Public Arts Committee, Town Agendas & Minutes|

Chestertown Public Arts Committee
Tuesday, May 14, 2024, 4:00 p.m., in Town Hall


Ben Tilghman (Chair)
Dave Hegland (Vice Chair), Recording Secretary
Elizabeth Healey
Kate Dowd 
Carla Massoni
Yuh Okano 

Hester Sachse, (ex-officio member, Kent Cultural Alliance, Chestertown A&E District)


  1. Minutes from April 9 were approved.
  2. Finances and Fundraising Update – Ben reported that the PAC has received the MSAC grant for $9,489 to use for conservation and based on other gifts received were given $13,000 by the SFW Foundation as part of a matching challenge grant (still need to meet $11,000 of this matching grant). On hand: $36,363.88 Ben’s estimate: another $20,000 is needed on top of this to finish the project. Suggestion was made to discuss fundraising strategy at future meeting after fundraising committee members have a planning meeting. To date money raised is $101,971.
  3. Woicke Collection Installation Updates Signage 
    1. Signage – Elizabeth  reported there is now permanent metal signage for 18 sculptures and brought some samples with her. Discussion followed on installation locations in relation to sculptures. Field trips of a subcommittee will be scheduled to mark locations with flags.
    2. Pending Installations
      1. Head – Ben reported that there will be a Town Council vote at its regular meeting on May 20 to either relocate or keep present location. Ben has asked to be on their agenda that evening to present the final locations.
    3. Locations for remaining works – Final Discussion
      1. Owl – The group agreed to recommend placing it along Riverwalk by Washington College’s Environmental Studies Building.
      2. Texas Spiral – The group agreed to recommend placing it a bit further along the Riverwalk by Washington College’s Environmental Studies Building.
      3. Fully Empowered – The group agreed to recommend placing Garden in front of Hynson-Ringgold Washington College’s President’s House. Ben has not yet heard back from the president and will follow up. They have budgeted in for next year to install an ADA park access with refreshed pathways. Discussion of scoops and location ideas ensued.
      4. The Ladies – The group agreed to recommend placing it in Bailey Park on the northwest corner, in Ward 4.
    4. Next Steps for Conserving and Installing –  Ben, Town Manager, Larry Di Rei and Dave created an RFQ, “Request for Qualifications” for any future PAC projects for a contractor(s) to conserve and possibly project manage installation of the remaining sculptures. It will be sent out by the town manager with an early June deadline. Ben will reach out to conservators including Wellman and Level Art Installations for proposals.
  4. Starr Center African-American Sculpture Project Update – Kate is on the Steering Committee which is being formed
  5. Offer of Sculpture from John Barkin – the committee voted not to accept the proposed donation of a head sculpture from this local resident. Suggestion was made to revisit and tweak the PAC collection policy in the future.
  6. New Business 
    1. Carla shared that the sod around “Broad Reach,” in Wilmer Park is going to be refreshed by Greenscapes. 
    2. Carla and Hester also reported that “Strength of Community” has been wonderfully received. 
    3. Yuh made a suggestion about including a regional map onto the brochure of sculptures and on the PAC website. Maybe a separate map/brochure for outside visitors in addition to the local walking brochure.
  7. Comments and Questions from Community Members – there were no members present
  8. Review of Action Items 
    1. Ben will report back from Washington College about “Fully Empowered”
    2. Ben will create a proposal for upcoming Town Council’s meeting on final placement
    3. Ben will get back to John Barkin about declining donation
    4. Carla and Ben will get together about fundraising strategy
    5. Dave will reach out to Bob Ortiz and Matt Warrington about installing signs (which are in Hester’s office)
    6. Hester will work with MSAC photographer who will shoot installed sculptures
    7. Someone will set up field trips for sign placements


Meeting adjourned at 5:40 p.m.


Respectfully transcribed via recording by Marianne Sade

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