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April 22, 2019

4/10/2019 4:44:00 PM
MoNA membership meeting calm, optimistic
Ken Stern

The 2019 annual MoNA (Museum of Northwest Art) membership meeting could not have been more different from 2018’s for the seven board members or the 25 or so members they faced in the second floor Museum gallery. From the essential tangible, the budget, to the critical intangible of community relations and pulling together, board and members were in agreement.
Treasurer Cathie Wyman’s report was upbeat: they are maintaining a first-class museum, the budget has been cut and its revenue increased.
With the annual auction returned to La Conner in 2018, net proceeds were the highest since 2013. Membership is up, with a successful campaign bringing in past members and adding new ones. A “revamped” Museum store had a first quarter gain of 39 percent in revenues. And budget reductions include 2.25 staff positions.
A $220,000 interest only loan from the Seattle Foundation was critical, though only $80,000 has been spent. “The bottom line for 2018 was $19,000 in the red, which is not the black I like, but in the right direction,” Wyman said.
Board President Joanne Fredrich opened and closed the meeting. She noted the change from the tumult of a year ago, when member and community frustration at an increasingly large deficit and direction of the Museum led to Executive Director Christopher Shainin’s February resignation and Board President Gary Molyneaux and other board members leaving that winter and spring.
Fredrich recognizing Joanna Sikes, executive director since September, and interim in the period before that, brought applause. She also praised staff, calling them dedicated, and thanked the “large group of docents.” Fredrich also gave a nod to her board and its committees, calling them high functioning. She said three new members were joining, with two already chosen.
Gary Kline was the 2019 Trustees Award recipient. Fredrich said, “We all owe Gary a lot of gratitude. We don’t have to hire a handyman,” noting Kline tackled tasks “in a bright and cheerful way.”
Former Museum Director Susan Park spoke when during the questions period, saying “we are headed in the right direction.” No one challenged her or that sentiment.
Executive Director Joanna Sikes was present but did not speak.
The 2019 MoNA auction is June 8; the artists’ reception June 7 is open to the public.

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• Ken Stern

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