Islanders attend a MICA community visioning session. Photo courtesy of MICA

Islanders attend a MICA community visioning session. Photo courtesy of MICA

Next steps for MICA

Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) and the City Council held a study session on Sept. 17.

  • Tuesday, September 18, 2018 6:00pm
  • News

On Sept. 17, the Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) and the Mercer Island City Council held a study session to discuss what was learned from the Community Visioning Dialogue, and plans for a community arts center moving forward.

Throughout the summer, MICA engaged with a cross-section of the community in large and small gatherings, with more than 200 residents face-to-face and nearly 1,000 people through an online survey, according to a MICA press release. Participants shared their desires for the future of arts and culture on Mercer Island.

Through the discussions, key takeaways were: strong support for an arts and culture center, the need for a centralized space for the arts and a desire to unite and strengthen the existing arts community. Concerns about the logistics of an arts center were also noted, including parking, location, cost and sustainability. The information gathered made a clear consensus that a space for the arts is indeed wanted and needed on Mercer Island, according to MICA.

Once published, the full Community Visioning Dialogue report will be available online at the MICA website. MICA also will share its findings with the community a 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.

In a letter to the city council dated Aug. 23, MICA conveyed its strong and clear intent to be a key part of the city’s proposed mixed-use development on the site that housed the Tully’s coffeeshop. A new space for the arts at the location would stimulate economic vitality, be a dynamic addition to Town Center and leverage the Sound Transit opportunity, providing a beautiful gateway to downtown, the letter stated. MICA wrote that it can uniquely and powerfully fulfill the community need for creating a space for the arts.

With the input from the Community Visioning process and a possible new location for an arts center, MICA’s next step is to plan and launch a capital campaign.

“We’re almost there — the board and staff have been waiting for a long time to get into a campaign and get an arts center built,” executive director Paul Shoemaker said. “As long as the site pans out, we see the time is near.”

MICA noted in a press release that it intently listened to the community. As one survey respondent noted, “MICA would serve a great purpose if it helped pull together all the disparate art and culture on the Island.” Enthusiasm for creating a centralized space for the arts is a growing wave and brings a broad base of support, ready to begin to push forward.

For more information on Mercer Island Center for the Arts, visit the city’s website at www.mercergov.org/mica or www.mercerislandarts.org.

More in News

Sound Transit unveils bus turnaround options for Mercer Island

Islanders will have a chance to comment on their preferred alternative.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Sternberg 
                                8-year-old Lucy Sternberg holds up her sign, created for a community rally on Mercer Island.
More love: Mercer Island communities join together to share, heal

Impacted Jewish cohorts and other gather following more anti-semetic incidents.

Construction crews work on the Mercer Island Station, preparing for the eventual East Link connection that will extend Seattle’s light rail to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond. Kailan Manandic/Staff Photo
I-90 HOV ramps close for East Link construction

The East Link Extension project will close HOV ramps at Island Crest Way up until March 29.

The Cedar Hills Regional Landfill is the only active landfill in King County. It will operate until at least 2028. It has been in operation since the 1960s. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Waste study puts numbers behind King County trash alternatives

County has one remaining landfill located near Maple Valley, and it’s nearing capacity

U.S. is now grounding Renton-made 737 MAX 8 and 9; Boeing supports decision

Update: The decision does not affect Renton production lines.

Redmond Mayor John Marchione was among many community members to place their hand prints in the wet cement below the new sign at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound in Redmond after the mosque’s old sign was vandalized in 2016. File photo
Examining hate crimes on the Eastside

The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking hate-fueled crimes and incidents to paint a picture of trends in communities.

Photo courtesy of Erin Krawiec 
                                Lexi Krawiec used chalkboard paint to create chalkboards that raised awareness for Save The Children, which works to provide access to education for children around the world.
Lakeridge Elementary students raise money for charities

Third, fourth and fifth grade students create and sell products at “Merchants With a Cause” fair to support charities.

East Mercer neighbors’ concerns about wetlands, trees resurface

A permit was re-filed for a lot that contains a stream and an “eagle tree.”

Women in law enforcement take the lead

King County’s female police chiefs outline their career paths.

Executive Constantine’s proposal will expand King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 28,000 acres of open space. Photo Courtesy of King County.
Executive Dow Constantine announces plan to renew King County Parks Levy

The proposal for the August ballot would generate an estimated $738 million over the next six years.

Students issue statement after Nazi salute photo goes viral

School district investigating the photo posted to social media.

File photo
Ferguson contacts WA sheriffs about enforcing gun control measure

Letter addresses points of confusion over Initiative 1639