Mercer Island Center for the Arts kicks off community listening events

First visioning session is set for June 11.

Mercer Island Center for the Arts is embarking on a journey to listen and discover what the Mercer Island community would like in a new space for the arts on the Island.

Since MICA’s reintroduction on Feb. 6 at the City Council meeting, they have been planning and preparing for the ensuing year. MICA can’t wait to start creating a center for the arts, according to the organization’s press release, but there are a few more steps to accomplish before that can begin. One of those steps is the Community Visioning Dialogue.

On April 24, MICA presented its second Annual Friends of MICA Celebration. The event was hosted by Suzanne Zahr at her Suzanne Zahr Gallery and catered by Arista Catering. The celebration brought together 67 Island arts supporters, filling up the gallery with “positive sentiment for the reboot of the MICA project,” the press release continues.

That evening was the kick-off of MICA’s Community Visioning Dialogue in which Executive Director Paul Shoemaker and Director of Strategic Relationship Sharon Perez discussed what you can expect from MICA over the next three months.

The Mercer Island community should have already received the all-island mailer sent out weeks ago titled “Moving Forward. Together.”

“MICA truly believes that they can only move forward together as a community and that is why MICA has created this visioning dialogue,” according to MICA’s press release.

Executive Director, Paul Shoemaker said, “I’m excited to get out and hear what the Mercer Island community wants in a new space for the arts.”

All islanders should lend their voice in moving the arts forward. MICA will consider all ideas and viewpoints.

To assist in the visioning dialogue, MICA has enlisted the assistance of Phinney Bischoff; with over 30 years of creative and community engagement experience, Phinney Bischoff will partner with MICA to create and execute a series of impartial listening events throughout the months of May, June and July.

These listening events will consist of 1-on-1 interviews, small group input sessions, large group visioning sessions, and a survey. The first of two-large group visioning sessions will be held from 7-8:30 p.m., Monday June 11 at the Boys and Girls Club Mercer Island. Please register if you would like to attend as spots are limited to 100 people.

Register by emailing or calling 206-715-7671. To find out further information about the visioning process or receive updates, visit MICA at

This process is called “visioning” because MICA wants to create a “vision” for a community arts center on Mercer Island with the community.