Board or Committee Meeting
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 6:30pm


Meeting-March 10, 2020 at 6:30pm


  1. Take roll
  2. Review and vote on editing or accepting minutes from the February 10 meeting
  3. Conduct business



  1. 2019 Year in Review – How to post and distribute the report?
  2. City Open House (March 1) – Review (contacts, follow-ups)
    1. Immediate grant opportunity – do we take it?
    2. Future opportunity for art at local bus stops (Inka)
  3. Social Media and Public Presence
    1. Manage Facebook
    2. Other social media platforms?
    3. Newsletter?
    4. Public Events – Supplies, table presentation (Heather)
  1. Laurel 150th 
    1. Mobile Murals (Inka)
    2. Children’s Art Poster Exhibit (Angie)
    3. September 26, 2020 interactive mural and festival activities
  2. Other FY 2020 Projects
    1. Laurel High Art Exhibit – April 26, Municipal Center (Angie, Bharati)
    2. Pallotti Drama Showcase – date and place
    3. Laurel High IB Project – Inka
  3. Organizing Ourselves
    1. Projects, committees
    2. Accessible cloud storage of LAC documents and contacts
    3. Accessible physical storage of LAC supplies
  4. Upcoming Meetings
    1. Topics – to include:
      • Overview city spaces (A&E District, public bldgs, parks)
      • Inventory sites for public art (Leigha)
      • Consider possible partnerships and project themes
  5. Dates – Tuesday at 6:30 pm:
    • April 14
    • May 12
    • June 9 



Meeting Minutes
March 10, 2020

The Laurel Arts Council (LAC) held its March meeting from 6:30 pm - 8:17 pm at the Laurel Municipal Center in Laurel, MD on March 10, 2020. Vice Chair Melissa Holland called the meeting to order.

PRESENT: S. Nisa Asgarali-Hoffman (by phone), Charles Clyburn, Bharati Dhruva, Christopher                   Dwyer, Melissa Holland, Angela O’Neal, Inka Patel, Monica Sturdivant

ABSENT: Joanne Hall Barr (Dept. of Parks & Recreation, DPR), Heather Brooks, Marilyn Byers,                Kelsey Eustace, Leigha Steele (Dept. of Economic & Community Development)

Minutes from the last meeting were accepted after edit was noted to add Charles Clyburn.


  1. LAC 2019 Year in Review. Melissa passed around printed copies of the review. Nisa will readjust the pdf before it is posted online to ensure that it is accessible to those with visual impairments.
  2. City Open House. Melissa thanked Charles, Inka and Heather for helping represent the LAC there.
    1. In reporting on the Open House from March 1, Melissa said that she and others spoke with Prince George’s (PG) County Council Representative Tom Dernoga and with State Senator James Rosapepe, each of whom represents the City of Laurel at their respective levels.
    2. Inka discussed how Senator Rosapepe had a lot of great ideas for creating interesting public places. He pointed to bus stop shelters as an example of places that could be enlivened by displays of public art. He encouraged the LAC to reach out to him for links to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates the regional bus and rail system. He mentioned having assisted a group in Montgomery County in getting permission to add art at bus shelters. Members agreed that something similar could be proposed for the City of Laurel in fiscal year 2021.  Melissa noted that PG County has commissioned artists to create pieces for train stations on Metro’s planned purple line, setting a precedent for situating art on public transportation routes.   
    3. Melissa discussed Tom Dernoga’s role in allocating PG County Special Appropriation Grants for our district, like the 2018 grant to the LAC that funded the glass tile mural project. At the Open House, Mr. Dernoga conveyed his support for public art in Laurel and invited a grant proposal from the LAC. Melissa noted that the real challenge is writing the grant. To that end, she recommended that over the next month members develop project ideas that include a local theme and a community partnership. Inka mentioned that there was also a request to bring more music to public spaces. Bharati noted that businesses like those at the Laurel Towne Center offer outdoor concerts in summer and suggested approaching local business to present more music.
    4. Melissa noted that Mr. Dernoga mentioned displaying art at Laurel Library (a branch of PG County Libraries), where he formerly served on a volunteer committee. He has received an inquiry from a Laurel librarian about exhibiting art, as has been done successfully at other libraries in PG County. Melissa suggested that such a display should focus on what is already available, such as art by students at local schools. Angie offered to coordinate the project. Inka mentioned that some public library staff have expressed reluctance to display art because of the risk of damage to artwork, and Bharati noted the possible risk of displaying art in spaces where children visit. Other members suggested measures that can be taken to protect the art. Melissa will follow up with Mr. Dernoga’s office to get contact information for the relevant librarian at Laurel Library.  
  3. Social Media and Public Presence
    1. Melissa introduced Heather’s ideas for effectively using social media and for expanding LAC’s reach, to be discussed at the next meeting when Heather returns. Melissa then outlined the LAC’s gaps in both technical fluency and availability to work on social media.
    2. Currently, Melissa said, Facebook is LAC’s only social media platform, and given the turnover and absence of members, it has seen limited use. Kelsey, as creator of LAC’s Facebook page, has managed posting, with Melissa added in the last half year, and more recently, Inka.
    3. The LAC also has a Gmail account for disseminating announcements to an interest list of about 160 recipients, but Melissa pointed out that no one regularly monitors the account for incoming mail. Members suggested adjusting the account so that incoming or reply messages receive an automatic response saying that the account is not monitored and referring the sender to the City’s Parks & Recreation Department email address.
    4. Melissa discussed the LAC Newsletter, an electronic publication which has languished for a year with no one to serve as  editor. She described the technical challenges of maintaining the newsletter: learning how to apply and manipulate a digital template and how to manage a distribution platform like MailChimp, as well as keeping the electronic mailing list updated. Angie expressed that she would like to keep the newsletter. Melissa proposed taking up the newsletter again in September, given all the projects on the LAC’s slate for FY20.
    5. Besides LAC’s digital presence, Melissa echoed recommendations from Heather and Inka that the LAC have better promotional and display materials for in-person events, like the City Open House. Heather had suggested creating postcard-size LAC blurbs as giveaways. Inka proposed a standing sign and colorful art to bring more attention to LAC’s table or booth.
  4. Laurel 150th Anniversary  Projects         
    1. Inka gave an update on the Laurel High School mural project. Laurel TV visited one of the high school art classes and interviewed the teacher - Mr. Butters - as well as Inka about the project. Inka showed a sketch of the final design of each mural and photos of the students’ progress. Mr. Butters aims to have the mural panels complete in early May, depending on how Coronavirus concerns affect the school schedule. The IB art students plan an exhibit for March 18, 6 pm  - 8 pm, to which LAC members are invited. Inka described this as an opportunity to meet the advanced students who will work on the third mural project.
    2. The murals will be shown at the September Festival at McCullough Field, which is intended to celebrate Laurel’s diversity, as part of Laurel’s year-long 150th celebration. Melissa pointed out the work needed to build frames for the murals, attach the panels, and set up. She mentioned that Audrey Barnes, City Communications Director, asked what size tent(s) the LAC needs for the festival. The LAC is assigned a sizable space and, in addition to displaying the Laurel High murals, is responsible for hosting art activities. One of these activities is to lead an interactive community mural, incorporating multiple languages and cultural symbols. Further activities, members suggested, might include poetry reading and, from Bharati, poetry writing such as haikus. Chris proposed different activity stations, with projects like making shoebox guitars out of simple materials. He also suggested contacting Arts on a Roll, a PG County mobile service that gives workshops in a rage of visual and performing arts.   
    3. Angie updated the LAC on the Children’s Art Poster Exhibit. Laurel Elementary School will now participate, along with Scotchtown Hills Elementary. To support Laurel Elementary, Angie will deliver poster boards, crayons, and other supplies. Bharati will contact each school to find out how many students will be participating. Melissa noted that the children are creating their art posters on the theme of what they like most about their hometown. She said that we do not have a confirmed May date or venue for the exhibit and suggested the Laurel Armory because of its close proximity to both schools and its accessibility as a City property. Several other venue ideas followed, including the Laurel Boys and Girls Club, if it is a city building, and the fire station. Monica suggested businesses on Main Street; Chris offered to put that idea to Maureen Rogers of the Board of Trade, and Melissa offered to ask Leigha Steele about prospective businesses. Melissa proposed a later discussion about getting parents’ permission to show students’ art, list names, take photographs, etc.
  5. Other LAC 2020 Projects: (1) Laurel High School Art Exhibit and its April 26 opening reception at the Municipal Center:  Members discussed art teachers’ request that we frame the art as well as providing matting and all agreed that time and cost will prohibit framing.  (2) St. Vincent Pallotti High School Drama Showcase: Chris announced the date and place: April 30, 6 pm, Laurel Mill Playhouse. An open issue is where to hold a reception for students, perhaps next door to the playhouse at Olive on Main. Chris will get pricing estimates. For both events, the mayor will present students with certificates of appreciation, to be prepared by the LAC.
  6. Melissa said that the next LAC meeting will look at how we organize ourselves for work to come, and referred members to the list of projects or committees they had signed up for (next page).
  7. Upcoming Meetings
    1. Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30 pm
    2.  Tuesday, May 12 at 6:30 pm
    3. Tuesday, June 9 at 6:30 pm


      Meeting adjourned at 8:17 pm.
      Monica Sturdivant                                                                                  Date: March 15, 2020

      LAC COMMITTEE & PROJECT SIGN UP (Feb 10, 2020)




Finances (Treasurer)

  • Track income, spending
  • Prepare supply orders
  • Produce status reports


Minutes, Meetings (Secretary)

  • Write and distribute minutes (email)
  • Send meeting announcements (email)



  • Manage FB and posts
  • Monitor/manage Google email,
  • Keep email list (Mailchimp),
  • Contact Laurel TV, City leaders, Press
  • Do Newsletter (?)

Kelsey, Melissa, Nisa

Research, Writing

  • Write financial policy, strategic plan, arts projects eval criteria
  • Write grant requests, reports

Kelsey, Melissa, Nisa

(Heather & Nisa helped complete 2019 Report)

150th - Mobile Mural(s) Laurel High School

  • Buy, deliver materials
  • Work w art classes
  • Mount mural on frame, port, install for Apr 26
  • Maintain over summer
  • Install for 150th Multicultural Festival Sep 26

Inka, Melissa, Bharati, Monica, Angie

150th - Sept 26 2020 Festival Activities         (at McCullough Field, est. > 8K visitors)

  • Plan Interactive mural, games, art activities
  • Run exhibit w/ murals
  • Manage Interactive mural
  • Conduct games, art activities

Inka, Angie, Bharati, Melissa, Monica, Nisa, Monica’s daughter, (other HS students)

Laurel High Art Exhibit, Apr 26 2020 (at Municipal Center)

  • Buy, deliver materials
  • Coordinate with 5 art teachers + Music
  • Port, label, mount artwork
  • Publicize
  • Prepare student certificates
  • Organize the opening, write the program
  • Take-down, port back

Angie, Bharati, Melissa, Inka, Nisa                 

Children’s Art Poster Show, May 2020

  • Buy, deliver materials
  • Coordinate w teachers
  • Port, mount, publicize, opening, port back

Angie, Bharati, Melissa


Laurel High IB Art Project (recycled items), Apr-May 2020

  • Plan, deliver materials
  • Work with class
  • Port, install
  • Publicize
  • Dedicate


Pallotti High Theater Showcase, May 2020

  • Publicize
  • Prepare student certificates
  • Attend w/City officials

Heather, Chris (directs students), Charles                   

Propose new projects

  • Estimate costs
  • Seek partnerships
  • Plan and oversee project