MICA organizing for major fundraising campaign; Capital Campaign Director hired

Sharon and JamiMercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) Board Chair John Gordon Hill announced today that phase two of the Art Center development has begun with the hiring of local Mercer Island resident, and long-time development professional, Sharon Perez. Perez will serve as the Capital Campaign Director, working directly with the Board to carry out the strategic fundraising plan for the new Center.

“Sharon is uniquely qualified to lead our capital campaign with her extensive advancement experience, strategic insight, and breadth of Mercer Island community relationships,” said Hill.

Perez became interested in getting involved with the campaign after seeing a presentation about MICA at a Mercer Island Preschool Association meeting. Impressed with the quality of planning and materials that MICA has created, the outstanding board leadership, and the once-in-alifetime opportunity to create an Arts Center for the community, Perez was inspired to coordinate the fundraising. Perez has an MBA from Willamette University with an emphasis on Organizational Design and Marketing. She currently serves on a number of local boards: Mercer Island Food Revolution & Let’s Move! Mercer Island, West Mercer Elementary PTA, and Mercerwood Shore Club.

Perez explains her interest in MICA’s campaign, “as a member of the Mercer Island community, a mother of elementary school children, and a neighbor to the new site for the Center, I have a vested interest in seeing this project successfully completed. Having an Arts Center on the Island, where all residents can enjoy and participate in live music, dance, and theater with our friends and neighbors will greatly add to the Island quality of life. This is a unique opportunity to make a multi-generational investment in Mercer Island and enhance the special community we all call home.”

As part of the shift to fundraising for the new Mercer Island Center for the Arts, current Executive Director Louise Kincaid will be leaving at the end of this month. “Louise brought MICA a wide range of arts and non-profit management skills,” Hill said. “During her tenure we opened the MICA office, completed major building design work and costing, developed beautiful visual materials and the website, conducted several fundraising events, expanded community outreach, and significantly expanded the Board. The Board is very appreciative of this successful completion of the organizational phase that Louise was hired to do,” Hill said.

In addition to Perez, MICA has hired Jami Cairnes as Office Administrator to handle day-to-day functions and support the fundraising consulting team and Board as it embarks on the next phase of this exciting and enduring focal point for the arts on Mercer Island.

The capital campaign is expected to be approximately $25 million. To date, MICA has raised almost $5 million in cash and pledges. The MICA board projects to break ground in 2017 and open in 2018.