More resignations at the Arts Center

Outgoing Cobre Valley Center for the Arts Gallery Manager Susie Baker announced her resignation during the Tuesday, Sept. 4 board meeting. Baker (center) is seen here presenting documents to interim board members, from left, Vice President Jason Marr and President Tanner Hunsaker, as Secretary Pearl Nancarrow looks on (at right). Photo by Carol Broeder

Resignations at the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts (CVCA) continued as the gallery manager at the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts announced her impending departure at the Tuesday, Sept. 4 board meeting.

CVCA Gallery Manager Susie Baker gave notice at the end of her gallery report to the board.

“I love this place, but I have to step away for a while,” said Baker, adding she would stay long enough to help train her replacement.

“I ask the board to appreciate the front desk people,” said Baker, pointing out that since 2004 there have been 19 people at the front desk. “That’s a lot of people.”

“Whoever comes next, give them the support they need,” said Baker, expressing gratitude for the support she received from Paul Tunis, outgoing program director and leader of the Summer Youth Musical Theatre Program (SYMTP), and former executive board President Leslie Kim.

She said that when she was a board member “we worked as a board.”

Baker went on to say those who really care about the gallery are willing to perform necessary tasks, such as cleaning the bathrooms.

She and Tunis then left the meeting together after she concluded her remarks.

During the Sept. 4 program director’s report, Tunis indicated he was feeling ill and might leave the meeting after concluding his report, though he stayed while Baker gave her gallery report.

At the beginning of the meeting, Interim CVCA Board President Tanner Hunsaker announced his Aug. 23 appointment as acting president, as well as that of interim Vice President Jason Marr, for at least the next “four months or so” until the annual meeting.

“I want to get the ball back on track, so to speak,” said Hunsaker, who is the nephew of late local icon Kip Culver, the Center’s former director.

“We have contracts to pore over and deadlines to meet,” he said. “We need to keep everything going. It’s going well.”

Hunsaker went onto say that he would like to see “members of the community step up and become the support it (the Center) actually needs.”

“Consider volunteering and consider being a board member,” he said. “This is an exciting time for the Center.”

While giving the treasurer’s report, Mike Bryan announced the accountant/bookkeeper had submitted her resignation, giving 10-day notice. Hunsaker asked Bryan to “extend our thanks to her.”

Ex-officio Board Member Charlene Giles commented on the short notice, saying that the board needed to have a “sit down” meeting with the accountant/bookkeeper before her departure.

She also expressed concerns about “two figures for her,” at $300 each in the same month, as well as the cost of using QuickBooks.

Bryan explained that completing the necessary quarterly bed tax paperwork requires extra work, and Hunsaker called QuickBooks “a necessary evil.”

Also during the Sept. 4 meeting, Hunsaker asked to form a committee to review staff job descriptions, suggesting that all board members join it and meet later in the week “if we could.”

“Now would be the time before we begin taking in applications,” said Hunsaker, indicating there was already interest in the open positions.

Hunsaker announced that both the Cultural Advancement and Publicity and Outreach Committees were on hold, pending more members. Giles volunteered to be on Publicity and Outreach.

Hunsaker went on to say he plans to roll out a marketing plan for the Center at the next regularly scheduled board meeting, which is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2.

He announced that Nancy Lockhart made an official request for copies of the by-laws and articles of incorporation, but she was not present at the meeting.

During the membership comments portion of the meeting, Charles Beck also requested “the by-laws and other supporting documents,” which Hunsaker said would be available later at the front desk.

CVCA member Diana Montgomery suggested putting the documents online to be available for downloading, to which Marr replied they should be only made available online to the paid membership.

Responding to an audience question as to how the January board election would work, Marr replied that any paid member attending the annual meeting could nominate from the floor another paid member.

Then, at its first subsequent meeting, the new board would elect the new executive board, Marr explained.

The CVCA board is made up of a 15-member general board chosen from membership and a 4-member executive board.

A CVCA membership costs $50 annually and paid members are allowed to attend the regular board meetings.

Baker’s resignation followed closely on the heels of Tunis, who submitted his Aug. 20 resignation via e-mail, stating he did not see how his current working situation could make him “an effective provider to the youth” he was committed to serving.

Tunis plans to end his tenure at CVCA in November, after completing the “Mary Poppins Jr.” production.

CVCA Board President Abby Jennex also submitted her resignation via e-mail on Aug. 16, and by Aug. 18, Kim and general board member Diana Tunis had resigned, as well.

At the center of the controversy in the past few months is that, on June 12, the CVCA executive board sent White Porch Antiques owner Molly Cornwell a notice informing her it would not renew her lease and requesting her resignation from the general board, as well.

The CVCA board held a special meeting Aug. 23, appointing an interim executive board to carry on until January’s annual meeting.

Hunsaker immediately called for weekly board meetings, which have since increased to twice per week, he told the Silver Belt last week.

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