Annual Report 2016 'Where We Connect'

Imagine: You open the doors to the Mercer Island Center for the Arts, what will you see and hear? A group of nine and ten-year-olds learning the words to "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music; A watercolor art class meets to work on paintings for an upcoming show; while the sounds of the Russian Chamber Music Foundation waft down the hall.

Mercer Island Center for the Arts is excited to announce the release of our Annual Report 2016 to every household in the Mercer Island community. "Together we are bringing to life a Center for the Arts that embodies the creativity, inspiration, and imagination of the Mercer Island Community and is a symbol of our partnership,” said Prady Misra, Campaign Chair. This report focuses on how art connects our community and positively impacts the lives of all Islanders. From All Island Band Night, summer's Mostly Music in the Park, Shakespeare in the Park, and our thriving Farmers Market — the arts are abundant on Mercer Island. 

The Arts Connect Us – with art, with ideas, with each other. 

The 2016 Annual Report begins with a heartfelt letter by President John Gordon Hill – a stalwart of the project. He paints the vision of a dynamic arts center where artists will build their knowledge and share their inspiration; a place where children will learn and students will grow, where locals and visitors alike can take in an art show, listen to panel discussions, participate in workshops, or learn to dance. Mercer Island School District artist-in-residence Sandy Glass states "The Mercer Island Center for the Arts will be a dynamic destination where artists can share and create. A hub that brings arts and education together on our Island is positive and community building.”

Upon further reading, you will discover MICA's participation throughout community events, key details on building the arts center, steps MICA has taken to begin the campaign, and partner organizations MICA regularly supports. To highlight local organizations and their events on the island, MICA’s Arts Calendar was conceived to aggregate island arts events. If you’re looking for a local arts event, or if you would like to submit an event, please visit www.mercerislandarts.org/calendar.

2016 was the beginning of the Friends of MICA program; a way for people to support and get involved with the Center for the Arts immediately. The program garnered enthusiastic support from Islanders If you aren’t one yet, everyone is invited to become a Friend: businesses, individuals, and other non-profits. Visit the MICA website at www.mercerislandarts.org/friends or call 206-715-7671. 

Much of 2016's expenditures were related to permitting and regulatory preparations (SEPA) necessary to build the center. MICA anticipated securing the lease by spring of 2016, thereby beginning the campaign in 2017. Due to the lengthy and complex nature of the regulatory process, MICA delayed the commencement of the capital campaign. 

The Annual Report 2016 concludes with a look to the future with the newly formed Students of MICA, led by a group of talented Mercer Island High Schoolers. Look for them this summer at the many Island arts events MICA will be supporting.