May 2019 Board Notes




Board Attended: Andy Tso, Kim Hofer, Robert Thell, Michelle Clark, Tristan Anderson, Jay Bottem, Kevin Ehrler
Board Absent: Megan Stob
Observers: Anton Petersen, Lauren Ganann, Troy MacDonald, Erick Hofer, Diana Sneve, Michael Pooler, Rachel Tippett, Ali Cassel, Shanna Opsahl, Frenchie, Jo Thomsen, John Koniges, Marian Gagliardi, Rick Norman


Anime Twin Cities, Inc Board Meeting May 14, 2019 6:30pm

Waterbury Building; 1121 Jackson St. NE Minneapolis MN 55413


Called to order at 1832.

  • Open Session


    • Representatives came to advocates for charities.
    • Michael from Relay for Life, it is an overnight event on June 2. They submitted an equipment request for our sound system. Kim is not comfortable lending out the brand-new sound board.  American Cancer Society would be paying fees, signing liability waivers, etc. Further discussion during Community update.
    • Representative from St. Paul public library is here to answer questions if needed.
    • Rick Norman, Gordon R Dickson Memorial Scholarship Fund. Helps new writers in TC area. Have supported them in the past. They are seeking to renew our partnership.
      • Andy would like to know if they can provide a record of recipients, Rick says it would take a while.
    • Marian from Anderson United School. They have previously received a grant from us for manga and comic books for students, and they would like to receive funds from us again this year. Having manga and comic books in the library gets students interested in reading, and it is believed that test scores have improved as a result. The student body is comprised of many low-income students and English learners. Many of the books purchased last year are so worn out that they can’t be checked out anymore, most titles are constantly checked out. They would like to also add some Japanese culture books and how-to draw manga books. Their request for this year is $5,000.
      • Troy may be able to use connections to help with pricing and also replacing the bindings to make them more durable.
    • Jo Thompson, OTW (Organization for Transformation Works). Protects fan works, etc. Fanfics, fan art, AMV’s. Requesting $1,000.
    • Andrea, Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. They are running 3 anime clubs and other anime-themed events for low income students in West and North St Paul. They also run the Manga library for us at Detour. They would like to expand their programs.
    • Frenchi, Mechadamia Conference, theme year is “queer-ing”. They will be running a fashion tableau instead of a runway show, bringing a keynote speaker from Japan, and screening a movie. Looking for $3,000-$4,000 this year.
      • We have gotten guests for Detour through our relationship with them, and our name gets publicity through their circles.
    • Ali Cassel, Heading Home Canine. Their focus is helping difficult case rescue animals. They also rescue cats however the main focus is dogs. This includes sick, older, bully breeds, black fur, and others that are hardest to adopt out. Would like the support to help get these hard to adopt animals into loving homes.
    • Shanna, 2D Con - This is Geek had to close their doors and has rebranded as Save Point. 2D Con is transferred to Save Point, which is already a 501c-3. Have already hosted GlobalGameJams, and Tech Days, partnered with the Science Museum. Their charity this year is Able Gamers charity. They work to provide disabled gamers with setups to fit their needs. Would like to continue their partnership with us to keep getting their name out there and working in our gaming area. Money would also help pay all the hotel costs up front, since they can’t wait until after the con to pay bills.
    • Troy, Last Chance for Korean Dogs. Rescues dogs from Korean dog farms and adopts them out. Predominant thought that the more the dog suffers, the more flavorful the meat is. In 2017, 137 dogs were rescued. They are on pace to rescue around 200 this year. Would like to ask for $500 again.


Coordinator Updates


  • Anime Detour
    • We held post-portem on Saturday. There is an Ambassador team going to ACEN this weekend.
    • They would like to have a way to have attendees register at cons we send ambassador teams to and confirm that $5 at-con reg discount is approved. Paper registrations at $45 rate approved for tables we send ambassador teams to.
    • Hyatt only books events 5 years out We could sign for 2023 and 2024 now. Troy would like to do due diligence in looking a alternative sights. No concerns with the Hyatt, but it would be good to do anyway. Availability is more restricted; time is of the essence to ensure good dates wherever we choose. Kim would prefer Detour handle this process. Anton would like to know what Hyatt’s cancellation policy is. John would like to have options given to their board for their decision.

Andy motions to let Detour drive process. Tristan seconded. All approved.


        • Troy would like to go to Project Anime, Networking convention in Los Angeles, July 2-3, 2019. It includes 30 hours of round table workshops on convention topics and is an opportunity to learn best practices from other conventions. $450 registration, $16 fees per person, + flights. Included in cost is a hotel room and badges for Anime Expo the following weekend. Total cost for 4 people, according to Tristan, would be $3,800.
      • John expressed concerns about focus on event shifting away from original intent. Heather Bufkin also e-mailed the following concern. “It should be known that one of the founders of Project Anime and an early contributor to the event both recently went public on the We Run Anime Cons group about not being in support of the event anymore, as it has deviated greatly from its original design and intent. They've said that SPJA (AnimeExpo's parent org, which currently has control over PA) isn't putting effort into developing the event and making it a valuable experience. They've also observed the majority of the focus being placed on AnimeExpo's own interests and practices instead of fandom and the industry on the whole, and a decline in content relevant to other conventions. Other regional conrunner conferences have been starting up due to the dissatisfaction some PA attendees have felt. If it were more affordable, I would be all for giving it a chance, but Project Anime is very expensive and I have doubts as to whether attending it is a good use of ATC funds.”
      • Troy thinks that negative concerns are mainly conjecture and there is not much evidence. He would still advocate for going. He wants to continue examining our methods and make sure we are doing things the best way we can.  Anton would like to table it for this year.
      • Michelle likes the idea, and agrees with Troy that this is a good thing for us to do. However, this may not be the year to do it. She thinks we should do it soon, but we may not be able to afford it this year.


Discussion was not finished due to time.


  • Clubs
    • Membership on clubs is going up. 25 people showed up to opening coaster club event.


  • Community


        • Art Festival in this building on Friday. Will have office doors open to try to get people to talk to us.
        • Have 4 confirmed volunteers to be at Cherry Tree Festival on June 1st. We have submitted Obon paperwork, and have volunteers lined up for that. We are waiting to hear from GPS for volunteer needs for booth at Pride. Next convention our calendar is CONvergence.
        • Michael from Relay for Life is also looking for a stage for the event. Kahza will performing there. Stage will cost $1,800 to rent. Anton is wondering if they can get the money from another source besides charity disbursal for their event. Tangible benefits include promotion of ATC at event.


        • RE: equipment request. Diana is also not comfortable loaning out the new sound board, however she could be ok with it since there will be AD tech people there to run it. Will sell gaff tape at cost, but since it is a consumable, they don’t “rent” it. Tristan brought up that there will be knowledgeable people there, John and Lauren mentioned that the ACS can foot the bill if it is damaged. Jay wants to be sure that it will be watched. Michelle is concerned about it being outdoors, however there will be canopies, and tarps in case of inclement weather. Diana wants to ensure proper transportation. Andy wants to know if ACS coverage includes transport. Michael doesn’t know.

Tristan motion, Jay second, that pending confirmation that ACS will cover damage during transport, equipment rental is approved. All approve.

        • We will discuss the stage rental during charitable giving


  • Media Relations


        • Age sent the following update by e-mail:

To make the newsletter process more streamlined, and to give Kat time to make the podcast, please send me things by 5/24, that’s May 24th, to be put in the email. I won’t be accepting anything on the 25th or later. If you need reminders, just let me know so I can message you the week leading up to the 25th. 

Also if you want to put videos of ATC events up on our YouTube page, please let me know! Or if you want to have someone at an ATC event and make a video recap for it, let me know. I know we have some events coming up and I would be happy to make a video about it. 

Heather- if you want access to the ATC YouTube page, please let me know so I can add you on.  


  • SOS
        • Heather sent the following update by e-mail:

The Spring Social was a great success with over 20 different people attending and $18.25 in cash donations. I'm feeling really good about the seasonal socials as a replacement for the Kotatsu events so far. We did Perler beads for our activity as we already had the supplies on hand and it's always popular. Rebecca also ran a couple rounds of Werewolf and recruited one or two potential new staff members for our team. =)

Our next major event is Akihabara, June 9th at the Doubletree Park Place. We've had about a dozen table reservation requests so far and I'm in contact with Tim from the Detour AA about potentially promoting the artist tables to his contacts. I will have flyers for the event ready by next week, if anyone would like some to post around the community.

The summer staff picnic is set for June 29th at the Highland Park location.


  • Finance


      • Hand-outs for April 2019
      • $251,023.80 bank balance
      • $1460.77 Education Fund
      • $12,237.37 – LEG


  • Charities


Agenda - Charity Disbursement:

          • Looking to contribute $40k (last year was $45k)


          • Quick verbal breakdown of what the groups are
          • Discussion of breakdown and reallocation


Final Charitable Giving List

  • Anderson United School $3000
  • Autism Society of MN $5000 (general donation)
  • Can do Canine $500
  • Comic Book Legal Defense $1500
  • Como Friends/Japanese Gardens $800
  • Heading Home K-9 Rescue $500
  • JASM $4000 ($2k concert/2k to org)
  • Japanese American Citizens League $500
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund $1000
  • Library Foundation of Hennepin County $5000
  • Mechadamia $4000
  • Normandale Japanese Gardens $800
  • Organization for Transformative Works $1000
  • St. Paul Nagasaki Sister City $2000 ($1000 cherry tree festival/$1000 organization)
  • Gordon R. Dickson Scholarship $500
  • Youthlink MN $500
  • Gaylaxicon $500
  • Art Buddies $500
  • St. Paul Library $3000
  • Last Chance for Korean Dogs $500
  • Relay for Life $1900 (Stage Rental)
  • Save Point (2D Con) $2000


        • Total: 40k

Donated:  $39,000

Reserve:  $1,000 (kept in reserve for future donation by fiscal year end - to discuss no later than the August meeting)


VOTE:  Tristan Motions to accept charities as listed, seconded by Kim.  All present board members approved.


    • Tristan asks if we can write a letter to see if some of these organizations would like to come to Detour to speak during our ceremonies?
    • Anton/Troy chimed in to agree


Final business


  • Andy reminds board of timeline for meetings.
    • June:  Coordinator Reviews and Board Member Projects
    • Tristan: Is audience allowed to send in reviews
      • Are these anonymous from everyone?  Public? Board members?
  • We have no secretary

VOTE: Tristan motions to approve Megan in the interim pending her acceptance while we reach out to staff and ATC members to find a new secretary, 2nd Andy.  All present board members approved.



Robert motioned to adjourn, Seconded by Andy.


Meeting adjourned at 2138.