FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2018
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Next Steps for MICA
On Monday September 17, MICA engaged with the Mercer Island City Council in a Study Session to discuss what was learned from the Community Visioning Dialogue and plans for a community arts center moving forward. Throughout the summer, MICA engaged with a cross-section of the community in large and small gatherings, with over 200 residents face-to-face and nearly 1,000 people through an online survey. Participants shared their desires for the future of arts and culture on Mercer Island.
Through these discussions, key takeaways rose to the top: strong support for an arts and culture center, need for a centralized space for the arts, and a desire to unite and strengthen the existing arts community – just to name a few. Concerns about the logistics of an arts center were also noted including: parking, location, and cost and sustainability. The information gathered made a clear consensus that a space for the arts is indeed wanted and needed on Mercer Island. Once published, the full Community Visioning Dialogue report will be available online at the MICA website www.mercerislandarts.org. MICA will also share these findings with the community on Monday, October 8 at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center from 7:00-8:30pm.
In a letter to the City Council dated August 23, 2018, MICA conveyed their strong and clear intent to be a key part of the City’s proposed mixed-use development on the site that housed the Tully’s coffeeshop. A new space for the arts, at this location, would stimulate economic vitality, be a dynamic addition to Town Center, and leverage the Sound Transit opportunity providing a beautiful gateway to downtown just to name a few benefits. MICA states that they can uniquely and powerfully fulfill this community need for creating a space for the arts.
With the input from the Community Visioning process and a possible new location for an arts center, MICA’s next step is to plan and launch a capital campaign. Executive Director, Paul Shoemaker, states “we’re almost there – the board and staff have been waiting for a long time to get into a campaign and get an arts center built. As long as the site pans out, we see the time is near.” MICA would like to start their fundraising efforts in early 2019 – but, the key trigger, is a secured site.
Mercer Island Center for the Arts intently listened to the community. As one survey respondent noted, “MICA would serve a great purpose if it helped pull together all the disparate art and culture on the Island.” Enthusiasm for creating a centralized space for the arts is a growing wave and brings a broad base of support, ready to begin to push forward.