NEW ULM - An ad hoc committee organized by Mayor Joel Albrecht met Wednesday in the Council Chambers to discuss the immediate need for restoration and presentation of the Wanda Gag art collection, only to renew the old committee charged with those responsibilities.
During the meeting of the Wanda Gag Art Collection Management Ad Hoc Committee, it was revealed that the Wanda Gag Collections Committee (WGCC) was still active despite assumptions that it may have been disbanded.
The ad hoc committee was comprised of Bob Burgess and Darla Gebhard of the Brown County Historical Society (BCHS), Diana Lee Schaefer of the Wanda Gag House Association, Larry Hlavsa of the Public Library, Sue Ullery and Sharon Glotzbach.
The ad hoc committee was chaired by George Glotzbach.
According to Glotzbach and Albrecht, the reason for the confusion over the WGCC occurred because it had not held a formal meeting since 2008 and they had assumed it was defunct.
Gebhard, a member of the WGCC, said that while the organization has not met formally since that time, its members had been working informally to continue its goals.
The last membership of the WGCC had Gary Harm, nephew of Wanda Gag, on its committee. Harm died last June. Gebhard said the reason the WGCC had met informally because at the time Harm was ill and they didn't want to call a formal meeting that may have made Harm feel obligated to come despite his health. She added that despite this lapse in meetings, the committee remained in touch with one another.
Albrecht said that Wednesday's meeting was originally called to promote awareness about the Gag works and to speed up the public display of the art. In addition, he wanted a decision on whom would be responsible to distribute the educational kits developed from the Gag works to area schools. Glotzbach concurred with the mayor and shared his enthusiasm to actively promote public awareness of the Gag art.
Gebhard said it was premature to argue that the WGCC was unable to accomplish its assigned duties. She said that the committee would be able to promote and preserve Wanda Gag art.
Mayor-elect Bob Beussman addressed the ad hoc committee and supported Gebhard's position. He suggested that rather than continuing with the meeting, the committee should recommend to City Council that the WGCC be revitalized with strong city backing.
"Let's put life into this committee," Beussman said.
Following the mayor-elect's advice, Glotzbach made the motion to conclude the meeting and submit the recommendation to the City Council. The motion was passed unanimously.
Glotzbach said he was pleased with the results.
"The agenda of this meeting was designed to promote results on the Gag works. It did that, and now it's on the [GWCC] to push it forward," Glotzbach said.
The ad hoc committee disbanded following the meeting. It will remain so unless it is determined it is still needed after the renewed efforts with the WGCC.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)