MICA believes in the power of the arts and its ability to transform lives. Shared experience and exploration of the arts will help unite Mercer Island, creating a more culturally connected and vital community. MICA will help to shape the artistic and civic fabric of the Island with meaningful collaborations, embrace creativity in all its forms, and contribute to a vibrant town center.
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.
A place where all islanders are continually engaged. We envision MICA as a community resource that provides residents with an ongoing array of inspiring opportunities around the clock.
Imagine, on a Monday evening: a group of nine- and 10-year- olds are just learning the words to “So Long, Farewell,” from The Sound of Music. Over in the main hall, the room is being arranged for a discussion with New York Times columnist Timothy Egan..
Imagine, on a Thursday afternoon: parents are catching up with each other over coffee in the Center Cafe while their children take a class on journaling. In a nearby meeting room, the Mercer Island Visual Arts League is planning an upcoming lesson in copper work by a guest artist. .
Imagine, on a Saturday morning: Mercer Island Music teacher Connie Wible is giving a piano lesson to one of her students with Asperger’s Syndrome. Meanwhile, retirees discuss How To Cook Everything at a monthly book club, while sounds from the Russian Chamber Music Foundation waft down the hall.
Engaging Islanders of all ages and interests brings more inspiration to our community.
MICA to embark on public engagement process, expresses openness to explore alternative sites.
Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) kicked off 2018 with new leadership, new strategies and a study session with Mercer Island city leaders on Feb. 6, according to a press release.
MICA board and staff have been working hard reviewing the strategy to create an arts center and determine what is needed for future success. In mid-2017, the MICA Board of Directors appointed a Task Force to find solutions to issues that plagued the project. After careful examination, a study of neighboring art centers, and discussions with dozens of stakeholders, the Task Force came to a consensus on a path forward.
One of the key recommendations was to expand the board by adding new leadership and an Emeritus Board, extending our outreach, diversity and new ideas. A majority of founding board members have moved to the Emeritus Board and to date, MICA has added five new board members: Elliot Newman, Michelle Peyree, James Rudolf, Xixi Shakes and Iantha Sidell to join continuing members, Adam Goldblatt, John Gordon Hill, Virl Hill, Bruce Lorig, Prady Misra and Genevieve Morton. John Gordon Hill, the visionary of the MICA project, passed the baton to new board chairs Morton and Misra.
“As founding Board Chair and President, I am thrilled with the exceptional new talent and energy…I’ve had the pleasure of working with Prady and Genevieve for years…having them assume the role of co-chairs of the board is a dream come true. My personal commitment to MICA is unwavering and the addition of these remarkable new people to our existing staff, board, and supporters puts us in the strongest position yet,” Hill stated.
Along with the expanded board, new leadership includes Paul Shoemaker as Executive Director. Shoemaker, a 22-year Islander and a recognized expert in the nonprofit sector, first came onboard with MICA as a member of the Task Force.
“Being a part of the MICA team is a very exciting challenge and represents a real opportunity for me to give back to MI in a way I haven’t been able to before,” Shoemaker said.
On Tuesday, MICA took part in a study session with the Mercer Island City Council. MICA presented information to the council regarding the current status of the project, goals for 2018, and discussed next steps on how to move forward with the city. A few of these goals include a broader community engagement process that builds on past work, a stronger relationship with the city of Mercer Island, and an openness to explore alternative sites and locations for MICA in collaboration with the city and the community.
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.