OPA Board Minutes, November 9, 2021

Minutes of the Oregon Poetry Association (OPA) Board Meeting of November 9, 2021

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

Present: Sue Fagalde Lick (President), Nancy Christopherson (Vice President and Adult Contest Committee Chair), Dan Liberthson (Secretary), Rana Tahir (Treasurer and Webmaster), Dave Mehler (Membership Chair and Publications Liaison), Lorna Rose Hahn (Membership Co-Chair, Outreach Chair, Events Committee Chair), Priscilla Hunter (Historian), and Lauren Mallett (Cascadia Contest Chair)

Not Present: Rayn Roberts (At-large)

I. Sue called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.

II. Approval of Minutes

      Approval of the October 10, 2021 OPA Board meeting minutes was moved, seconded, and unanimously voted.

III. Officer Reports

      A. President’s Report (Sue Fagalde Lick)

      Sue reported a warm welcome as new OPA President and orientation by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS). She plans to post the latest issue of Strophes on the website and communicate with other state presidents through the NFSPS online forum. Charles Castle (former Board member) is collecting books for the ??University of Oregon Library, which collects all Oregon poets’ books. One new goal of OPA this year will be to put together a list of all poetry organizations in the state. Redesign of the OPA website has been finished, with Rana’s assistance; after updating the web content the new design will go live.

      B. Secretary (Dan Liberthson) No report.

      C. Vice-President (Nancy Christopherson) No Report.

      D. Treasurer (Rana Tahir)

      OPA’s net worth in 2021 was $42,386, and to date in 2022 it is $49,809 (amount to be updated in January). This roughly $7,400.00 increase in funds for the year will enable OPA to increase 2022 spending in keeping with its nonprofit status. The following draft 2022 budget (to be finalized in January) anticipates that average incomes will stay relatively the same in the coming year and therefore only accounts for potential spending.

Budget CategoryCurrent Balance (11/1/21)Proposed 2022 Budget
Adult Contests$3,266$4,000
Cascadia Student Contest$1,000$4,000
Banta Bequest$16,897$16,897
Muller Donation$1,200$1,200
Unassigned Funds$1673

Notes on the Budget Proposal

Membership/Operations: In 2021, OPA spent $4,816 and income was $11,409. Expenses are projected to stay the same in 2022, but the proposed budget allocation is increased from $6,000.00 to $8,000.00 in case of unexpected expenses.

Publications: In 2021, OPA spent $2,957 to produce and distribute the Pandemic Anthology and Verseweavers 2019 (Versweavers 2020, just sent to the printer, is not included here). OPA had $1,011 in income, mostly from Pandemic Anthology sales. As OPA will not need to pay for additional Verseweaver issues in the coming year, 2022 costs would be expected to decrease. However, the planned revitalization of the Cascadia youth poetry contest will require funds for either a print or an online publication. Thus, the budget for publications has stayed the same.

Adult Contests: In 2021, OPA’s adult contests brought in $1,574 in revenue and expenses were $1,308 (not including payments of $1,080 for the Fall 2021 contest). OPA has the means to increase honorariums and prizes for the contests, and the proposed budget reflects that increase, which will need to match projected income from contest submissions. The Board discussed how much to increase contest honorariums and prizes. Dave asked whether the proposed funding includes advertising, and Rana responded that most advertising is free, via Facebook, word of mouth, and OPA’s and other websites.

Cascadia Student Contest: In 2021, OPA did not hold a student contest, but one is planned for 2022, so funding for its advertising, judge honorariums, and prizes is factored into the publications budget.

Conferences: In 2021, OPA held workshops in the spring and summer, as well as the annual conference in October. These events were conducted online, leaving most of the budget for events intact. The proposed 2022 budget includes funds for a possible in-person conference, estimated from past expenditures. Further discussion and member input will help decide whether OPA should have in-person conferences and/or continue online events in 2022.

Banta Bequest: OPA does not control the amount of funds within the Banta Bequest (which is used to fund the Banta Award for lifetime service to the Oregon poetry community).

Mid-Valley Poetry Society (MCDC): Expenditures from the MCDC grant are directed by MCDC and executed on their behalf by OPA, which has no managerial control over these funds.

Muller Donation: OPA does not control the amount of funds for the Muller Donation, which is geared towards K-12 student programs. This fund is listed separately from the Cascadia Student Contest, though its funds can be used for this contest since it is geared towards K-12 students.

Following are the details of the October monthly budget report.

E. Historian (Priscilla)

Organizing OPA’s historical records needs consideration: most of them are now paper documents and Priscilla proposes digitizing them over time to create a permanent archive to be maintained and augmented on-line. Rana volunteered to discuss implementation with Priscilla.

IV. Committee Reports

A. Membership and Publications Liaison (Dave)

OPA has 362 members, with 19 others in transition (lapsing or unrenewed). Dave is working with mailing company in Eugene to send out (probably in December) the 2020 Verseweavers books currently in production.

B. Adult Contests (Nancy)

Dave will add Nancy to OPA’s Submittable account. Nancy is working up a list of potential contest judges whom OPA has never used. Ars Poetica will be the spring contest theme, and the Shakespearean sonnet the traditional form in the contest, which will take submissions during February. Rana mentions that putting together a list of Oregon poetry organizations, which Sue  will do, could lead to broader notification and publicizing of the contests and thus increased submission. Rana mentioned that we should notify undergraduate poetry programs. Whether to offer bulk buying discounts for Verseweavers books was discussed. It was decided not to do so this time, but to revisit the issue when future editions are printed.

C. Youth Contests (Lauren)

Lauren suggested on-line only publication of winning poems, as students are comfortable on-line. She presented a schedule for reestablishing the contest, mentioned the importance of getting word out about its revival, and suggested conducting the final celebration via Zoom. Her mission statement is: “Cascadia, the Oregon Student Poetry Contest, serves to nurture the talent of young Oregon poets by providing an opportunity for their poems to be widely shared, published, and celebrated.” The four divisions in the contest by grade will be K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12, with prizes offered for each division. The proposed schedule includes:

  • Dec: Draft marketing materials, press release, and Submittable copy and gather email contacts from previous contests
  • Jan: “Marketing Month,” to include an informational Zoom meeting for teachers re how to teach
  • Feb: Informational Zoom meeting for students about how to write poetry, with sample poems
  • Mar: Informational Zoom meeting for teachers and students re how to revise poems and submit them to Cascadia 2022
  • Apr: Apr 1 deadline for submission. Also in April, judges read entries and select winners, winners are contacted, and copy for online publication is organized
  • May: Cascadia 2022 goes live on OPA’s website, the results are publicized, and the winners read their poems in a Zoom session followed by a celebration.

A number of Cascadia-related issues were proposed for discussion, including: (1) can OPA Board members judge (consensus answer was yes, the Board can and should), (2) should winning poems be published online (the consensus answer was yes), (3) how many winners (20 or 40), (4) amounts for prizes and honorariums for judges, (5) should OPA mail certificates/awards, and (6) should the upper two division winners’ poems be submitted to the Manningham Award in 2023.

D.  Social Media/Events (Lorna)

Most OPA-related traffic is from Facebook, on which we have a private site and a public one with 949 likes. As expected, there are not many followers on Twitter. The posts that draw the most attention are OPA members’ new books, readings, etc. There was discussion about using Instagram and not Twitter, as many people are gravitating to Instagram and it has an option to copy to Facebook.

E.   Webmaster (Rana)

Rana outlined the new website organization under development in coordination with Sue. Many ideas were discussed including revamping the home page and including tabs for News, Events  (including conferences), Store (published books, membership directory with links, book reviews), Cascadia and OPA Publications links, Membership/Contacts, Who We Are (history and mission), Bylaws, and Resources. The revised website would eliminate duplicate pages and incorporate Wild Apricot material, and the target to get it up and running is January (before the contests). 

V. Old Business

Dave sent out surveys for the October conference and received 14 responses, all positive. No problems were reported with the Zoom sessions or logistics. Suggestions included sending out workshop handouts sooner and more variety in workshops (mix craft and historical topics). Dave suggested soliciting presenters sooner. Sue noted that we need to make the evaluation part of the closing process.

VI. New Business

A.  The 2020 Verseweavers readings need to be organized. Rana suggested holding them in February             and using them to advertise the 2021 contest.

B.  Should the 2022 Fall Conference be in person? The Board discussed this and decided that Zoom         would be best, but with breakout rooms to allow for more personal contact interaction per Dave’s    suggestion (which Rana pointed out would involve additional cost for Zoom that would be rela-    tively small).

VII. Announcements

The next Board meeting will be on Thursday, December 9 at 7 pm.

VIII. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.

Minutes recorded and prepared by Dan Liberthson, Secretary

2 thoughts on “OPA Board Minutes, November 9, 2021”

  1. Hi Jan. Two ways. We are updating our website and will include a list of members’ books. Send me the info at [email protected] and I’ll add it to the list.Ican also forward the information to our book reviewer, Carolyn Martin. Congrats on the new book!

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