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AIR Board Meeting 04 June 2002

Minutes: 04 June, 2002

Minutes AIR Board Meeting June 4, 2002

Meeting called to order 12:05 p.m.
Adjourned at 1:20 p.m.
Conducted via conference call on AIR's bridge line

Present: (11)
Steve Rowland -- President/ Chair
Dolores Brandon -- Executive Director
Janet Dagley Dagley -- Vice President
Kathy Gronau -- Treasurer
Matthew Payne -- Executive Assistant / (Newly appointed AIR Board Secretary)

Maureen Jackson
Tanya Ott
Joan Rabinowitz
Sue Schardt
Sid Selvidge
Steve Spencer

Absent: (3)
Kerry Donahue
Dmae Roberts
Steve Robinson

1. Steve Rowland, AIR Board President, Report to the AIR Board
2. Committee Proposals discussed, Maureen Jackson AIR Website, Matthew Payne Member Outreach
3. MOTION: To appointment of Matthew Payne to position of AIR Board Secretary
4. Open Discussion

1. President's Report to the Board Steve Rowland addresses the dilemma AIR faces in relation to new initiatives: PR Weekend, The Collaboration Project, and discussions with NPR about rights and royalties issues. Dilemma revolves around AIR's genuine wish to support new initiatives, our need to respond honestly, and freely expressing concerns without being inflammatory. Also, there is the problem of certain independents being assumed to represent all of AIR when they don't. All of this creates a very difficult climate for independents.

2. Committee Suggestions
AIR Website Upgrade Proposal Presented by Maureen Jackson (Circulated via email to the Board prior to meeting.) AIR does have funding for the website. Discussion revolved around how AIR can become a larger online presence, especially at a time where technology is changing. The pros and cons of having a password for members to surf the site were discussed. Consensus is to keep the website accessible to all as a means to attract new members. The AIR Daily, mailed copy of AIRSPACE, listing in AIR's On-line Producers Directory and participation in the AIR Mentor Program are the only services/programs at the moment which require membership. Many new members do join specifically to enjoy these "member only" benefits.

Coming back to on-line services, then, how would AIR best serve its members? Maureen suggests creating an audio depot. Creating a place for Tanya Ott's funding opportunity postings.

Action: A committee consisting of Dolores, Janet, Maureen, Kerry, and Matt will meet to discuss the possibilities of on-line development.

Maureen Jackson proposes a "independent advisory" role for AIR in relation to some of the new programming intitiatives (PR Weekend, and the Collaboration Project, Radio Exchange.) A main thrust of Jackson's concerns have to do the digital transition of radio and how these new projects may evolve to leverage a larger independent talent pool

Discussion lead to Sue Schardt suggesting we as a Board need to further define AIR's role: with the changing public radio landscape, there are new opportunities and it is timely that the organization consider its position strategically. AIR has focused a lot on strengthening the services aspect of the organization -- mentoring, the listserve, newsletter, residencies - now networks, programmers etc are turning to AIR more and more often for services that we do not offer. For example: both PR Weekend and The Collaboration Project seemed to be interested in having AIR function as a curator, or content depot. AIR is not presently equipped to serve either function. AIR at some point probably should decide if it wants to move in those directions: if so funding would have to be sought.

Steve Spencer suggests if AIR decides it does want to play these roles we approach PRWeekend and the Collaboration Project and propose collaborative fundraising. In fact that idea was one we raised and briefly discussed with Mike Skoler and Izzy Smith at the PRC in DC. The door appeared to be at least half open to the suggestion.

Action: The AIR Board be prepared to articulate in clear terms what services we are prepared to offer, and what services we are not equipped to offer and are not interested in providing.

One thing that was agreed upon (but did not vote on): AIR should not feel obligated nor should we tacitly accept the suggestion that we be responsible to raise money to assure a place for independents in "funded" programming initiatives.

Matthew Payne submitted a proposal suggesting AIR do member outreach among college students. Everyone encouraged the idea.

Steve Spencer suggested that we may want to be clearer on what we can offer students if we are to make AIR look more appealing. The mentorship program is in place, but what more might we offer students in terms of career development? Michael Black of WEOS and Hobart and William Smith College, Bill Drummond of Berkley, and John Dinges of Columbia University are all people who may offer insight into connecting with colleges and ideas regarding where to advertise to reach them.

Action: Matt will head the committee looking into how to better connect with colleges. He'll be looking for help so be in touch.

International outreach was also encouraged. Rueger plays a leadership role in the "The Canadian Society for Independent Radio Production". The URL is http://www.radiosite.ca. Rueger is eager to forge more concrete partnerships with AIR. Rueger is in fact leaving Appalshop (WMMT) in early summer, to return to Canada.

Rowland suggests AIR send representatives to conferences like the International Feature Conference: doing so would help get the AIR name more prominence: knowing more about how other associations work may help us get new ideas for what AIR can do as an association.

Action: Sid Selvidge indicated interest in going to the next IFC, and Barry said he'd be interested in acting as a liaison to the CSIRP. Matt will also be helping out with international outreach.

3. Motion: Dolores moved that Matt Payne become the new Secretary of the AIR Board. Joan Rabinowitz seconded the motion. Unanimous acceptance.

Sue Schardt asked if AIR Board Secretary was a paid position
Answer is "no".
The position of Secretary is not paying, however Matt receives payment for being Dolores' Executive Assistant.

4. Open Discussion

i.) Other Board activity.
Joan Rabinowitz eager to help out with Mentor Program, Artist in Residence. Sees many ways Jack Straw Productions (Rabinowitz is Executive Director at Jack Straw in Seattle) can play an active role/host some of these activities.

Action: Dolores, Steve and Joan are to convene for further dialog.

ii.) Advertising, promoting AIR.
Need to do more is acknowledged. Most effective way is the challenge.

Action: Kathy interested in pursuing this.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes prepared by Dolores Brandon and Matthew Payne