule for mailing out proposal requests. The first email has already gone out. Board members should invite qualified presenters to submit proposals. An update will be made to the proposal return email address and sender identity. Erik has also developed a list of promising presenters that he has identified. All community colleges and universities are contacted.
Fundraising: OPA’s president suggested using a snail mail effort to request donations. More discussion is needed. The Submittable site limits the number of activities a submitter can accomplish. Submittable is a long scroll down process. OPA is seeking more flexibility. Charles will identify and share technology issues OPA is facing. Seeking sponsors for the conference brochure is another route to explore.
Retreat: The retreat will be held June 9 at Joy’s home outside Springfield.
Next Board Meeting Date: Tuesday, April 24 by SKYPE 1-4 PM