Securing YTN’s future

I am a former board president of Youth Theatre Northwest. YTN has invested over 27 years in the children of our community. It is my firm belief that supporting arts and culture and all of our children’s activities are a crucial responsibility of our community. There is risk to YTN if the organization does not have the maximum runway to fund, secure and construct a new home. This precious resource could be forced to shutter completely or move off of Mercer Island.

Youth Theatre Northwest is Mercer Island’s only professional arts organization and has an impressive, 27-year legacy of providing children with expert theatrical training. In addition, over 425 lively and dynamic productions have been performed in our community, serving over 100,000 audience members. Examples can be seen throughout the region of cities taking the lead in providing their arts institutions with long-term homes — Seattle’s Benaroya and McCaw Hall, Kirkland Performing Arts Center, Edmonds Center for the Arts and others.

Youth Theatre Northwest is an important regional organization that serves our Island’s children and raises Mercer Island’s profile throughout King County. Most importantly and quite simply, YTN is a second home for our community’s children, mine included.

Please show your support for our children by assisting the theater with its monumental challenge of securing a new permanent home. We need help from everyone in our community to keep this precious resource here on Mercer Island.

Important Youth Theatre Northwest facts:

• YTN was founded by Mercer Island families in 1984 and is 27 years old.

• YTN serves 1,200 youths each year through on-site classes and productions. Approximately 75 percent of these youth are from Mercer Island.

• YTN is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization.

• Over 800 youth are served each year through outreach programs and off-site productions, including children affected by cancer at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, low-income families through Mercer Island Youth & Family Services, and foster children through the Tree House Organization.

• YTN provides expert training in the performing arts. YTN’s teaching staff and designers are professional theatre artists whose work has been seen at Village Theatre, ACT, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre and many others.

• Across the King County region, cities have played a vital role in creating infrastructure for arts to flourish. Examples include the Kirkland Performing Arts Center, Benaroya and McCaw Halls, and Seattle’s Tony-Award winning Seattle Repertory and Intiman Theatres.

• Exposure to the arts “plays a central role in cognitive, motor, language and social-emotional development” (source: “Young Children and the Arts: Making Creative Connections via Americans for the Arts”).

• Students who study the arts score higher on verbal and math SAT scores than those without arts education (source: The College Board, Reports 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003).

Learn more on how to support Youth Theatre Northwest online at


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