I was excited to read the letter in the Aug. 2 Reporter by Jessi Wasson, the development director of Youth Theatre Northwest, highlighting the July 2017 YTN “Music Man Jr.” production. Ms. Wasson stated: “This production is our second show to be held at the Mercer Island Performing Arts Center [at Mercer Island High School] and we are so grateful for the extra space, which allows us to produce a show at the level we were accustom[ed] to in our original home on 40th Street.”
My congratulations to YTN on what I hope will be their new home. I have been personally involved with performing groups here on the Island and I am glad to see this step forward. The Mercer Island Performing Arts Center at MIHS, which the taxpayers built at a cost of $14 million, is an ideal community resource not only for YTN but also for the other performing arts groups seeking a venue large enough to make a performance on Mercer Island financially viable. These are exactly the performing arts programs the joint use facility at MIHS was designed and built for, in fact, Seattle Pacific University is another of the organizations that has offered performances in our “joint use” theater.
Renting the school district space, and other performing arts venues on the Island such as the Jewish Community Center, benefits everyone in our community.
Win: The Mercer Island School District and (other) community venues that are currently underutilized will receive rental fees to help balance their budgets.
Win: Facility use will be maximized as the many empty time slots are filled.
Win: Our public parkland, saved from private development, will be preserved for future generations.