The mission of the Mercer Island Arts Council is to nurture, promote, and support high-quality cultural arts activities for the community.
Established in 1985, Mercer Island Arts Council advocates the arts, artists and arts organizations of Mercer Island. Committees of the Arts Council, working with the support of Parks and Recreation staff, provide community activities such as art galleries, concerts, plays and literary events. Additionally, we support local artists with grants and acquire public art for the City.
– August 1985 serves as the official “birthday” of the Mercer Island Arts Council.
– The Arts Council consists of 11 members who are appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council.
– Before the Arts Council was officially established, work had already begun by committed volunteers and the Parks and Recreation staff back in the 1980's.
– 21 indoor art pieces were purchased through the City of Mercer Island Public Art Collection prior to the formation of the Mercer Island Arts Council.
– Fire Flower was the first outdoor sculpture acquired in 1983 and located at the Farmer’s Insurance Building.
– Mostly Music in the Park has been running since 1986 (27 years of performances!).
– Shakespeare in the Park has been running since 1992 (21 years of performances!).
Much of Mercer Island's public art has been acquired through the Mercer Island "One Percent for Art" program, money set aside from public construction projects, and through public donations. The purpose of this art is to inspire and enrich the citizens of the community and to preserve notable creative expression.
All works of art purchased and commissioned from the 1% for art in public places fund are property of the city and part of the city art collection. The city art collection is developed, administered and operated by the Mercer Island Arts Council.