Wicker Park Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

Attended: Clare Rodriguez (Park Supervisor), Adam Housley (President), Scott Venable (Vice-President), Richard Tilley (Treasurer), Doug Wood (Secretary), Denise Browning (Garden), Joe Sawicki (Softball, WickerICE), Mike Payette (Security), Elaine Coorens (OUT), Michael Watts (Neighbor, Security), Tim Bates (WickerICE Volunteer), Ron Wachholtz (Collaboraction)

  1. Minutes – Doug Wood presented the November minutes; they were read and approved.
  2. Treasurer’s Report Richard Tilley presented report and requested that a new treasurer be elected.
  3. Park Supervisor’s Report – Clare Rodriguez
    • Clare reported that Registration was currently going on line and the in-person registration would take place on Saturday, December 5 from 10am – 1pm.
    • Clare reported that Marilyn Morales has initiated the planning of a meeting for PAC presidents for the entire area 12 (Area I and Area 2).
    • The WPAC and Clare discussed the Senior Art Class and art classes in general. The council noted that they were asked by the art instructor to write a letter to WPB SSA#33 to recommendation continued funding for the class at Wicker. The council had asked that they be notified of registration dates and of presentation dates and had not received any updates from the art teacher in the last year. Clare stated the importance of the class.
    • Elaine Coorens said she will ask her contacts about names and availability of other instructors and let them know the procedures to become an instructor in the park.
  4. Ron Wachholtz (Collaboraction Theatre) spoke to the council about Collaboraction’s Sketchbook open rehearsals in December and invited members to attend. The performances will be held at the Chopin Theatre on January 14-24.
  5. Midnight Circus Discussion– It was noted that the MCITP Wrap Up Meeting will be held on Tuesday December 8 at 7pm in Wells Park. The group the event and decided to create a document to follow in the discussions. This is the final approved document to discuss at the meeting – Adam Housley, Denise Browning, & Doug Wood will attend meeting:


    We feel that the quality of the show was incredible in artistic design, content, and especially the quality of each of the superb performers. The audience members loved the show and were inspired and most will want to return. The MCITP is a valuable asset to our park.

    SUGGESTIONS:We feel there needs to be some changes in promotions, ad sales limitations, interaction between host parks, volunteer acknowledgements and perks, scope of concessions, and in the production set up support from the Park District. The income for each park must be increased by changing some of the following items – so that the amount of time spent by the volunteers is translated into dollars.

    PARK DISTRICT – Nights Out Group – BASIC SUPPORT:In addition to revealing their overall promotion plan in April, the Park District (Nights Out in the Parks Staff) should oversee and guarantee to each park workable IT for downloading Ticket lists, workable and adequate electric for concessions, bleachers, plywood, mats, ample trash cans, and mowed lawns. In addition, if sidewalks are flooded on the day of the performances, the Park District’s Night’s Out Team ensure that regional park staff assist volunteers in preparing the park for the MCITP patrons. This year only the park staff aided in working with the flooding issue. The funding for these items could come from the retained 12.5% of the total box office.

    PROMOTIONS– each component works together monthly and communicates on what types of promotions they can realize and support. Each group should have knowledge of the marketing plan of the Park District, Midnight Circus, and other PACs and work as a team to sell out each show.

    ADD PERFORMER PROMOTIONS– All promotion team members should have bios and back ground stories on all performers to inform and entice the public about the superb performance team. The press wants this information.

    UPDATES BETWEEN PARTNERS:Since the host parks are partners in sharing a percent of the total box office, they should meet monthly to give updates and promotion plans to support each performance.

    AD SALES:Parks should be able to sell more pages 15-20 pages. Since the amount of funding from the box office is so small, the only financial gain for the park is through program ad sales and concessions.

    SENIOR TICKETS: There are two large CHA high rise housing facilities for seniors across from Wicker Park. We request that you add a senior price – same as children’s price to your options for ticket sales.

    VOLUNTEER INCENTIVE:At the beginning of each season, all volunteers, administrators, and performers should meet in a social setting. The volunteers will be the biggest asset to promotions, especially if they are inspired by the quality of the performers. Each Volunteer should receive one comp ticket to a performance at another host park. Interactions between the volunteers, circus performers, ad sales sponsors, and the administrative staff – Park District/NightsOUT should be enhanced by presenting parties for these people at each park on the first evening of performances in that park.

    CONCESSIONS:Concessions should be cut to the basics. Based on what we were informed to purchase, too much money was lost due to our retention of excess merchandise. Also, time consuming products like hot dogs should be eliminated.

    CLARIFY PRE-SHOW ADDRESS: The pre-show address to the audience gave the audience the impression that 100% of the ticket sales benefited the park.

    PARKING: Arrange for parking with Pritzker School for MCITP volunteers, staff, and support groups so Wicker Park Staff have parking spots.

  6. Saturday, December 5– Fountain Decorating and Rink Installation – Date and details were discussed.
  7. Set CREATE 2016Planning Meeting for Tuesday, January 12

Adjourn 8:30PM