Board or Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 6:30pm

LAC Meeting - April

Tue, Apr 13, 2021 5:50 PM - 7:50 PM (EDT)

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Virtual Meeting-April 13, 2021 at 6:00pm



  1. Take roll
  2. Review, vote on editing or accepting minutes from March
  3. Meditation and movement
  4. Conduct business



  1. Welcome new member – Michael Spears   
  2. City updates – Joanne, Leigha
  3. Mural grant – Melissa, Nisa  
    1. Application submitted to PGAHC (Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council) Public Art Program 2021
      • Goals
      • Timing
    2. Next steps for LAC
  4. Friends of Patuxent (L4P) Planter Project – update Inka, Angie, Melissa
    1. Fish art pieces
    2. QR code
  5. High school collaboration
    1. Laurel High – virtual art gallery in May on Facebook
    2. Pallotti High – virtual art gallery in May on Facebook
  6. Supporting and showcasing local artists and performers – Keri
  7. LAC working groups or committees – Bharati
  8. Upcoming Virtual Meetings
    1. Tuesday, May 11 at 6:00pm
    2. Tuesday, June 8 at 6:00pm
    3. Take summer break?





Meeting Minutes

April 13, 2021

The Laurel Arts Council (LAC) held its April meeting from 6:28 pm – 7:45 pm via Zoom in Laurel, MD on April 13, 2021. Chair Melissa Holland called the meeting to order.

PRESENT: Charles Clyburn, Bharati Dhruva, Keri Anne Fuller, Joanne Hall Barr (Dept. of Parks & Recreation, DPR), Melissa Holland, Inka Patel, Chae Reid, Michael Spears, Monica Sturdivant

ABSENT:   Heather Brooks, S. Nisa Asgarali-Hoffman, Angela O’Neal.

Minutes from the March meeting were accepted.


Chae Reid led the group in meditation and movement.


  1. Melissa opened the meeting by welcoming new member Michael Spears. He is a professional artist who paints a “parallel world of rhythm and melody” in abstract style. He is currently working on a series relating to 1960s and 70s R&B. Website:
  2. Joanne shared city updates. Budgets were presented to the Laurel City Council. Everything requested (including funding within Dept of Parks & Rec for LAC) is in the approved budget.
  3. Melissa shared updates on the Mural Project. She discussed the status of the LAC’s mural grant proposal for Prince George’s County Arts & Humanities Council (PHAGC). Nisa assisted with writing the proposal; it is on the Google drive. Melissa and Nisa also attended grant-related meetings and asked questions. LAC applied for a Planning Grant rather than an Implementation Grant, based on recommendations from the City and from PGAHC. Documents were submitted on April 9th and LAC should hear back by the end of April.
    1. Planning grants were originally awarded by the State of Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). They are being distributed by the counties because the state was overwhelmed in 2020. LAC’s main goals for the Planning Grant will be to write a strategic plan for public art in the city, to select a site for the first mural, and to coordinate a call for concept designs for the selected site. Melissa shared that the requested budget ($5000) is the maximum allowed and needs to cover documenting the plan and process.
    2. Following Planning Grant guidance, the LAC proposal calls for hiring a consultant and assembling an advisory committee of community stakeholders. Joanne suggested that perhaps LAC can serve as the advisory committee. Michael Spears added that the budget is very low in the art world and may not appeal to potential artists. Melissa agreed and noted that Rhonda Dallas had earlier suggested budgeting at least $15,000 for a public mural.  The difference might be provided in a follow-up Implementation Grant, available through the county at $10,000 and through the state at $20,000. The challenge is that we do not know if we would be awarded an Implementation Grant from the county or the state.
    3. When members inquired whether the City of Laurel might help, Joanne recommended that LAC submit a written request to the City to fill in gaps for additional funding. She added that the mayor’s office might have funds available for community promotions. Bharati suggested asking the city to match $5000 so that LAC can have $10,000 for planning. Melissa will meet with Michael and Bharati for further discussion.
  4. Melissa and Inka shared updates on the Planter Project. Frank Ramirez, the horticulture specialist for the city, is working with Laurel for the Patuxent (L4P) and LAC to find native grasses for the planters on Main Street. Mr. Ramirez was noted for exceeding L4P’s expectations in identifying and acquiring the native grasses and even collecting rocks to enhance the plantings. Artistically decorated fish will be installed among the grasses. Inka shared that artists, who include LAC members, are now working on the fish, and she showed samples of her own creations. Information about the project and about each contributing artist will be accessible at the planter sites via QR codes. The city will add QR code stickers to each planter (thanks to Dept of Parks & Rec, Divina St. Peters). Joanne requested that LAC prepare a project flier for the QR access. Monica asked if there were more fish available, and Inka advised her to contact Cheryl Dyer, project lead at L4P. Laurel TV will be asked to cover the inaugural planter installations.
  5. Melissa mentioned that LAC will quite likely collaborate with L4P in the Fall for a river path project. Temporary art installations relating to pollination will be placed along the river. Also, L4P has been in touch with The Good of the Hive, a national organization that promotes pollinators. They have a muralist who paints pollinator murals. Melissa shared images of their murals. We hope to have someone from L4P speak to LAC at a future meeting. 
  6. Melissa shared updates on the High School collaboration.  LAC will receive images of artwork from art students at Laurel High School and Pallotti High School in early May. Images will be posted as virtual galleries on Facebook and Instagram.
  7. Keri discussed her idea of supporting and showcasing local artists and performers. She suggested airing interviews with local artists on available platforms. She also did research on Greenbelt’s projects. Joanne noted that this would be a good opportunity to use the City’s Communications Department so that content can be shared on Laurel TV. Keri offered to contact them. Inka added that LAC had previously discussed sharing LAC members’ artist stories. Keri suggested having a monthly member spotlight and coordinating a strategy for sharing content.
  8. Bharati shared updates on working groups and committees. She asked each member to sign up for a committee and then for each committee to choose a lead. These committees will meet outside the main LAC meetings to brainstorm and plan projects, and then report back to the full LAC and offer items that need to be voted on. 
  9. Upcoming Meetings
    1. Tuesday, May 11 at 6:00 pm
    2. Tuesday, June 8 at 6:00 pm
    3. Tuesday, July 13 at 6:00 pm

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm.


Monica Sturdivant                                                                                  Date: May 9, 2021


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Parks and Recreation

The Department of Parks and Recreation offers recreation programs and services throughout six facilities and 19 park sites encompassing over 222 acres of parkland.