Board Minutes March 18, 2019

Oregon Poetry Association Board Minutes of March 18, 2019        

Present: Shirley, Lynn, Diane, Bruce, Erik, Charles, Stella, Jennifer, Dale.

Minutes: Minutes of February 11 approved.

Treasurer’s Report: The report as submitted is accepted and corrected to show the total for anticipated income in March-April as $974.64. Lynn has sent “Thank you” letters to donors. One OPA member trying to contribute and receive a match from her employer has raised a question about our current non-profit filing.

Membership: Charles reports membership at 261, slightly higher than this time last year. Some members who have paid current dues have received more than one dues notice. Apparently there is overlap with lists of those with dues to pay. For the next membership chair, Charles intends to clean up the member list, removing names of people who have received renewal notices in 2016 and 2017 and have not paid dues.


            Hood River: Diane with help from Leah Stenson and The Columbia Center for the Arts is organizing a full day of activities, including writing, film, and invitations to join OPA, with bookmarks and book bags. The date is not currently set. Diane is also investigating a program called Writing around the Gorge.

            La Grande: Amelia Ettinger has begun a reading series at the Art Center East. The Board voted to send the program $200, as budgeted for one of three outreach areas, and Erik will stay in touch to see how the program attracts youth and others not usually involved as presenters and auditors.

            Klamath Falls: Jennifer has heard from Emily Strauss that the local library will host on April 7 a spoken word event involving six local poets. Jennifer will try to attend.

            Eugene/Springfield: Shirley has been going to local readings to meet people and represent OPA.

Newsletter: Bruce summarized his work: Portland’s dominating the newsletter reflects the fact of Portland’s huge poetry activity. AWP in March has too many spin-off readings to include in the newsletter. The 25th of each month does not draw many results, though Springfield, Salem, and Silverton have provided news regularly. Bruce wants more news or inquiries sent his way, so he can direct that material to the newsletter, Board members, and Board committees. Bruce plans to write an article for the OPA website about how to start a local poetry group, with reference to Facebook. The newsletter includes a piece about Strophes.

OPA Facebook Group: Dale reports not much traffic here, though there is a 60% of newsletters opened.

Conference: Shirley has been in contact with Eleanor Berry about a two-day workshop on the same dates as the OPA Conference. The workshop scheduling may be changed. Shirley has Eleanor’s list of Salem cultural sites, a basis for a walking tour to fit the conference scheduling. Marc Janssen’s Salem Poetry Project and The Peregrine Writers are possible helpers for the September conference. Diane suggested having half-sheet fliers about the conference for use at spring and summer events. Dale said she can design it once she receives the flier content.

            Shirley will send materials she has about possible keynoters to Board members to start the selection process. Suggestions for the keynoter are still welcome.

            In order to save time, Shirley prefers not to have a Board meeting or retreat to evaluate the conference proposals, but will make the proposals available by e-mail with an evaluation sheet.

Verseweavers: On Submittable the Verseweavers price will be $15, reflecting $12 for purchase and $3 for shipping. That price is for 2016, 2017, 2018. Copies of earlier issues can be given away as promotions. We should be archiving two copies of each issue.

Recruiting Board Members: With Alan not interested in a Board position and Erik exiting before his term is over, there are four openings to fill, as there were in Portland in 2016. Erik suggested every Board member becoming active in recruiting, using lists of Conference keynoters and presenters and the most recent volunteer lists, as one starting place. Also, people active in writing groups might wish to serve.

            Volunteer note: Danielle Strickland will be trained by Tiel to prepare Cascadia.

OPA Banta Award: Jennifer will see that the call for nominations and the nomination forms are widely distributed. A Selection Committee will present the Board with at least five ranked finalists. Jennifer will head the committee of two other OPA members recruited by Erik.

Oregon Poetry Collection Committee: Erik’s memo of March 13 meeting has been received. The committee debriefed the Knight Award contest and reading and discussed increasing use of the collection. The cataloguing may be up-to-date by year’s end.

Student Contest: The Awards Ceremony is April 20th at Willamalane Senior Center, with 100 expected. The event needs volunteers to obtain refreshments, bring cash awards, set-up, and staff a membership table. Lisa Baldwin is ready to continue in her contest managing role for 2020.

            On April 20, Jennifer’s 9-12 school will be well represented, with five winners and the school principal driving the bus from Grants Pass. Newspaper articles, office postings, and readings to the school board have been part of Jennifer’s students’ involvement with poetry

New Adult Contest Chair: Our Board member Stella will succeed Amy Miller as Contest Chair. OPA member Susan Morse has volunteered to help.

Review of Board Policies: Shirley asks Board members to review policies and suggest updates.

Board Retreat: A vision meeting, earlier than last year and not in conflict with NFSPS gathering in Santa Fe, June 23-26. Other June weekend days? Shirley wants to hear from Board members. The site will be Shirley’s home in Springfield.

Tabled: Fall Contest form and theme. Reponses to Tiel’s note about units.

Next Board Meeting: Wednesday, April 10. 5:30 by Skype

Board Minutes January 9, 2019

Oregon Poetry Association Board Minutes of January 9, 2019                              

Present:  Lynn, Allan, Jennifer, Shirley, Diane, Erik, Charles, Stella, Bruce, Dale.

Minutes: Minutes were approved with addition of notice for this Skype meeting, January 9, 2019.

Treasurer Report: No changes impacting the 2019 budget accepted last month. Discussion of using Submittable buttons to solicit donations beyond dues. Shirley will examine the new membership forms for provisions for donations. Carol Ann Ellis of Forest Grove has donated $250. Lynn thinks the Non-Profit Association of Oregon (NAO) might provide tips on improving bookkeeping. NFSPS membership check sent.

Committee Reports:

            Membership: Like that of Willamette Writers, OPA’s Submittable includes a box to click for guidelines for membership dues and deadlines.

            Charles expected the 200 postcards to be in the mail by February 15 reminding current and some past members to renew. Application for a non-profit mailing rate is in progress.

            Haste needed in posting the new membership form. Dale has the form in design stage; it will be reviewed by Diane and Shirley and sent to the Board.

            Shirley sent copies of Strophes to seven members without e-mail.

            Outreach: Diane has a contact in Hood River to help set up an OPA sponsored reading and membership drive. Both Diane and Stella are attending events in Vancouver, as part of Greater Portland, to make contacts and distribute bookmarks. They are not going forward with a library reading that would have required a $135 fee.

            Jennifer has contact with Jay Schroder of Central Medford High. He organizes the student programs in the Youth Arts Institute, which will feature poet Richard Blanco this summer. Discussion followed about OPA providing scholarship support and inquiring if Blanco would be available to keynote the fall conference. Jennifer will report back next month.

            Erik has gotten favorable responses from Sandy Mason, Newport, and Nancy Knowles and Amelia Ettinger, La Grande, to e-mails about collaboration. Erik will report back next month.

            The emissary “job description” was accepted, changing “encouraging cooperation” to “encouraging collaboration.” This description is meant to clarify the efforts of OPA members representing the Board in outreach efforts.

Newsletter: Bruce will include in an article for Strophes dates and deadlines for

the Fall Conference and the Fall Adult Poetry Contest.

Facebook Group: Discussion about limiting access to OPA members or being open to all; the latter is preferred as long the administrator drops anyone not abiding by the rules.

Spring Adult Poetry Contest: Amy Miller, Contest Chair, is selecting and confirming judges, then promoting the contest through a variety of websites. We will support this effort through the newsletter and Facebook. Deadline for entrants: March 1.

Since this is Amy’s last year as contest chair, Shirley will survey the volunteer list for a possible successor. Dale can coach the next chair about what she needs to work on Verseweavers.

Student Contest: Judging is underway, supervised by Lisa. Some submissions were not obtainable because of the lock box expiration. Diane will forward them to Lisa. The lockbox fee is now automatic. The student awards ceremony is April 20 at Willamalane Activity Center, Springfield.

Conference: Shirley has signed a contract with the Salem Convention Center, and Lynn will forward a $1895 check for rooms (half off as a non-profit!). Discussion about a keynote, preferably a woman. Shirley wants Board member suggestions with some links to websites, etc, ASAP. The review of applications for conference sessions might not require the entire Board and involve Pdf materials sent before any meeting. A variety of other conference items included having good name tags, a new book room form, preparation for registration with Diane making a list of registrants, considering a one-day rate of $40.

Old Business:

OPA Award: Jennifer presented the proposal for the OPA Award, which was approved by the Board with one member opposed. Jennifer and Erik will move ahead with the nomination form, postings of the award, and forming a committee of the Board to review nominations.

Volunteer Hours: Since tallying volunteer hours can be useful in some grant applications, Board members are asked to keep a record of their hours and send them at convenient intervals to Erik.

New Board Members: While only three will be needed to fill open seats, we can consider friends, conference presenters, and conference attendees. Special needs include treasurer/bookkeeper and web mastery.

Non-Profit Association of Oregon: There’s some difficulty contacting this organization. Shirley will e-mail them.

New Business:

            Bookmarks: More bookmarks are needed, whether in a printing of 500 or 1000, depending on cost savings.

            OPA Manual: Shirley proposes the Board develop a manual explaining our specific tasks for succeeding Boards: “How the job is done.” There are some descriptions on the OPA website under Reference Documents, but these are not the day-to-day doings and time-savers for a manual. Shirley would like Board members to send her contributions by the April meeting.

            New Adult Contest Chair: See above “Spring Poetry Contests.”

   Who is using this? Shirley will check in on this.

            Muller Donation: This donation can be used for any program or event for students/young poets.

            Virginia Corrie-Cozart Fund: A $500 amount left from the Bandon retreat weekend will be transferred from general to protected fund.

Next Meeting: Our next Board meeting by SKYPE, Monday, February 11, 5:30.

Board Minutes December 10, 2018

Oregon Poetry Association Board Minutes of December 10, 2018.  

Present: Shirley, Lynn, Jennifer, Bruce, Alan, Charles, Erik, Stella, Dale.

Minutes: Motion passed to approve minutes of November 12, 2018, Board meeting.

President’s Report: Shirley commented on the agenda items below.

Treasurer’s Report: Lynn previously circulated year to date, year-to-year comparisons, and proposed 2019 budget figures, thus expediting discussion of the budget. She reiterated that a budget is a planning tool. This year OPA has earned more than it has spent on its publications, contests, and conference. Lynn credits Facebook ads for some of these successes.

            Lynn explained that restricted funds are used for special expenditures, not for operations, and having such funds separated in the budget makes control of them easier and clearer. Depositing part of the Banta funds into a CD has proved frustrating, so the $11K for a proposed Bank of America CD will remain in our regular account. OPA has a healthy non-restricted cash carryover into 2019, $6,401.74.

            Other budget points: The conference expenses for 2019 are budgeted at $7681.10. The budget allows $600 for outreach work of emissaries, and $550 for a book table at the Portland Book Festival. There are resources for a possible cash prize for the OPA Poetry Award. The budgeted student contest income includes a grant/donation of $2000 that yet must be applied for/procured. Shirley wants the budget to reflect OPA’s being an educational non-profit.

            Alan suggested that now OPA has funds to disperse there ought to be a consistent process for any local applicant.

            Motion passed to approve the 2019 budget.

Committee Reports:

            Oregon Poetry Collection Committee: Erik and Joy will continue to serve as OPA representatives.

            Newsletter/History: No report.

            NFSPS: Bruce will send requests to Board members for what he needs for a Spring submission to Strophes.

            Membership: Charles reported no change in membership numbers. For the March 1 renewals, all forms for reminding are useful: newsletter, postcards, membership forms.

            The revision of the membership form, it had been decided, will omit poetry selections. There was discussion about low-income fee reduction and how to include that in the revised form and on Submittable. Charles said it was not a problem to combine Student/Low Income on one button. However, Charles thought we should not deviate from the fee changes voted on by the general membership. Others felt that comments at that meeting indicated a wish for the Board to address low-income membership.

            Motion passed to include a $20 low-income option on the membership form and Submittable. One opposed.

            There was discussion about bulk mailing, the advantages of using USPS or a fulfillment service. There is a USPS bulk mailing fee of $225, and sorting by zip code is required. With about 180 postcards to be mailed for members renewing, using already stamped USPS postcards seems economical. We do need clarity about the mailing of larger items, such as Verseweavers. Dale used a fulfillment center for Verseweavers mailings this year, AdMail, costing $248 for two issues.

            Outreach: Erik reported that Jennifer has agreed to be an emissary to Klamath Falls and Erik to La Grande and Newport, assuming contacts can be made. He said while the units are not new places on the OPA map, there should be emissaries for each unit, non-Board or Board members. Diane is drafting a description of the emissary role.

            Facebook Group Administrator: Adam Brown will be sent the guidelines for a January 1 Facebook launch.

            Conference & Events: With Bend, The Gorge, and Portland not available or expensive,

The Salem Convention Center will be the site of the September OPA Conference, though there could be an additional short conference in Bend.

            Shirley has shared in pictures and words the Convention spaces available, and costs are acceptable, with a January contract to be signed. Shirley still wants to form a conference committee and parcel out the duties. Also, she invites suggestions by January for keynoter. Lynn knows a poet who teaches in Portland.

            Motion passed for Lynn to contact this poet about the fall keynote.

Discussion included mention of fifteen minute breaks between sessions, the possibility of a special workshop leader/keynoter, and a conference fee for one day.

            Recruiting New Board Members: While three board members are retiring, it is not too soon to begin to identify possible successors, whether through personal contact, examining the Conference session leaders for last year and this and the attendees to the 2018 Conference, or by advertising on the OPA website and newsletter. Board members need to be active and share their leads.

Old Business:

            Springfield Library Event: Shirley mentioned that Erica Goss’ workshop at Springfield Public Library, which OPA co-sponsors, will be 2-4 on April 13.  Shirley and Erik will help at the event. OPA discussed financial support of the event.

Motion passed to grant $50 to support increasing attendance at the OPA co-sponsored workshop April 13, $25 for OPA Facebook ads and $25 for Springfield Public Library publicity.

            Conferring Awards to Oregonians: Jennifer and Erik will refine the proposal for an OPA Poetry Prize for the January meeting, with Board suggestions welcome. It was discussed how this prize is not limited to active Oregon poets, but, more like the Holbrook Award, it could be granted to librarians, editors, schools advancing the OPA mission. Lynn advised that the award administration be as simple as possible for future boards’ use.

New Business:

            Student Poetry Awards: April 20, 1:45-3:45, at Willamalane Adult Activity Center. Tiel and Lisa will be the hosts; Shirley and Erik will help. Others?

            Portland Book Festival: Bruce presented the benefits to OPA and its member authors for having a full table at the Portland Book Festival in November, 2019.

            Motion passed to reserve a full table at $550 at the Portland Book Festival.

Minutes submitted by,