‘Founding Directors’ sought for MBS cultural center

By LISA CAPOBIANCO
STAFF WRITERa
The Organizing Committee of the Memorial Boulevard Task Force is seeking candidates to fulfill the role of “Founding Directors.”
As part of its upcoming report to the Mayor and the City Council on the creation of the nonprofit corporation that will be responsible for running the Memorial Boulevard Community Cultural Center, the committee is looking for candidates to serve as Founding Directors. These directors will be appointed in conjunction with the preparation of the incorporation documents that are expected to be submitted this month.
Peter Del Mastro, chairman of the Organizing Committee, said the hope is to initially hire three founding directors. The committee will submit a list of six to eight strong candidates during its report on Tuesday, Sept. 8 to the Mayor and the City Council, who will choose among that list. The founding directors will initially begin as volunteers, and will not be city employees.
“The Founding Director is going to be one of the initial directors [who is] going to be named at the time of incorporation,” said Del Mastro. “They’re the first ones who are going to be a part of this new corporation.”
The founding directors will be responsible for “fleshing out” the organization structure, performing a number of duties that a new business must accomplish, such as establishing a checking account, finding an accountant, reviewing the bylaws submitted in the application for incorporation, and looking at the mission statement recently approved for the Memorial Boulevard Community Cultural Center, Inc, said Del Mastro. The mission includes the following components: “to renovate, maintain and operate the historic Memorial Boulevard School building as a multi-faceted center for arts, education and culture;” “to serve as steward for the historic preservation of the building;” “to provide cultural enrichment to the citizens of Bristol and the public at large, thus enhancing the quality of life for all;” and “to encourage and nurture aspiring artists of all ages.”
In addition, the founding directors will be responsible for making contractual agreements with the city, since they will ultimately operate the Memorial Boulevard Community Cultural Center. In its report to the city, the Memorial Boulevard Task Force recommended that the city maintain ownership of the former Memorial Boulevard School until the building is brought up to reasonable code compliance and becomes financially sustainable before the nonprofit entity takes ownership. Once it becomes the developer of the project, the nonprofit will “protect the landmark, promoting arts, theater and other uses such as shared office space, business incubators, nonprofit organizations,” while serving as a “tax-friendly grant recipient and donation engine,” according to the Task Force’s report.
“There’s a lot of things to be done,” said Del Mastro, adding that there are many administrative tasks to be completed even before the nonprofit is offiBristol All Heart