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 fourth interview was with Prady Misra.

Mr. Misra first got involved with MICA in 2014. He joined the board hoping to give back to the community that he has lived in and raised his family in. Misra also mentioned how he used to think that kids either played sports or participated in the arts, but then he found out that a lot of kids, including his youngest son, not only do both, but have a talent for both. Misra was the president of the basketball booster club, and started to see the disparities in support for sports teams and arts groups. He believes that kids involved in the arts should receive the same advantages as those who play sports.

Misra described himself as a “high-tech person.” He works in astronomy and physics, but told us that he thinks that “art makes us human. We all inherently enjoy good art.” He believes that art brings us together and makes a more well-rounded person. He has noticed that in his field, “people who have a better artistic sense are better engineers, designers, etc.” He also mentioned that he had recently attended a play at a Russian theater, and loved how he was able to understand the plot of the story, even without knowing Russian. He said, “you don’t need language, art is a language of its own. Its a key piece of our education, and makes [us] better humans.”

Misra believes that we need an arts center on Mercer Island because at the moment, all the “art is fragmented and confined. We have awesome resources,” but many of the arts groups are unknown. He wants MICA to not only be a place to “perform fantastic shows, but to take all the art in the community and put it together in one place. Then that place becomes somewhere that people go.” Misra knows that there are some potential social elements that are going unnoticed. He wants this to not just be a facility, but a place for interaction. In his opinion, we are missing that key component of interaction on the island, and with a place like MICA, we would see a better, more cohesive community.

Mr. Misra implores islanders to “feel that they are not helpless or disempowered.” He knows that currently, community members are “underestimating their own capability. Voices help more than money.” He hopes that people begin to “ask to friends, neighbors, elected officials: does it matter to you? Do you care?” Right now, “everyone is hoping that someone else will handle it.” His major message was to get involved. He asks his friends and neighbors to “participate in these events. Lots of arts groups on the island are more than happy to have you [help gain support]. Get involved, and then it begins to flourish. You don’t have to be an artist because you’re doing it for your friends, family, neighbors, and community.”

Keep an eye out for more board member profiles to come!

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