The 300-seat Main Stage will be home to Youth Theatre’s larger shows and the best of regional theater. Dance performances, large concerts, films, lectures, and public meetings will all have a spacious and elegant new venue.
Mercer Island Center for the Arts will be a cultural focal point on Mercer Island where Islanders and people from throughout the Puget Sound area gather to converse and create, to celebrate excellence in the lively arts, and to inspire generations of artists, audiences, and students through exceptional live performances, special events, exhibitions, and educational experiences.
MICA will be located on city-owned land adjacent to the northwest corner of Mercerdale Park. It will open out to the park, bringing year-round energy and activity and confirming Mercerdale as a focal point for the town center. MICA will provide facility support for the Farmers Market, the Summer Celebration, the Mostly Music in the Park series, and other community events and amenities.
The site will support ADA compliment parking for disabled and drop off. Street parking will be created by restriping 77th Avenue SE and SE 32nd Street. MICA is in close conversation with local businesses and others about shared after-hours parking.
For years, organizations like Youth Theatre Northwest and Childrens Dance Conservatory/Island Youth Ballet have enthralled large and enthusiastic audiences. A community that so values local talent deserves a dedicated venue for showcasing and learning the arts. At MICA, Islanders of all ages can spend time together. They will gather here for live performances, films, workshops, speaker series, literary events - and the conversations and idea-sharing they spark.
The benefits of Mercer Island Center for the Arts aren’t confined to our building but ripple out across the island. Businesses, restaurants and institutions like our popular farmers market are boosted by a thriving Arts Center. As traffic in the I-90 corridor becomes more challenging, the Center for the Arts will provide convenient on-island cultural opportunities that are easily-accessible for seniors and young families. The Center will provide real and measurable value to the community.
Our community prides itself on providing exemplary experiences. Mercer Island Center for the Arts is the wise and valuable next step in our cultural and education development.
Total campaign cost including design, permitting, construction and operating reserve will be approximately $25 million. To date, we have received $4.8 million in cash and pledges.
MICA will create a focal point for the arts on Mercer Island. It will help revitalize the business district, attracting audiences and patrons from both on and off the Island. It will become an essential cultural destination.
A beautiful gallery will host rotating art exhibits featuring work by Island and regional artists. Receptions, galas and gatherings will fill the space. It will also feature a café and bar.
These inviting venues will provide a great showcase for theater and dance performances, music recitals, artwork, and band and choir concerts for the young people of the Island. It will give them a safe and stimulating place to learn, grow, and be with their friends.
It will provide wonderful activities for seniors as a place for lecture series, demonstrations, readings, and film presentations.
MICA will host educational opportunities in theater, music, dance, and art with its classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and movement and art studios. It will be home to classes from Youth Theatre Northwest, Music Works Northwest, Musical Mind Studio, The Children’s Dance Conservatory, the Mercer Island Visual Arts League, Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle, and others.
The City of Mercer Island has requested that Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) consider delaying the upcoming public hearing and the accompanying legislative review process regarding an arts center proposed in the northwest corner of Mercerdale Park.
The MICA board of directors met at their monthly meeting and agreed to accept the city’s request to pause the current process. As a result, the October 18th public hearing in front of the Planning Commission has been canceled. MICA believes that this “pause” is a positive approach to advancing the project. It will also allow the City and MICA to explore alternative sites for a proposed arts center and discuss options for a partnership that can meet multiple City and community needs.
The City of Mercer Island and Mercer Island Center for the Arts share the belief that the creation of an arts center on Mercer Island will add numerous quality of life benefits to our community. We look forward to a mutually beneficial working relationship as we move through this process.
For more information on Mercer Island Center for the Arts please visit the city’s website at www.mercergov.org/mica or www.mercerislandarts.org.
Click here for the letter from The City of Mercer Island to MICA and MICA's responding letter.
We need your help as a supporter of the arts and the community of Mercer Island.
MICA has received enthusiastic support or formal endorsement from over 20 Mercer Island organizations, including the Mercer Island Arts Council, Mercer Island Preschool Association, Musicworks Northwest, Mercer Island Visual Arts League, Mercer Island Farmers Market, Island Books, Aljoya, Island House, King County Library System, Musical Mind Studio, Island Choir Experience, Children’s Dance Conservatory, the Russian Chamber Music Foundation, and Youth Theatre Northwest.
Several out-of-town arts organizations like ACT Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Teatro ZinZanni have all expressed support to present performances at MICA.
Please consider becoming a Friend of MICA at this historic moment to help create the Mercer Island Center for the Arts.