2009/08/24 KFA DC meeting notes (possible venue!)

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Nikolas Coukouma

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Aug 25, 2009, 11:47:27 AM8/25/09
to kinkforall
Comments about the tentative reservation (at the Cleveland Park library) are
urgently needed.

Meta
----
Attended by:
* Nikolas Coukouma

SoHo Tea and Coffee
2150 P St NW, Washington, DC 20037
2009/08/24 7pm ET

Venues
------

* DC Public Libraries
The libraries are available for use by events that fit some criteria:
http://www.dclibrary.org/dcpl/cwp/view.asp?a=1268&q=564525
The application process outlined seems geared towards groups that meet
regularly.

Nikolas looked at the various branches and found only two that were both near
metro stations and seemed to have enough space: Martin Luther King Jr. (near
Gallery Place-Chinatown) and Cleveland Park (near Cleveland Park). He left a
voice mail at the MLK branch.

He spoke to someone at the Cleveland Park branch and now has a tentative
reservation for one room that seats 100 people on 11/17.

Do we want to scout this out and try to use it? We could also try for a later
date, perhaps in Janruary (the deadline for routine meeting requests starting
in January is November 15th).

* Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
http://www.dclibrary.org/dcpl/cwp/view.asp?a=1266&q=565330
* Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library
http://www.dclibrary.org/dcpl/cwp/view.asp?a=1266&q=563888

* Montgomery County Facilities
Many county facilities, including schools, libraries, and some administrative
buildings are available for use, under the "Community Use of Public
Facilities"
Program. Rates vary widely depending on type of room and the agency.
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cuptmpl.asp?url=/content/cupf/index.asp

The Bethesda Regional Service Center seems particularly promising. It's
0.1 miles from Bethesda Metro and has four rooms totalling about 200 seats
that we could rent (assuming non-profit status) for $720 for 8 hours.
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/bcctmpl.asp?url=/content/RSC/BCC/center/meetingrooms.asp

The Council Office Building (<0.5mi from Rocvkille Metro) has "small hearing
rooms" available for $25/hr for non-profit use ($200 each for 8 hours).

Nikolas has applied for an online account (needed to make reservations) and
registered for the mandatory training this Wednesday (8/26) morning.

* Kimpton Hotels (DC, various locations)
Nikolas submitted "Request for Proposal" to Kimpton Hotels, which operates a
number of places in DC including:
* Hotel George
* Hotel Helix
* Hotel Madera
* Hotel Monaco
* Hotel Palomar
* Hotel Rouge
* Topaz Hotel
Other kink and sex-positive events have been hosted by them. I suspect they're
out of our price range, but it was quick and easy to submit a query via their
online form:
http://www.kimptonhotels.com/meetings/request-proposal.aspx

The query that Nikolas sent quoted a maximum budget of $1500, estimated
attendance at 120, and request several smaller rooms to seat 30 people.

The Hotel George has only the following rooms:
* Leaders A, 30 people, $450 room fee
* Leaders B, 10 people, $250 room fee
* Leaders C, 20 people, $450 room fee
* Inspiration room, 20 people, $450 room fee
* Backroom, 16 people conference, $450 room fee

The Hotel Monaco has declined due to lack of suitable facilities.

* American University (DC, Tenleytown)
As posted to the mailing list, their facilities are only available from
May through August

* George Washington University (DC, Foggy Bottom)
Apparently, at least for the 2009-2010 academic year, their facilities are
only available for events predominantly attended by GW students and faculty
or organized in conjunction with a specific university organization.

* Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts
As posted to the mailing list, they don't have any rooms available in the
range of mid-October through November.

Financials
----------

The only funds available for immediate use (by Nikolas anyway) are $100, which
was donated after he changed the Paypal button. Paul hasn't replied to the
e-mail inquiry about the funds he's pledged (and Daniel's $100 donation).

Nikolas sent an e-mail to WholeDC (via who...@gmail.com) about possibly having
them sponsor the event.

Stacy Cat

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Aug 25, 2009, 5:27:46 PM8/25/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
Great work!

The libraries restrict it to three hours.  Also, how many people did KFANYC and KFANYC2 have?  I think the first was around 100, so a single room may be too small.  I also know that many people would travel for a KFADC, but not if it will only be a three hour event.

WholeDC seems like a viable option for a non profit agency for those venues that require it.  Are there any other bdsm/kink/poly/sex groups that have non profit status?

The government facilities would be great price wise, but have you talked with anyone about the nature of the event?  KFA is primarily an educational event, but depending on the political climate it may not sit well with public officials.

Again, this is excellent work!  I hope I can attend!

Stacy

Nikolas Coukouma

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Aug 25, 2009, 6:22:52 PM8/25/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 5:27 PM, Stacy Cat<askafa...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Great work!
Thanks.

> The libraries restrict it to three hours.

I thought so too, but the person I spoke to at the Cleveland Park
Library was actually confused by my suggestion that there was such a
limit. I believe that the reservation is for 10am-5pm :)

>  Also, how many people did KFANYC
> and KFANYC2 have?  I think the first was around 100, so a single room may be
> too small.

...
I agree. My other concern is that it would be difficult to have even
two talks going on in the same space, especially if the room is
approaching capacity. My current inclination is that we should try to
get more space, even if it means pushing the event back to January or
so. The Cleveland Park library has four rooms:
* 2x 100 person
* 20 person
* 8 person
I feel that either both of the larger rooms OR one large and the
20-person room would probably be sufficient? I'll try to stop by the
library tomorrow to see what the rooms are actually like...

> WholeDC seems like a viable option for a non profit agency for those venues
> that require it.  Are there any other bdsm/kink/poly/sex groups that have
> non profit status?

I'm not aware of WholeDC being non-profit or having a dedicated space.
I've always heard it billed as a "sex-positive community center and
boutique". I went through every event they posted to FetLife for venue
ideas, and they've always hosted their events at various places around
DC (e.g. District Wellness Group, Hotel Helix, etc.).

I just sent a message to Holly (via FetLife) letting them know that
wholedc.com is down, asking for clarification about the space thing,
and generally poking/encouraging them to be involved :)

> The government facilities would be great price wise, but have you talked
> with anyone about the nature of the event?  KFA is primarily an educational
> event, but depending on the political climate it may not sit well with
> public officials.

The Montgomery County reservation system seems to be heavily automated
and won't let me continue without attending this training thing (which
I'm fine with doing, since this seems potentially handy for other
events).

I'll note that person I spoke to at the Cleveland Park library took
down the event name without comment :)

Cheers,
-Nikolas

maymay

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Aug 26, 2009, 12:43:59 AM8/26/09
to kinkf...@googlegroups.com
On Aug 25, 2009, at 3:22 PM, Nikolas Coukouma wrote:

> On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 5:27 PM, Stacy Cat<askafa...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Great work!
> Thanks.

Wow, seconded. The amount of information you've pulled together so
quickly is wonderful, Nikolas. Seriously great work.

>> Also, how many people did KFANYC
>> and KFANYC2 have? I think the first was around 100, so a single
>> room may be
>> too small.
> ...
> I agree. My other concern is that it would be difficult to have even
> two talks going on in the same space, especially if the room is
> approaching capacity.

Also agreed. Splitting rooms with dividers is an option, but very
tricky. I've never been to an event at which I felt this was done
well. It's difficult to focus without a certain degree of sound
isolation, and it makes recording clean audio much harder, too.

> My current inclination is that we should try to
> get more space, even if it means pushing the event back to January or
> so. The Cleveland Park library has four rooms:
> * 2x 100 person
> * 20 person
> * 8 person
> I feel that either both of the larger rooms OR one large and the
> 20-person room would probably be sufficient? I'll try to stop by the
> library tomorrow to see what the rooms are actually like...

That'd be my inclination, too, especially if the library where you
have a reservation now only has 1 room to rent in total.

When I saw the American University facilities, the rooms they had
billed for 30 people were the size of the big room at KFANYC1, which
had a 75 person capacity (by New York standards). I agree it would be
best to judge for ourselves which rooms will actually fit our needs
best, so I'm eager to hear your impressions of the space tomorrow.

>> The government facilities would be great price wise, but have you
>> talked
>> with anyone about the nature of the event? KFA is primarily an
>> educational
>> event, but depending on the political climate it may not sit well
>> with
>> public officials.

> […]


> I'll note that person I spoke to at the Cleveland Park library took
> down the event name without comment :)
>
> Cheers,
> -Nikolas

That's a great sign. Also, serious props to the government on this
one! I think a KinkForAll at a publicly owned venue like a library or
school building would be simply *stellar.* :D

On Aug 25, 2009, at 2:27 PM, Stacy Cat wrote:

> I also know that many people would travel for a KFADC, but not if it
> will only be a three hour event.

True, though I don't think that's such a bad thing in the end. :) In
fact, it might even be nice to have a primarily local presence at the
event, so people are located physically near one another after the
event is over. With a strong Twitter and other Internet backchannel
conversation going on, people who won't travel can also participate in
the event.

Cheers,
-maymay
Blog: http://maybemaimed.com
Community: http://KinkForAll.org
Volunteering: http://ConversioVirium.org/author/maymay

Nikolas Coukouma

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Aug 27, 2009, 12:29:46 AM8/27/09
to kinkforall
Summary: DC libraries seem unlikely to work. Montgomery County's
facilities seem very reasonably priced and I plan to submit a
scheduling request on Tuesday (9/1).

On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 12:43 AM, maymay<bitethea...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Aug 25, 2009, at 3:22 PM, Nikolas Coukouma wrote:

...


>> My current inclination is that we should try to
>> get more space, even if it means pushing the event back to January or
>> so. The Cleveland Park library has four rooms:
>> * 2x 100 person
>> * 20 person
>> * 8 person
>> I feel that either both of the larger rooms OR one large and the
>> 20-person room would probably be sufficient? I'll try to stop by the
>> library tomorrow to see what the rooms are actually like...
>
> That'd be my inclination, too, especially if the library where you
> have a reservation now only has 1 room to rent in total.
>
> When I saw the American University facilities, the rooms they had
> billed for 30 people were the size of the big room at KFANYC1, which
> had a 75 person capacity (by New York standards). I agree it would be
> best to judge for ourselves which rooms will actually fit our needs
> best, so I'm eager to hear your impressions of the space tomorrow.

I went by the Cleveland Park library today and found that their
maximum of 100 people is pretty accurate. I also found that the 20
person room simply doesn't exist and that one of the two large rooms
doesn't have chairs setup.

The hardcopy list that I was given seemed more accurate, listing two
100 person rooms and one 10 person room (presumably this is the 8
person room listed on the website?). I noticed that only two other
libraries have something resembling what we need (multiple
medium-to-large rooms within walking distance of metrorail)
* Lamont-Riggs (65, 50, 25, near Fort Totten metro)
* West End (155 and 50, near Foggy Bottom metro)

I spoke to a different person from yesterday and they again booked me
one of the large rooms at Cleveland Park, this time for 12/12
9:30am-5pm. I think they missed the 11/14 reservation since they were
probably just looking for open slots.

They also told me that if I wanted to request a room at another
branch, I'd have to contact that branch specifically. I noticed that
the Cleveland Park people are using paper datebook...

On the whole, I think that we're unlikely to get what we need from the
DC libraries. We simply require more space than they generally have
available; only a few branches have enough space to begin with, and in
those cases we'd need all, or almost all of their rooms.

>>> The government facilities would be great price wise, but have you
>>> talked
>>> with anyone about the nature of the event?  KFA is primarily an
>>> educational
>>> event, but depending on the political climate it may not sit well
>>> with
>>> public officials.
>> […]
>> I'll note that person I spoke to at the Cleveland Park library took
>> down the event name without comment :)

...


> That's a great sign. Also, serious props to the government on this
> one! I think a KinkForAll at a publicly owned venue like a library or
> school building would be simply *stellar.* :D

I also attended the mandatory training for people who want to use
Montgomery County's facilities and talked to some of the staff there.
They seemed to have no problems at all with KinkForAll based on my
brief description and even mentioned a commitment to free speech.

A point I found very interesting was that the CUPF/ICB system has only
existed for about a decade, and was created basically because using
the space at each school/facility was time-intensive for everyone and
had to be done on a case-by-case basis; there were also problems with
places claiming facilities were in-use when they weren't. Now, all
usage information for every room that could reasonably be used by the
public is maintained electronically and the CUPF acts as a liaison.

Washington DC and Prince George's Country do not have such a system in place.

We've missed the window for priority scheduling for the school year,
but I think there's probably enough space that our chances are good.
The most annoying part is having to wait 3-4 weeks to find out.
Weekends take longer to schedule because they have to get people to
come in.

The fees that I think are of interest:
* $15 weekend event fee
* $24/hr classroom, $14/hr each additional
* $27/hr other rooms, $14/hr each additional
* $16.50/hr parking lot
* $48 pick-up/drop-off only parking lot (admin fee)
* $100 refundable security deposit for portable PA system
The "other room" I think we'd be interested in is the cafeteria, since
it's both larger (for opening/closing comms) and would allow us to
have food and drink.

The KinkForAll account should be active by Tuesday, when I plan to
file a request with the following parameters:
* estimated attendance: 110 adults, 10 youth
* three classrooms and the cafeteria for 9:30am-6:30pm
* one Saturday out of: 11/14, 11/21, 12/5, 12/12, 1/9, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30
* at either Bethesda Elementary School (0.3mi walk) or Chevy Chase
High School‎ (0.5mi walk)
The total or the above would be $726 = (24+14*2+27)*9 + 15
I'd expect opening comms to be at 10:40 and closing comms at 5:40pm;
the 9:30-10:40 time would be for setup and to let the building warm up
(literally, the heat will turn on when the rental starts).

The dates are basically "every Saturday from a couple weeks after the
Black Rose Event to a couple weeks before Dark Odyssey: Winter Fire,
skipping major holidays.

Both schools are near the Bethesda metrorail station: http://bit.ly/J4SjM
An idea of worst-case travel time: using WMATA's trip planner, leaving
from the Huntington metrorail station (end of yellow line furthest
away, in Northern Virginia) it would take about 1hr, 15min for someone
to get there.

Other notes: event insurance is not required, they don't
check-for/require tax non-profit status, internet access from them is
not an option. If we cancel with >46 days notice there's just a $25
fee, 31-45 days $25+25%, 10-30 $25+50%, <=10 100% is kept. Payment
must be made in full at the time of application*. In the event of
cancellation by the county (e.g. severe snow storm), we will receive a
full refund.

* I'm planning to submit the request on Tuesday is for time to comment
and so I'll have the money on-hand; I hope to get back the vast
majority from donations.

Does the above sound good?

Regards,
-Nikolas

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