In the next few weeks, we will be interviewing many of our board members to assemble a brief, personal profile on each of the people behind MICA! Our first interview was with John Gordon Hill.
Mr. Hill has been involved in the arts his whole life, participating in film and music in high school. He graduated college with a degree in cinematography and film making, and then started a film company. He has directed many Youth Theatre Northwest shows, and loves to play keyboard music. When asked why he is involved in the arts, Hill said that to him, that question is synonymous to: “Why do you breathe?” The arts are “not apart from his life”, instead they are a major piece of who he is.
Hill has also had a long history with the administrative side of the arts too. He was on the board of Cornish College of the Arts, and actually spearheaded the first campaign for Youth Theatre Northwest’s original theatre 34 years ago. So, when YTN lost its theatre in 2014, Hill knew that he wanted to help find a new location for the children’s theatre. With YTN’s support, he decided to reach out to other arts organizations in the area, forming the idea for an arts center where different arts groups could gather and celebrate the diversity and variety of arts and culture.
In Mr. Hill’s opinion, we need an arts center on Mercer Island because currently, we have no single place where the community can come together for the arts. “Everything is disconnected.” He explained that while we do have lots of arts already, if we do not “reach a critical mass, then [the arts are] not part of our identity.” He hopes that with MICA, we can revitalize the town center and give people a place to gather while providing a much-needed home for the arts on the island. “The arts are so broad: they are how we talk to each other and how we understand our world and our lives around us.”
Mr. Hill says that there are two ways that we can support MICA right now. First: talk it up. “Once we achieve momentum by word of mouth, then everything else will come much easier.”
Second: talk is cheap. “There will be a point when people need to put up money, energy, and work to make this a reality.” Hill acknowledges that this could be an expensive prospect, but also knows that Mercer Island is very capable of making MICA a reality.
Keep an eye out for more board member profiles to come!