A recent article in The Seattle Times by Lynn Thompson eloquently expresses the opposing, and at times confusing, views of the proposed one acre parkland to be donated to the Mercer Island Center for the Arts [MICA]. The controversy has inspired those of us in support of the arts & culture to be more vocal. As an Island resident, local business owner, creative professional and parent of a Kindergartner actively participating in the Youth Theatre Northwest, I say, 'Yes, please!'
I Decline to Sign the petition circulating for a voter initiative called 'Protect our Parks' which could impact all park uses & prevent MICA from being realized.
I appreciate the intent to protect our public spaces, but I find such poised opposition to MICA myopic. This wonderfully designed Center by Framework would not impact the current use of Mercerdale Park, but rather activate this public space by engaging cultural activities, social interactions and creative expressions.
Excerpt from the Mercer Island Center for the Arts [MICA] website:
MICA will create a focal point for the arts on Mercer Island, offering something nearly every single day of the year. It will help revitalize the business district, attracting audiences and patrons from both on and off the Island. It will become an essential cultural destination.
A beautiful, expansive, glass-fronted lobby and gallery, with a commanding view of Mercerdale Park, will host rotating art exhibits featuring work by Island and regional artists. Receptions, galas and gatherings will fill the space. It will also feature a café and bar.
These inviting venues will provide a great showcase for theater and dance performances, music recitals, artwork, and band and choir concerts for the young people of the Island. It will give them a safe and stimulating place to learn, grow, and be with their friends.
It will provide wonderful activities for seniors as a place for lecture series, demonstrations, readings, and film presentations.
MICA will host educational opportunities in theater, music, dance, and art with its classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and movement and art studios. It will be home to classes from Youth Theatre Northwest, Music Works Northwest, Musical Mind Studio, The Children’s Dance Conservatory, the Mercer Island Visual Arts League, Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle, and others.