Milford Patch has obtained a copy of an evaluation of the conducted by the Connecticut Office of the Arts. The three-page document was written in response to a 2010-2011 Cultural Leadership Grant Application filed by the MFAC.
The overall evaluation by the CT Office of the Arts scored the MFAC as a 25 out of 40 in Cultural Leadership, an 18 out of 30 in Responsiveness to Community and a 13 out of 30 in Management & Organizational Health.
The evaluation noted that the "probability that the [MFAC] will strategically build and/or sustain capacity in alignment with the [local art agency] program's goals" was "Low."
The Good News
Anne L'Ecuyer was the Primary Reviewer of the MFAC, and the following notes and comments were part of a panel discussion about the state of the MFAC.
The document notes that:
- The MFAC seems to have a good reputation throughout the City of Milford
- The Council could play an important role in the city's economic development
- Strong, long term support from the City of Milford
- Long standing executive director
The Bad News
One of the more positive aspects of the evaluation revolved around Bill Meddick, the Executive Director of the MFAC for 30 years. The document noted that "Executive Director [Bill Meddick] articulates the MFAC dilemma very well."
Meddick's last day with the MFAC was Friday, June 29th. A new Executive Director has not yet been named and the MFAC's website still lists Meddick as its Executive Director.
Among the critical notes in the evaluation are the following:
- Council describes itself as 'lost' regarding organizational focus.
- Potential over-reliance on the City of Milford's annual contribution. There's an opportunity to use these funds to leverage additional funding.
- There is little attention on planning.
- MFAC needs to rethink mission in order to revitalize the organization.
- They need a catalyst for a big change.
- Council needs to learn how to use the Internet more effectively.
- Prior two year grant $50,000 awarded to increase capacity has proven unsustainable.
- The organization admits a need to figure out how to manage the properties they already have.
- Evaluation is weak. Weak SWOT (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats).
- Diversity issues exist including diverse representation on board [of directors].
- Towns served section includes only demographic information for the Caucasian population.
- Organization is aware of a lack of diversity…no tactics in place to support or enact change in this area.
- Weak connections generally to other CT [local arts agencies].
Attempts were made to contact , MFAC Board member Sandy Morgan, and MFAC Business & Communications Director Kristine Kinsella for this article. They were each unsuccessful. This story will be updated as the MFAC responds.
In the City of Milford budget proceedings, Mayor Ben Blake, the Milford Board of Finance and the Board of Aldermen each approved funds of $67,500 to be granted to the Milford Fine Arts Council for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which began on July 1st, 2012.