MICA names Sharon Perez as its new Capital Campaign Director

October 27, 2015 | by Erin Sirianni

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Islander Sharon Perez just landed a leading role in the unfolding drama of the future center for the arts on Mercer Island.

A seasoned development professional and passionate community advocate, Perez was named Capital Campaign Director for the Mercer Island Center for the Arts (MICA) this week.


New MICA Staff: Sharon Perez (left) and Jami Cairnes (right)

Board Chair John Gordon Hill said the hire marks the beginning of phase two of the Art Center strategic fundraising plan.

“Sharon is uniquely qualified to lead our capital campaign with her extensive advancement experience, strategic insight, and breadth of Mercer Island community relationships,” Hill said.

Many community members will know Perez or recognize her name from her broad community involvement. She currently serves on a number of local boards: Mercer Island Food Revolution & Let’s Move! Mercer Island, West Mercer Elementary PTA, and Mercerwood Shore Club.

As a previous board member of the Mercer Island Preschool Association (MIPA), Perez became interested in getting involved with the campaign after seeing a presentation about MICA at a MIPA meeting.

Perez was impressed with MICA’s vision and leadership and moved by the possibility of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an Arts Center for the community. She explains her interest in MICA’s campaign:

“As a member of the Mercer Island community, a mother of elementary school children, and a neighbor to the new site for the Center, I have a vested interest in seeing this project successfully completed. Having an Arts Center on the Island, where all residents can enjoy and participate in live music, dance, and theater with our friends and neighbors will greatly add to the Island quality of life. This is a unique opportunity to make a multi-generational investment in Mercer Island and enhance the special community we all call home.”

Perez has an MBA from Willamette University with an emphasis on Organizational Design and Marketing. She lives near Mercerdale Park with her husband, Anthony, two boys, and new puppy Desi.

As part of the shift to fundraising for the new Mercer Island Center for the Arts, current Executive Director Louise Kincaid will be leaving at the end of this month.

“Louise brought MICA a wide range of arts and non-profit management skills,” Hill said. “During her tenure we opened the MICA office, completed major building design work and costing, developed beautiful visual materials and the website, conducted several fundraising events, expanded community outreach, and significantly expanded the Board. The Board is very appreciative of this successful completion of the organizational phase that Louise was hired to do.”

In addition to Perez, MICA has hired Jami Cairnes as Office Administrator to handle day-to-day functions and support the fundraising consulting team and Board as it embarks on the next phase of this exciting and enduring focal point for the arts on Mercer Island.

The capital campaign is expected to be approximately $25 million. To date, MICA has raised almost $5 million in cash and pledges. The MICA board projects to break ground in 2017 and open in 2018.

For more information about MICA, visit MercerIslandArts.org.