SBMT Board Meeting Minutes
November 9, 2022
Board Members Present: Barbara Heninger, Michael Hirsch, Edward Hunter, Soni Kapoor, Elizabeth Matthews, Tipu Purkayastha, Steve Sammonds, Dan Singletary, Braden Taylor
Ex Officio: Sara Dean (Executive Artistic Director), Jeffrey Henson (facilities)
Not present: Doug Hughes (marketing), Stacy Levin (Board), Nicole Tung (Board)
Summary of Action Items
- Board members must upload their vaccination record to Synopsys (Soni to provide link)
- Tipu will pick up breakfast items and find a lunch place to DoorDash for retreat
- Tipu and Elizabeth volunteer to connect with parent volunteers for local high school drama, music groups to sell tickets to Spitfire Grill
- Suggest all Board members make a personal goal to each sell at least 20 tickets to Spitfire Grill
- Dan and Sara will create some group codes used to identify where ticket sales are coming from (e.g. one code for Board sales, attached to a specific link that Board members would provide to friends when encouraging them to buy tickets)
- Barbara will bring Spitfire Grill flyers to local grills / restaurants for cross-marketing
- Per Board request, Barbara will include on future Development slides a comparison of our Fundraising Goals against our current numbers, so we can see where we are on-track, where Board might need to help push. (Could do this each month, or just at the end of each quarter)
- Board members must provide information about their ethnic backgrounds as a required part of the California Arts Council grant we received – fill in spreadsheet by November 18
- Board members: Need ushers the night of our Anniversary Event. Soni has volunteered. One or two others?
Board Officer Reports
- Organization of slide topics for this and future meetings: Board officer reports, EAD and staff reports, committee reports
- Will hold hybrid in-person/Zoom Board meeting in January
- Real Estate Search – Karina Ridge at Intero Capital Markets to begin real estate search soon (Scene shop lease ends May 31, 2023; studio in February 2024)
- Will send requirements for real estate search to Org Committee to review again
- Will take Ms. Ridge to the current spaces so she can see what we have now
- Earliest possible move is Summer 2023
- Braden discussed with landlord our interest in moving; if we don’t find something this summer we would have to pay month-to-month at set shop (it is more expensive that way but gives us more leeway to move)
- Board Retreat Planning underway.
- When: December 3, 2022
- Where: Synopsys
- Discussing topics for the day with facilitator
- ACTION: Board members must upload their vaccination record to Synopsys
- ACTION: Tipu will pick up breakfast items and find a lunch place to DoorDash
- Subscriptions are down by about one third – means we don’t have as many pre-sold seats for the upcoming season, but we might be able to sell more higher cost tickets, especially to Singin’ in the Rain
- Sara notes other local companies are also down with subscriptions, about 25-50%; PAP said even with a good turnout for School of Rock, they did not sell this show as well as they would have pre-pandemic
- Cash in good position; some cash transferred to our investment portfolio
- Investment portfolio is surprisingly strong, given current climate!
- Approved into Nonprofits Insurance Alliance of California – tax exempt insurers that insure 501c non-profits for less
- We also get access to training and workshops about insurance-related topics
- “Company” ticket sales were lower than budgeted, but expenses were also lower than expected, so net loss is not too impactful
Executive Artistic Director
- Lost our public relations person who got so much publicity on Company for us (he has moved out of state); Sara and Doug will discuss how to do the same kind of activity for Spitfire Grill.
- Chris Morton has started as production and finance intern – will support Sara and Braden
- Chris Beer will become our resident Technical Director
- Spitfire Grill
- Rehearsals start soon
- Coming up with creative ideas to spread the word (see her slides)
- Create short commercial early in the rehearsal cycle
- ACTION: Tipu and Elizabeth volunteer to connect with parent volunteers for local high school drama, music groups to sell tickets
- ACTION: Suggest all Board members make a personal goal to sell at least 20 tickets each
- ACTION: Dan and Sara will create some group codes used to identify where ticket sales are coming from (e.g. one code for Board sales, attached to a specific link that Board members would provide to friends when encouraging them to buy tickets)
- ACTION: Barbara will bring flyers to local grills / restaurants for cross-marketing
- Singin’ in the Rain
- Announcement of cast before Thanksgiving
- Board will need to discuss whether we have requirements for vaccination of staff going forward
- School Partnerships
- Foothill Elementary
- City of Saratoga promised that SBMT would provide light and sound support for a one-day show. This is a first and one-time thing, but we will need to consider logistics for possible future events (such as mic’ing only leads; limiting light cues; identifying fair market value of rentals and show what discount they are getting). It’s a test case. Potential net $1-2.5 K; also might train people (parents) to do light and sound who might be available in future.
- Need to clarify with city what we can and cannot do (we don’t want to be the sound and light group for one-night events)
- Saratoga High
- Will offer two master classes, in playwriting and choreo (based on Singin’ in the Rain), similar to our current online workshops.
- Student talk-back with Saratoga students planned for Friday Feb 3 performance of Spitfire Grill.
- Continuing her leadership training courses through CEN, and Silicon Valley Creates
Community and Inclusion
Did not meet this month
Development and Fundraising
- ACTION: Per Board request, Barbara will include on future Development slides a comparison of our Fundraising Goals against our current numbers, so we can see where we are on-track, where Board might need to help push. (Could do this each month, or just at the end of each quarter)
- Donation requests for subscription drive yielded 333% of goal!
- Challenges include securing sponsorships from companies (rather than individuals), declining/stagnant numbers of sustaining donors
- Year-End appeal letters going out November 14, THANK YOU to Kathy Switky!
- Board members must provide information about their ethnic backgrounds as a required part of the California Arts Council grant we received
- ACTION: Board members provide information in spreadsheet by November 18
- Barbara sending out Quick Grant application to cover facilitator for our retreat
- 60th Anniversary Event on April 22, 2023
- Committee reviewed status and action items; event on track
- Looking for donation of a week/weekend time share or vacation home
- Reminder, Board agreed to contribute as a group to sponsor event
- ACTION: Need ushers the night of. Soni has volunteered. One or two others?
Did not meet this month, BUT sent out satisfaction survey for Company
- See Steve’s report to Board for summary input; Steve will provide link to complete report
- Survey was open for a week; slightly delayed after show close. Next time prep survey in advance so we can send it out immediately after Spitfire Grill closes
- Sara working on a form to be available in the theater or at the studio – if something has come up in the moment, we can capture it at the time.
Vision and Planning
- Vision and planning reviewed our Core Values to see how we align our choices of shows for next season to our values
- Heart: Passion & Kindness – what stories do we want to tell?
- Community: Collaborations, Inclusivity, Diversity – is the story harmful? Does it uplift and include?
- Quality: Professionalism, Artistic Success, Creativity – is it within our scope, a stretch, or beyond?
- Growth: Outreach, Financial Success, Enrichment, Enlightenment – is it financially responsible?
- Following the Core Values guidelines, we have an A list of shows we want for the 2023-24 season. Rights are approved for two of them, one must wait because it is more than 18 months in the future. We have applied for rights for some back-up shows (however at least one requested was on the restricted list)
Board moved into Executive Session
Respectfully submitted, November 9, 2022 – Barbara Heninger