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Appendix (D): Comprehensive Arts and Culture Plan

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October 10, 2018

Members of City Council and Citizens of Mercer Island:

The Mercer Island Arts Council is proud to share this Arts and Culture Plan with the community. The plan, built on the Arts Council’s founding principles and broad community input, represents our Vision 2.0 for the future of arts and culture on Mercer Island.

Over a period of approximately nine months we assessed the Island’s “state of the arts” to get a comprehensive understanding of the overall community arts and culture environment and to compose a plan that accurately reflects its arts aspirations and current city policy. We reviewed the community’s arts activities and assessed needs by considering Island cultural participation history, engaging with local arts and heritage organizations, partnering with city staff and the Planning Commission, and considering public feedback sourced from various methods. Our efforts affirmed that an arts identity, along with a spirit of innovation and vision, is deeply embedded in the ethos of Mercer Island. The resulting plan embodies that spirit, acknowledges the fundamental community connection to the arts, and lays a framework for future progress, including more effective collaboration and the creation of art space.

The plan was envisioned, drafted, and supported by a committed team of volunteers and staff, including Rene Stratton - Arts Council Chair, Erin Vivion - Arts Council Vice-Chair and Principal Drafter, along with Mercer Island Arts Council members:

Amy Barnes

Matt Lome

Xixi Shakes

Candace Chuck

Jessica Prince

An Tootill

Erik Gordon

Damian Schwiethale

Gaylene Vaden

We thank City Council for acknowledging the importance of the arts in adopting this plan. Its incorporation into the city’s comprehensive plan affirms a community pledge to strengthen and enhance Mercer Island’s quality of life through arts, culture, and the preservation of our heritage. Thank you also to the Mercer Island community for your participation, for your ardent dedication to the process, and for firmly standing for the arts. We have been honored with the charge and opportunity to formalize this community commitment to art and innovation and are energized by the shared excitement for supporting and nurturing arts on the Island. We are eager to continue our mission of facilitating meaningful arts experiences for all Islanders.

Sincerely,

Rene Stratton

Arts Council Chair

Erin Vivion

Arts Council Vice-Chair

Additional support was provided by the following:

Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department

Jessi Bon, Parks and Recreation Director

Diane Mortenson, Recreation Superintendent

Sarah Bluvas, Arts & Culture Recreation Coordinator

Mercer Island Planning Commission

Daniel Hubbell, Planning Commission Chair

Tiffin Goodman, Planning Commission Vice-Chair

Carolyn Boatsman

Jennifer Mechem

Lucia Pirzio-Biroli

Craig Reynolds

Ted Weinberg

Mercer Island Development Services

Evan Maxim, Interim Development Services Director

Mercer Island City Council

Debbie Bertlin, Mayor

Salim Nice, Deputy Mayor, Arts Council Liaison

Bruce Bassett

Wendy Weiker

David Wisenteiner

Benson Wong

Mercer Island City Manager

Julie Thuy Underwood

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