Entries Tagged 'Washington Pavilion' ↓
December 9th, 2013 — SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Washington Pavilion
1) Agenda for the Public Services Committee, 2) Pavilion Engineering Expense, 3) Ice & Tennis contracts
1) Looks like the city council is back to square one on the taxi cab ordinance. They are now reverting back to a work session to discuss further changes. The first thing that needs to go is the 24-hr requirement and they need to actively explore a central dispatch program. I have trouble believing the state department of revenue is hampering this program.
2) The Cinedome’s roof is only about 14 years old, (consent agenda) and already needs replacement? After spending millions on the Pavilion and Cinedome we can’t even build a roof that will last more then 14 years? Maybe the Kirby Family and Wells Fargo can donate some more money to get it fixed?
3) The council will be voting on the Ice & Tennis contracts (items 9 & 10). But they are not being presented as resolutions or ordinances, just contracts. I wonder if public input will be allowed?
November 6th, 2013 — Art, Cartoon, Washington Pavilion
October 29th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Washington Pavilion
That was the response I basically got when I called the Box Office to ask what exhibits were going on at the VAC. If you go to the web page, they have 3 exhibits listed, two expired on October 6. If you click on upcoming exhibits they have two listed for January and February.
When I told the box office representative that nothing was listed on the website, she replies, “We have no information in our office either,” Then transferred me to the VAC, to which I talked to a person who told me they are setting up some big exhibit for this weekend.
Okay, no big deal we all get a little behind on things, but let’s review the big changes going on over at the Pavilion;
1) Development Director leaves without explanation
2) They add another CEO/President, so they have two now
3) The Visual Arts Center starts charging admission, because as they told us, they were going to bring in better art. We just are not going to tell the public or our box office employees what that art is. But thanks for the subsidy every year! Money well spent, just not on our website or IT services.
September 24th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Washington Pavilion
Make no mistake, a facility like this is well overdue in Sioux Falls. I suggested years ago when the State Theatre renovation begun that is what they should have done with the place. It fell on deaf ears of course. Trust me, it will probably be at least a year or two before ‘The District’ turns a profit, but the location and the concept will sell well.
So the bigger question is how will this affect other entertainment facilities in our city who have had this potential since their inception (Orpheum, Pavilion, Convention Center). While the Orpheum has been the most ‘liberal’ with the kind of entertainment allowed in the facility, many have wondered why the Pavilion hasn’t cashed in on more rock and country concerts?
‘The District’s’ success or failure will be very telling. If they are successful as a private convention center, we will be forced to finally ask the Pavilion – what have you been doing WRONG? If they are unsuccessful, maybe we can say the Pavilion was right to not host these kind of events all along, or maybe Sioux Falls isn’t large enough to support such a concert hall.
Time will tell, but I have a hunch the community is ready for such a facility, and it is long overdue.
August 12th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Washington Pavilion
July 31st, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Washington Pavilion
While the Pavilion continues to remain silent about where their Development Director disappeared to (Maybe they could set up a Science Center exhibit, find the Development Director. Is she behind the curtain? Is she hiding under a desk?) You would expect to at least hear an announcement of someone replacing her? Right?
Nope. Instead their big announcement is adding another (co)President. Ironically, they could have ten co-presidents, and the same person would still be running the joint, VP of Operations, Jon Loos. Rumor has it, Jon Loos knows exactly what happened to the Development Director, and let’s just say, Jon likes job security, he has been there since day one, he runs the joint, and no matter how many retired CEO’s of former communication companies you bring on board, Loos still is in charge. Just ask former Presidents Hoffman & Wood, but good luck tracking them down.
This is just Smoke & Mirrors from the Pavilion to distract away from their real problems, a Board of Directors that consists of ‘Specials’ that want to keep us ‘Have-Nots’ out, a policy that I will never see changing (The first Director, Steve Hoffman, actually tried in his first few years to get away from that culture, but he was hamstrung by the Board, then eventually quit). A public arts institution that has no Development Director, and isn’t apparently looking for one, but they have two presidents!
I enjoyed the nice little story written about it;
“This is really all about the Pavilion. It’s not about Scott or I at all,” Toll, 65, said. “The thing we’re saying is the two of us are not additive. We’re exponential.”
Oh, how cute. I think I am going to puke.
The amazing part is that not one single public official questions what the heck is going on in the place. I could blog about it until I am blue in the face, and I have, but unless the very people responsible for handing over the subsidy to the WP asks questions and demands answers, we might as well just prepare ourselves for more press conferences on the Great Hall stage announcing more leaders without a peep from minions about what really goes on in the Big Purple Building.
July 26th, 2013 — Washington Pavilion
Not only has the WP been successful at not telling the public a damn thing about what is going on in their Development Office (You know, the entity responsible for raising money for the joint) They continue to bilk SF taxpayers each year for ‘Stuff’.
In the Mayor’s recommended 2014 CIP Plan the WP is asking for $1,288,665.
Building Improvements $378,719 (I wonder if Operations Manager Jon Loos remembered to include ‘Labor’ in these numbers)
Science Center Exhibits $372,346 (They have been after this for years, I think the first time they requested this expenditure it was after the place was only open about 3-4 years)
Security System $180,000 (I wonder what has been keeping the building ‘Secure’ for the first 13 years?)
AVV Equipment $108,550
Cinedome seat replacement $86,000 (I find this one a bit ironic because during the council’s work session Director Larry Toll said the seats needed to be replaced because they were worn out and can’t even really be cleaned anymore, which is understandable, but one of the main reasons the WP didn’t want to do Laser Light shows of hard rock bands in the cinedome was because they felt audience members would destroy the seats. What a perfect opportunity to put in more durable seating and bring in the hard rock light shows!)
Cinedome Control System $78,500 (Like I said above about the security system, what’s been ‘controlling’ the cinedome up to this point?)
Lighting and Console – Phase II $59,550
Projection System $25,000 (What a bargain! Maybe you need to tell those folks over at the State Theater where they can get a $25,000 projection system instead of a $64,000 one . . . wait . . . it’s not the State’s money, so what do they care? Of course the $25,000 isn’t the Pavilion’s either
July 16th, 2013 — SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Washington Pavilion
Wow, just looked at the agenda for this meeting tomorrow, are they going to also try to solve world hunger?
Call To Order
||CIP Presentation by David Bixler, Budget Analyst
||Discussion of Specific Projects Requested by City Council
5. Presentation of 2014 City Council Division’s Budget
WashPav General Questions? LOL! I have a list.
July 9th, 2013 — Art, Sioux Falls, Washington Pavilion
Comment from this thread:
I agree that it is good for an organization to be transparent, inclusive, and in with the best intentions for the community. It is also good for bloggers to be FACT finders instead of hunting for loose accusations without backing them up.
#1. I know that WP VAC is a part of the American Alliance of Museums, and that both take critical concern in the deaccession and accession of collections. Under the AAM code of ethics and guidelines, deaccession is NOT a light matter and would come under scrutiny of a board for how it happened and how the money was used to access new pieces.
#2. It is sad that being free is the best thing you can think of such an incredible cultural center. Have you researched the executive director, the board members and all they think and do for the community? The exhibit schedule and programming are always trying to include the entire community in some way.
#3. Sometimes turnover is a good thing. How do you think it is possible to get new ideas and input without new brains, education and experience?Again transparency is nice, but it should also be entirely up to employer if they think it is necessary or just a matter of mobility.
#4. All nonprofits must submit their form I990 to IRS and make it public. These can be accessed from Guidestar.com. It is a common misunderstanding that the title “nonprofit” means that there can be no revenue or excess income. While the government gives easements, it does not give-out money without a lot of hard work. Many museums DO rely on their community to keep them afloat and some museums are extremely more costly. There is a constant struggle for survival and I am thankful that the WP VAC is so affordable!
#5. How do you think the WP VAC could better connect with all parts of the community? How do you think they could they engage all the diverse talents, desires, cultures, demographics? If you ran it, what would your priorities be and how would you solve the problems?
I am not trying to be abrasive, anti-transparency, anti-criticism. I am just trying to help solve a problem.
If you’d like to discuss it further, please feel free to email at email@example.com
First, I want to apologize to you Meagan, you must be the lastest Pavilion intern/Rich Kid of a board member/artsy-fartsy idealist recruited to defend the Pavilion’s practices against the big bad evil blogger, Detroit Lewis. I say these words in the kindest of ways, truly I do. You will recover.
Remember, Nan Baker, long time VAC advocate and donor was the first to throw up the red flag about the VAC charging admission, not I. But I’m sure it is much easier poking me in the eye then it is her, especially if you have a checking account at her family’s bank.
So Let’s talk FACTS.
#1 I never said the Pavilion was using deaccession as a way to make money, I clearly said,
“It’s not always a ‘bad’ thing. But if an institution like WP is using deaccession as a way to raise money for say the Great Hall or the Science Center, this should concern the public. I have not heard the Pavilion is doing this, but I wouldn’t put it past them.”
The Key word here is ‘IF’. All I am saying is that they are ‘On Notice’
#2, Have I researched the ED and BM’s. LOL. You realize I have put this institution under a microscope since it’s inception. Why? Because I want it to succeed. Do you think I worked for them, and donated to Art’s Night for several years because I wanted to see the WP and the VAC fail?! Give me a break!
“The exhibit schedule and programming are always trying to include the entire community in some way.”
I would agree, and by remaining FREE to the public, they can continue to do that. I have been to a vast array of art museums across the country, and have no problem paying an admission fee, in fact this weekend, I am visiting one of my favorites. And I think it is perfectly fine for the WP to charge for ‘bigger exhibits’ but we are certainly NOT the Denver Art Museum or the Institute in Mpls. The regional galleries at the VAC need to remain free, not just because it is the right thing to do, but it was a promise from the WP to do so when the public voted to approve the facility, something I voted YES on.
“Sometimes turnover is a good thing.”
I would agree, the VP of Operations should have been terminated years ago.
The issue though is why does someone leave? The Development Director left under what circumstances? Do you know? I know that I have heard a lot of rumors, wouldn’t you think it would be in the WP’s best interest to tell us the ‘REAL’ reason why? It’s not like she was the janitor of the 4th floor restrooms. She was responsible for grants for the entire facility.
“There is a constant struggle for survival and I am thankful that the WP VAC is so affordable!”
It is affordable because the WP has done successful fundraisers for the facility over the past 12 years! It’s FREE, how wonderful is that? Oh, I mean, it was free. Donors, including myself, have been adamant about this, the VAC must remain free of charge except for larger/unique exhibits. The WP has gone back on their promise. Period.
#5. “How do you think the WP VAC could better connect with all parts of the community? How do you think they could they engage all the diverse talents, desires, cultures, demographics? If you ran it, what would your priorities be and how would you solve the problems?”
What a great question. I have said from the beginning of the institution, you must find ways to engage the ‘entire’ community, not just those who already seek the arts, like you and me. By keeping the VAC FREE, the WP is doing that.
I remember when I had my individual exhibit at the VAC, I would go up there on Saturdays and listen to people comment about my art, I remember one Saturday an old farmer in coveralls (who would have NEVER paid an admission fee to the VAC) cracking a joke about one of my pieces. I had to run out of the gallery I was laughing so hard. Whether he knew it or not, he ‘GOT’ the piece. And that is what it is all about. The regular Joe is not going to seek out ‘ART’ especially if he has to pay for it, but if an opportunity presents itself, he may just engage. This isn’t about the ‘Specials’ this is about everyone, and if the WP only wants to cater to them, fine, stop taking my tax dollars and do what you want to, don’t give a shit. But as long as you are sucking on my tit, you must provide me a service. Tough Titty.
“I am not trying to be abrasive, anti-transparency, anti-criticism. I am just trying to help solve a problem.”
Well Meagan, that problem could be solved, but it would require a good ripping off of the bandaid, and alot of disinfectant.
June 27th, 2013 — Washington Pavilion
Not one single city official has spoken out against the VAC charging admission to its regular exhibits, at least not publicly. Not even a peep from the mayor or a city council member. Yes, the WP’s management team is a separate entity, and can make its own decisions, but when it comes to fees and services, especially when they have received millions in subsidies from taxpayers (and the city owns the facility and is responsible for maintenance) you would think at least ONE of them would be vocal about the decision to charge admission.
There is other reasons we should be concerned, besides the fact the WP has gone back on their promise to taxpayers, it is how they do their accounting at the Pavilion, throwing everything in one pot, and robbing Peter to pay Paul when one of the entities is not doing so well. In this 2007 audit of the Pavilion by city auditors they said this about their accounting practices (basically pointing out their accounting is only reviewed by one person) (DOC PDF; WPIA )
3. A lack of segregation of duties in the accounting and financial functions requires more involvement and oversight from the Board of Trustees according to the external auditor. In order to assist the Board with these oversight responsibilities, we recommend that the Board consider using the City’s internal auditors for limited audit procedures. These procedures might involve a review of selected bank statements, journal entries, accounts payable checks and other accounting information. The specific procedures could be done on an unannounced basis as appropriate. These activities would be specific procedures and would not be considered an audit. These activities could probably be accomplished in one or two days each year. We believe that this assistance would be in the best interests of both the City and Washington Pavilion Management.
While I am sure this helps the WP to ‘control’ financial information, it shows a lack of transparency from an institution that receives public funds. Not good. In other words, we may never know the specifics of where the Pavilion gets other funds, such as donations. We also may not know which entities are bringing in the most revenue.
What makes this even more scary in light of the admission fee at the VAC is what other ‘financial’ practices has the Pavilion been practicing under the radar to raise money for the facility?
Some museums sell off some of their permanent art collections to raise money which is called ‘deaccession’.
Usually this is done to raise money for better pieces or needed upgrades to the museum. It’s not always a ‘bad’ thing. But if an institution like WP is using deaccession as a way to raise money for say the Great Hall or the Science Center, this should concern the public. I have not heard the Pavilion is doing this, but I wouldn’t put it past them.
If they are, donors who have either given money or actual artworks to the VAC’s permanent collection should be concerned. Many times people will give artwork to a museum when they are retiring and downsizing, and they usually give the artwork for a couple of reasons 1) they hope the artwork that they have enjoyed for years can be enjoyed by others, and most importantly be SAFE from the FREE market and 2) It is a pretty nice tax write-off.
The more I hear about the ‘changes’ taking place at the WP, the more suspicious I become. I’m starting to wonder why I am the only one asking these questions while the city says nothing.