[Editor's Note: Attempts were made to contact Sandra Morgan via MFACboard@gmail.com and to acquire Dolores Hannon's contact information via Business Director Kristine Kinsella on July 9th for the .]
Dear Mr. Sartor,
We would like to take this opportunity to respond to your article in the Milford Patch on July 10, 2012.
First and foremost you stated that attempts were made to contact Dolores Hannon and Sandy Morgan, co-presidents. Dolores did not receive a call or an email from you regarding this issue.
Your email to Kristine Kinsella, our Business Manager, was not answered on Monday as she is a part time employee and does not work on Monday. You decided to run your article on Tuesday without any input from the Board. This was irresponsible.
Sadly, you chose to offer negative press when no coverage was given to our most recent and very successful events, The New England Arts and Craft Festival or the Kentucky Derby Party.
The report you reference, “An Evaluation of the Milford Fine Arts Council” conducted by the Connecticut Office of the Arts, was in fact an internal working document resulting from a self-evaluation performed by the board in 2010. Please remember that this was a different board than currently exists and it was conducted during the tenure of Bill Meddick as Executive Director.
This self-evaluation is then reviewed and commented on by the State. It is a process we go through every 2 years at the request of the State. It was an honest assessment of the condition at that time which the board hoped would be used to create positive changes in a well thought out manner. It was actually conducted before the current board was in place; however your article seems to place the conditions firmly on the shoulders of the current board.
, we have conducted a comprehensive search for a new Executive Director. We have evaluated and have been in the process of reviewing and interviewing over 40 applications. We take this responsibility very seriously and have been very thorough in this endeavor. Not a small task for a volunteer board.
Responses to your article show that the public is sorely unaware of the programs currently offered by the MFAC and it’s many dedicated volunteers, including in part:
- Annual Sandcastle Competition (coming up July 28th)
- New England Arts and Crafts Festival (held this past weekend)
- Eastbound Theatre (offering 3 plays every year)
- Eastbound Summer Performance during Festival (including international submission)
- New England Guitar Society (ongoing performances throughout the year)
- Performance Coffeehouse (with monthly events)
- Host the Lisman Holiday Concert at City Hall (December 2 this year)
- Jazz Concert Series (5 times every year)
- Summer Camp for Children (2 week long sessions – sold out)
- Tango – Dance Lessons weekly – demonstrations throughout the year
- Fire House Gallery (offering 10 new exhibitions each year)
- Our curator oversees the Permanent Art Collection of the City of Milford, comprised of over 100 pieces of art, and recently renamed The William Meddick Permanent Art Collection in honor of Bill.
- Murals of Milford (developing public art in public spaces)
- Free Movie Nights
- Letters Group (writers group meeting to write/submit and publish poetry and short stories)
- National Poetry Contest
- Poetry Slam
- Publication of High Tides
- Publication of monthly newsletter
- Collaboration with DMBA and Milford Promise
- Co-produced a show with the Milford Yacht Club to showcase marine art.
- Working with the Milford Board of Education to engage students as volunteers within the community.
- Involvement with the Annual Pirate’s Day and Open Doors of Milford sponsored by DMBA
- Annual Kentucky Derby Party
- Supporters of the Milford Art League and Artists-in-Residence at the Firehouse Gallery
- Responsibility for the maintenance of the Center for the Arts and Firehouse Gallery properties.
A critical note in the “review” noted a potential over-reliance on the annual contribution from the City of Milford. Where the City’s money is vital to our organization, it represents approximately one third of our total budget. Our City government is supportive of our programs but their financial support is not a given. We must apply for the money every year with a presentation to the Board of Finance.
The MFAC is sincerely committed to the enrichments of the Arts for the City of Milford and each and every one of its citizens and its board continues to work with staff and volunteers on bringing exciting changes for the future.
We welcome your interest and would encourage everyone with such strong feelings about the programs of the Milford Fine Arts Council to join! It’s a steal at $25 a year.
MFAC Board of Directors
Dolores Hannon, Co-President
Sandra Morgan, Co-President
Nancy Bennett, Vice President
Valerie Intelisano, Treasurer
Fran Cappelli, Secretary