Arts Center finds its center at annual meeting

The new board of the CVCA. From left (back row): New board members Nancy Mackay, Roger King and Diane Montgomery. Front row: Libby Rooney, Molly Cornwell, May Sullivan, President Tanner Hunsaker, Vice-President Jason Marr, Willie Thomas, Pearl Nancarrow and Charlene Giles. Photo by David Abbott.

The Cobre Valley Center for the Arts (CVCA) held its annual meeting last Friday, Jan. 25, electing board members in a business-as-usual meeting in the wake of a shake-up last summer.

About 50 CVCA members were present, as interim President Tanner Hunsaker led an uneventful meeting that, for the board and members, was a breath of fresh air after the clashes and uncertainty of 2018.

“It was kind of turbulent for several months,” Hunsaker said. “We want to thank you and appreciate those that stuck with us and the [Copper Cities Community] Players for the use of this space.”

The board and a contingent of volunteers have spent the past few months picking up the pieces and restaffing after a rift with the Summer Youth Theater Program left CVCA supporters scrambling just to keep the doors open.

After the previous executive board did not renew the lease of the White Porch, owned by board member Molly Cornwell, and tried to remove Cornwell from the board, several months of upheaval ensued.

The community came out to support Cornwell though, and by the time the calendar turned to fall, the former executive board president and vice-president resigned and most of the staff of the building followed suit.

After several months of weekly and monthly meetings — the board is only required to meet quarterly — the board tweaked its bylaws a bit, creating new term lengths and limits, staggering board terms to keep experienced members serving and reducing the chance of a coup from outside groups.

Terms are split into one-, two- and three-year terms and each board member is limited to two consecutive terms. After a layoff of one year, such board members can come back, if elected, and serve two more consecutive terms.

“We’re staggering terms so there is always someone here who knows what’s going on and where the light switches are,” Hunsaker said. “We had to replace practically everyone [staffing] and in a lot of ways, we’re reinventing the wheel.”

Hunsaker and interim Vice President Jason Marr, of the CCCP, reported the CVCA is in the process of “rebranding,” and will soon have a new website.

There will also likely be new lessees in the empty spaces on the ground floor of the historic 1906 courthouse building, which is at the heart of the CVCA’s mission.

Board members Hunsaker, Marr, Cornwell, Libby Rooney, May Sullivan, Willie Thomas, Pearl Nancarrow and Globe Councilmember Charlene Giles, drew numbers for the length of their remaining terms.

The intent of the meeting, though, was to elect new board members and set the executive board for the next year.

Members elected for one- to three-year terms were Roger King, a local musician and 14-year Globe resident, for a one-year term; Diana Montgomery, longtime CCCP supporter and “behind the scenes” CVCA supporter for two years, and Nancy Mackay, a longtime supporter who played a big role in getting the elevator installed at the Center, and reluctantly accepted a three-year term on the new board.

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