BFF.fm Board Meeting
February 17th 2022, San Francisco
- Review Agenda & Vote
- Vote to approve previous minutes
- 1.Committee Updates
- 2.Review Action Items
- 3.Board Development: Ben Ward board term ends March 2022
- 4.BFF.fm Satellite Studio
- 1.Discuss phase out of Ferry Building studio by March 15
- 2.Review new opportunity at Westfield
- Open for public comment
- Any other business?
Scribe: Ben Ward
- Amanda Guest, Chair, Executive Director
- Caryn Kesler, Vice Chair, Creative Director
- Jenn Lemon, Treasurer
- Clair McDevitt, Chair of Fundraising Committee
- Brandon Paski, Chair of Marketing Committee
- Ben Ward, Secretary, Technical Director
- Erika Delgado, Events Director
Vote YES to approve the January minutes.
Vote YES to adopt the proposed agenda.
- Besties Bash last night.
- Make Out Room next week.
- Bands seem to be getting less fearful of COVID, so starting to book out Make Out Room again.
- Haven’t followed up on Wholesome Twee Fun yet; but thinking about whether we could combine that event with Mission Bowling Club.
- Giveaways with Bottom of the Hill.
- Fillmore reached out so working with them on giveaways too.
- Pair of VIP tickets for Outside Lands which we can use as part of the app launch marketing.
- Not pursuing a city grant RFP from Office of Economic and Workforce Development later this year as we think it’s not a good fit for an organization of our small size.
- Raising $10,000 or more gating the Scavenger Hunt this year.
- Grants for the Arts filling out specifics, filing rent and salary in one go to expedite the request.
- Someone has applied to join the fundraising committee via LinkedIn! We’ve started advertising looking for people to join.
- App development is rolling along: Fixing more bugs than we’re finding, which is good news! Redesign of front-page and re-structure of content mostly implemented. Will look to have PMA schedule training for the back-end in a few weeks.
- Committee met last month and mostly discussed how to improve our redundancy and coverage for tasks, especially station engineering that Forrest owns. Revised our tech catalog spreadsheet to capture who owns something and who is a backup for it, can use this to identify new volunteering opportunities.
- Also on the agenda for the TC this month is a desire to discuss how to better make visible in-progress tech projects.
- Reconciliation and budget not done yet as very busy with renewals with CA.
- Pulling together information for California to file our 2016–2020 renewals.
- Clair: Will do a birthday fundraiser in May
- Ben: I have a t-shirt design that’s been sitting around in Sketch for a year so I’ll share that for consideration.
Canceled. Redundant due to the studio changes discussed below.
Covered in Tech Committee update.
Weekend of the 17th is definitely the better date. Confirmed that we want to raise $10,000 as a minimum in order to proceed with the event.
Amanda Guest nominates Ben Ward for a second term. Jenn seconds.
Vote YES to for Ben Ward to serve a second term as Technical Director until March 2025.
Ben has also served as secretary for the past 3 years, and having established much of our process we have today for publishing our minutes and the board’s online presence at board.bff.fm, would like to relinquish that role to another. He took the role slightly by default when he joined the board.
He notes that 3 years was a long time, and it’s not necessary for the role of Secretary to be tied to a full board term and could rotate every year instead. Does recommend that it needs to be a persistent role to be effective.
Clair volunteers, Ben seconds.
Vote YES for Clair to serve as secretary for the next 12 months.
Met with Westfield to discuss fundraising, and surprisingly they instead proposed offering us a retail space!
Considering whether this opportunity might be a better option for our second studio than the Ferry Building.
- Very large 1800 sq ft.
- There’s a lot of storage.
- The specific unit is a former Bose store, so already outfitted with some soundproofing and dampening.
Since then, coincidentally, the Ferry Building approached us to discuss ending our arrangement there, as they have growing demand for paying tenants. That’s not a huge shock, and somewhat aligned with our expectations, albeit a bit sudden.
Westfield could be a really cool opportunity, really fun project. Do we need a secondary space? What would we use it for?
One idea is to partner with other local businesses and share use of the space: e.g. work with indie record sellers, install local artists. Westfield apparently don’t care how much noise we make, so we could potentially use the space for performances or recordings. Could charge some rent to those partners.
Could we set up a podcast studio? Could partner with the Bespoke co-working space across the hall where apparently there is demand for a studio.
Rent would be $1/month, but would have to pay utilities. 13 month lease.
Q Caryn: Would we need permits for any of these ideas?
Amanda: We would be allowed to use the Mall space for extended things; e.g. performances.
Q Clair: We would have all-hours access to this space?
Amanda: Yes, if we wanted to.
Q Caryn: Is there a real lease? Could we be kicked out unceremoniously in October on something?
Amanda: We’d have a real lease for 13 months and could then renew for another 13 months. The spaces we’re being offered are also in one of the quieter, less trafficked areas of the mall so expected to be lower demand for richer tennants.
Q Clair: Did they explicitly say we can sell things? We should get that in writing to ensure we don’t run afoul of other tenants.
Q Caryn: Can we sell booze?
Amanda: As a non-profit we can get single-use alcohol permits, and would be able to use them in the Westfield space.
Clair: Possible concerns are similar to people’s concerns with the Ferry Building: e.g. being downtown, security concerns, can people bring bikes in? People who weren’t big on the feel of the FB are going to have the same feelings with the Mall. Also, we’re still in a public health emergency, so is it viable that people are going to feel suitably isolation from the mall crowds and being indoors?
Clair: Would people already in our Podcast Network be interested? Would a studio be a way to grow the network?
Amanda: Definitely cool as a thing to offer.
Clair: Do we have start-up costs?
Amanda: No, we’d have to fundraise. But that depends on what we’d want to do with it.
Ben: I think generally it’s really interesting. Having 13 months committed is good, since we can be sure that whatever we put into it will be assured for that time. Flipside: Do we believe we’d be able to make the most of the potential of the space given our current volunteer levels? It seems really cool, but it would also be sad if we get 6 months in and aren’t making anything of it. Can we be confident of achieving something?
Jenn: I love the price! Share the other notes about the safety questions; that part of SF has been a bit suss during the quiet period of the pandemic.
Amanda: Given the price, we could just take the lease and use the storage!
Ben: Even if we don’t have plans to put radio in the space, we could do an ATA-window style thing, offer up the windows to artists to put installations in the frontage. We should understand if there are any “content standards” or the like from Westfield for art installed.
Ben: Given our experience w/ Ferry Building, some +s, some -s, the slightly abrupt way it ended, are those risks repeated in this new space, do we have to accept some of the same unpredictability?
A: We would be working with Nick, who was the original person we worked with at FB. Doing this brings us back to the relationship we intended to have with the Ferry Building, so having more of a relationship beyond just using the space — and even if we don’t take this space, Westfield are interesting in BFF DJs playing in the space 3 days a week. (e.g. Turning the old information booth in the mall into a DJ booth.)
There’re also elements of being able to get involved in music programming at the mall. We would also like to ensure that BFF gets some money for our DJs playing, in addition to paying the DJ themselves.
Clair: I think it’s a good idea, if we’re focused on getting revenue through it. I love the idea of gallery space.
Brandon: Also like it. The price is right! Lots of potential for pop-ups.
Amanda: I love the ideas, love the idea of bringing other people in for pop-ups etc. I don’t have the business skills to know exactly how to proceed: How much do we charge? How do we help underrepresented people get opportunities to share in the space?
Next steps: See if there’s a time that we can all get together and tour the space, meet Nick, get more than just Amanda’s perspective on the space.
Clair, Ben: Can we get longer than 13 months? If Westfield don’t think they’re going to see normalcy return for 3 years, so can we get 24 months out the gate?
Counter points: It’s the mall. Is that weird?
There’s a cool marketing/storytelling perspective that BFF keeps getting offered these kinds of opportunities, and bigger each time.
We’ll move out of the Ferry Building on March 11th.
- No public comments this month.
- Ben: Write up the Secretary runbook and hand over responsibilities to Clair.
- Clair, Brandon, Amanda: Talk about sponsorships
- All: Test the BFF.fm app!
- Amanda, Jen: Meet about revenue opportunities for Westfield DJing
- Amanda: Arrange meeting time for the board to tour the Westfield space.