Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Trustees
September 21, 2022
Held via ZOOM
Josh Krugman, Chairman. Members; Jim Burress, Neil Brafman, Jenica Reed Conley, Bradford Louison, Suzanne Nassise, Mell Roca, Margaret Veresko, Terry Karaniuk, Allison Picard, Lori Andrews and Kyleen Carpenter. Elaine Cunningham, Christine Noel, ex officio.
The meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. The Minutes of the meeting of May 23, 2022 were unanimously approved.
New members of the Board, Terry Karaniuk, Allison Picard, Lori Andrews and Kyleen Carpenter were welcomed. The Chairman discuss his plan for a Board social in October.
Executive Director’s Report
Elaine Cunningham presented her FY 2023 Development and Marketing plan. She reported that 2022 ended with cash on hand of approximately $74,000.00 She discussed her focus on projects, fund raising goals, donors and grants. Fund raising events were discussed including the fruit sales and 401 Gives and a spring fund raising event to make up for a lost grant.
Hybrid programs rather than printed programs for concerts was discussed. She discussed social media presence, such as a regular blog on the Singer’s website and expanded Facebook posts, contacting churches and synagogues and Jewish news media to publicize concerts.
New risers were discussed. $10,000.00 of reserve funds are available for new risers. The RI Children’s Chorushas offered three risers to the Singers which will partially fulfill the need for new risers. A fourth riser will be priced. Fatigue mats will also be considered. The Chairman remarked that as long as the equipment proposed to be purchased was for equipment to be used with the risers, such as the mats, chairs or safety rails that funds used for them would be acceptable under the criteria for the funds received for new risers.
Ms. Cunningham asked that the Trustees complete the conflict-of-interest form which needs to be completed and submitted.
Terry Karaniuk discussed the use of Patreon for fund raising. A discussion ensued as to the use of Patreon, the posting of content there and the use of music online. The matter will be referred to the Resource and Development Committee for further discussion.
The Chair discussed his desire to have a fund-raising event this season.
Artistic Director’s Report
Dr. Noel discussed the current strong membership in all sections with a current membership of 88 and 14 new members. There are currently waiting lists for all sections but for the tenors. Additional auditions will be conducted pending the size of concert venues and balance with the tenors. No additional members will be accepted for now except for the Messiah and Requiem which will see the inclusion of additional guest singers.
The In Harmony program is underway and the repertoire is set. The Blackstone Academy Charter School is the host, and the Director and Assistant Director of the program are planning site visits and auditions at schools in Pawtucket and Central Falls. The possibility of including Providence schools is being considered. Transportation for the students is not currently included. Neil Brafman asked about the possibility of the Singers performing with the In Harmony participants.
Mell Roca inquired about plans to keep the interest of those applicants on the waiting lists. Dr. Noel said that they have been asked to submit a recording of a piece of music so that a better understanding of their voices may be made. Mr. Buress asked about whether the additional members for the Messiah and the Requiem would extend to the other programs.
Kyleen Carpenter discussed fund raising for the In Harmony program. Dr. Noel said that she wanted to ensure that funds are not diverted from the Singers to In Harmony, which is well funded.
Budget and Finance Committee.
Jim Buress discussed the revised budget and the current situation with the loss of the RISCA grant. There was a discussion of the loss of the RISCA and new and alternative sources of funding. The RISCA grant application changed with a significant emphasis on DE&I and BIPOC and there was a discussion of the organization’s fit. The RISCA grant is not available for reapplication until 2024.
There was a discussion of the Singers performing with a gospel choir and the search for such choirs.
The Chair discussed key items for the committees to consider.
Resource and Development- fund raising event, online sustainable donations
Artistic excellence, seeking a broader audience, guest conductors, attracting and retaining quality singers of diverse backgrounds
Board Governance- documenting policies and succession plans for staff and board members; key volunteers; the expansion of the search for Board members beyond Rhode Island, the required number of board members.
At 8:18 p.m. a motion was made and passed to enter into Executive Session. Executive Session closed at 8:28 p.m. There being no further business before the Board, a motion to adjourn was made and passed and the meeting adjourned at 8:28 p.m.
/s/ Brad Louison
Bradford N. Louison, Secretary
Sept. 24, 2022