An Island of art | Editorial

Hooray for the Mercer Island Arts Council, which celebrates its 25th anniversary tomorrow at the Art Walk in the Town Center. The Arts Council’s effect on our city has been profound. We may not always know who is behind the events that we take for granted or artwork that we see every day — but the Arts Council’s footprint is everywhere from music in the park, to seminars at the library, to the art on display in so many places. What makes their efforts important is how these events are designed to bring people to together to experience art. Whether it be admiring original art, laughing at a story or enjoying a live performance, it is the sharing that enriches the experience of art. And such events build a sense of community, just as the Firehouse Munch, the Farmers Market, Summer Celebration, and Friday night football do in this town.

Much of the work takes place behind the scenes. The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Centennial held a year ago is a case in point. The celebration held at the CCMV included an exhibit of artifacts and art of Alaska and the Northwest in the early 1900s, sessions with storytellers, historians and a citywide reading of the classic book by Jack London, “The Call of the Wild.” Each of these parts required searching for grant money, finding vendors and art, and organizing space for events. And they were nervous — there was much to worry about; could they pull it off? They did. And of course they had help from other Island charitable organizations who contribute funds and volunteers. The Arts Council and the Mercer Island Visual Arts League have done a lot to encourage art as a key part of the quality of life we enjoy here — as important to many as open space and parks. The long list of accomplishments of the Arts Council mirrors the Island ideal. Taking risks and pitching in makes good things happen.

So whether your taste is in chalk drawings, original oil works, or jazz and swing, take a minute on Thursday to drop by in the Town Center. Take a minute to enjoy it all.

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