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Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Call To Order

Chair Susan Landon called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm in Room A-9 at the Community Center at Mercerview, 8236 SE 24th Street, Bldg B, Mercer Island, Washington.


Members Present
Beth Brennen, Erin Curtiss, James Dugan, Susan Edelheit, Judith Powers Leithe, Barry Massoudi, Margaret Minnick, June Mulcahy, and Chair Susan Landon

Arts Council Members Absent
Philip King and Heidi O’Brien

City Council Liaison
City Councilmember Sven Goldmanis was absent.

Parks & Recreation Director Pete Mayer, Recreation Supervisor Jennifer Berner and Administrative Assistant Eileen Trifts were present


Richard Conrad, Mercer Island City Manager, City Manager made an appearance at tonight’s meeting to present a letter he wrote, at the request of the City Council, addressing the status of the new Community Center and the direction the City Council has chosen for design, development and construction of the center. He informed the Arts Council that the proposal for the new Community Center did not include a performing arts space. He stated that given the Council strict instructions to adhere to the adopted budget, schedule and conceptual scheme (i.e., project scope); he could not support the use of City Staff time or resources on a proposal for a community center performing arts space. He encouraged the Arts Council to further investigate partnerships with other community groups for performing arts space.

Mr. Conrad gave a presentation of the preliminary plans for the new Community Center. He stated that there will be quite a bit of gallery wall space in the new community center and that there will be a number of multi-purpose spaces available for use by the Arts Council. In conclusion, he stated that demolition of the existing center is scheduled for May of 2004. There will be approximately 66 weeks of construction, with a reopening date projected for December of 2005.

Mr. and Mrs. Glen Sparrow spoke regarding Veteran’s Recognition Project.

Approval of Minutes

It was moved by Member Mulcahy to; Approve Regular Meeting Minutes of June 19, 2003 as written. It was seconded and the motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report

No report was given.

Secretary's Report

No report was given.

Chair Report

Susan Landon reported that the artist, John Geiss, is retiring to Japan and has offered some of his sculptures to the Mercer Island Outdoor Art Gallery. Susan Landon will work with James Dugan, the new Gallery Chair, and Diane Mortenson, to properly process these art pieces.

Performance Arts:
A Performance Space presentation by Barry Massoudi included an inventory of current Performing Arts Facilities on Mercer Island and three options for moving forward with securing performance space/facilities for use by the Mercer Island Arts Council. After much discussion and in light of the earlier presentation by the City Manager, it was concluded that the Arts Council will pursue forming partnerships with other community groups for performance space. Jen pointed out that, depending on the partnership, many of the fees could be greatly reduced or removed. Barry asked for some direction on how the council could pursue this. Jen suggested that it is a function of articulating what each side wants.

With regard to performance space in the new community center, Susan asked if we could get some idea of what is currently planned for the rooms. Jen suggested a “wish list” that she can check against as we get to each new stage in the detail planning and construction. She doesn’t have a list of what will be included yet. Susan asked that Arts Council member send suggested items to Barry so that he can compile a list.


No report was given.

Public Art:

Susan Landon presented a conceptualized drawing from the artist chosen for the Veteran’s Recognition project for a bandshell/pergola with a performance area and a removable tarp. The cost of this project will come to $56,280 -- $20,000 over budget. However, it was noted that this amount is available in the 1% Arts Fund. City Council approval would be necessary. Susan stated that the City Council would like to vote on this at their September Council meeting. Therefore she called for a vote for approval of this design. Mr. Sparrow commented that the one thing missing is a large flagpole. He felt it should be situated in the plaza area. He also felt that the 8 feet of headroom would feel “too compressed” and suggested they consider changing it to 12 or18 feet. He also felt that five Medalions must be included in the design. After Mr. Sparrow and his wife had left the meeting, concerns about aspects of the design for the bandshell/pergola were raised by council members Jim Dugan, Margaret Minnick, and Barry Massoudi, including: agreement with Mr. Sparrow’s concerns about the 8 foot height of the majority of the structure; agreement that some inclusion of a flag in a veteran’s recognition structure seemed an appropriate request; concerns that the artist’s design proposal had jumped from the $36,000 originally contained as part of the RFP response, to over $56,000, at an early stage of the design process; a related concern that the artist would be able to deliver an appropriate structure within an accurate budget. These concerns were discussed by the council, and Susan Landon agreed to take them up with Mr. Frombach to see whether any of the design concerns could be accommodated prior to presentation to the City Council.

A motion was made by Erin Curtiss to approve the proposal and ask the City Council to approval the additional $20,000 needed to build it. The motion was seconded and passed.


No report was given.

Literary Report

Judith Powers Leithe distributed Fall flyers for the Book Club. A Victorian theme is being featured for fall. She invited everyone to attend.

Planning Report

No report was given.

Staff Report

Jennifer Berner asked the Arts Council members to think about a retreat date for September or October. She also suggested some retreat agenda items might include: (1) Budget and goals, (2) Where we are going to put the two art pieces on the current community center site during renovation, and (3) what we want to do with regard to gallery space in the interim – relocate or put it on hold

City Council Report:

No report was given.


10:30 pm

[Important Note: The proceedings of the Arts Council meeting were recorded on tape and are filed in the Parks & Rec Department. The complete agenda and official minutes of this meeting are also filed in the Parks & Rec Department.]


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