President Duane Johnson called the meeting to order at 1:41 p.m.
Those in attendance (15) were:
President: Duane Johnson
Vice President/website manager/book awards: Tracy Million Simmons
Financial Secretary: Kristine Polansky
Secretary: Cathy Callen Molineux
District 1: Anne Spry
District 4: Jeff Guernsey
District 5: Connie Rae White
District 6: Jim Potter
District 7: John Sanders, George Phillippy, Sheryl Brenn, Millie Horlacher, Wayne Horlacher
Publications: Reaona Hemingway
Writers in the Community: Marilyn Johnson
Minutes from the April 2021 meeting, submitted in advance, were accepted as submitted. (1)
The agenda for this meeting was accepted with one change (April, not August as date for previous minutes)
The following reports were submitted in advance of the meeting and are attached at the end of this document:
District 5 Connie Rae White (2)
District 6 Jim Potter (3)
District 7: Sheree Wingo, secretary (4)
Other district reports were given during the meeting.
District 1: Anne Spry reported that much of the District 1 activity has been directed toward the fall convention (report attached). Much effort has also gone into securing quality programs for monthly meetings. A marketing committee has been established in an effort to get more members.
District 2: No report sent or given
District 3: Several meetings have been held. A new member from Charlotte NC has contributed good energy. Districts 3 and 4 are considering some joint programming for the rest of the year.
District 5: Connie White was excited to report an upcoming in-person meeting, their first in a year and a half.
District 6: Jim Potter reports that District 6 is not meeting in person. An attempt was made to meet at a bookstore last month, but it was noisy. The group is returning to Zoom meetings.
District 7: In addition to the written report submitted in advance and attached to this document, District 7 reported that many members attended gravesite services for Marjorie Brown. An update on their writing contest (open until August 15) was given, with 13 poetry and 12 prose entries.
Financial Secretary, Kristine Polanski, gave a summary of KAC finances. At the beginning of the quarter, there was a balance of $13,644.88. At the end of the quarter, the balance was $16,214.83. After this report was submitted, $3,000 was transferred to the Treasurer. The complete financial report is attached to this document. (5)
Treasurer’s report: Treasurer Monica Graves submitted a report in advance of the meeting. Her report is attached. As of the end of the quarter, the balance in the checking account was $4,434.34. A deposit of $3,000 from the Financial Secretary was anticipated at the beginning of the new quarter. (6)
Membership: Deb Irsik has reported 38 new members this year. (7)
Nominating Committee report: Tracy Million Simmons reported that efforts to secure nominations for next year’s Board are going well, with just a few positions left to fill. (8)
Restructuring: Tracy reported on efforts by a restructuring committee to bring KAC’s Bylaws and practices into the 21st century. The idea will be to simplify and stabilize the organization. One of the first changes proposed by the committee will be a recommendation to change the structure of the KAC Board itself. The wording of the proposed change to the Bylaws is attached to this document, but basically the suggestion will be to change the Board structure from its current 35 members to a more manageable one of 11 members to include the president, vice-president, financial secretary, recording secretary and one member from each of the 7 districts. This will be presented at the fall meeting of the membership for discussion and, hopefully, approval. (8)
Publications: Reaona Hemmingway reported that the printing of this year’s yearbook was delayed due to a heart attack suffered by one of the Mennonite Press staff. Reaona said she had received several compliments on the yearbook cover, with kudos to its designer, Carol Yoho. Reaona reminded everyone to make literary contributions by October 15th for next year’s yearbook.
Writers in the Community: Marilyn Johnson submitted a report (attached) detailing efforts by KAC members to promote writing as well as KAC membership. (9)
Website: Tracy reports that 90 people are now signed up for the “members only” part of our website.
Poetry Contest: Linzi Garcia, poetry contest manager, reports the acquisition of “stellar judges!” for this year’s contest. Three of the eight have finished their work and sent the results to Linzi. There were 277 poetry submissions this year (report attached). (10)
Prose Contest: no report given
Youth Contest: Jolene Haas reports that there have been 181 submissions for the various youth contests. (11)
Awards: To date, Anne Schiever reports that there have been no recommendations received for KAC awards. The deadline for nominations is being extended to September 1st.
Book Award: Tracy Million Simmons reports 3 submissions to the children’s book award contest, 10 submissions for the Coffin Award, 3 submissions for the Martin Kansas History Book Award, 7 submissions for the “It Looks Like a Million” contest, and 10 submissions for The Nelson Poetry Book Award. (12)
Convention report: An extensive convention report was submitted in advance by Anne Spry of District 1. That report is attached. In addition, Anne updated us on the technical issues surrounding the efforts to present a “hybrid” conference, for both in-person and internet attendance. One of three simultaneous workshops will have a live feed, with the other two available for later viewing. It will be noted in the program, which workshops will be live-streamed. All workshops will be available for viewing for three months. One issue is that the IT staff go home at 5:00, so covering the Saturday banquet and speaker still needs to be figured out. (13)
If the in-person conference must be cancelled, all the speakers will be recorded.
Date of Fall Board Meeting: The KAC Board will meet by Zoom on Saturday, October 2, 2021, at 1:30, instead of during the conference to give more time for conference activities.
Cowboy poet: Duane is requesting that donations for the Cowboy Poet be sent in care of Reaona Hemmingway.
American Rescue Plan grant: Duane is in the process of writing a grant to secure funds for KAC. He described the process as excruciating. He was thanked for applying for a different grant last year.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
Cathy Callen Molineux, recording secretary