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:
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.
Arts Council Chair
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
Mercer Island Development Services
Evan Maxim, Interim Development Services Director
Mercer Island City Council
Debbie Bertlin, Mayor
Salim Nice, Deputy Mayor, Arts Council Liaison
Mercer Island City Manager
Julie Thuy Underwood