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VAA's process has been a model of inclusion | Letter to the Editor
As the immediate past president of Vashon Allied Arts’ board of directors, I can attest to the thoughtful and thorough study that has gone into VAA’s proposed building. I will not spend additional time reiterating the reasons why this building is needed, why it is the right design or why it is sited exactly where it will work best.
Instead, I want to provide an overview of how and why the public engagement process in reaching final design has been a model for inclusion.
VAA has been very conscientious about seeking community input on the project. Numerous open houses, forums at community meetings, one-on-one interviews and multiple newspaper articles have gone into engaging Vashon’s citizenry in this project.
There have been opportunities to have input into the project and voice concerns, yet many of those opposed to the building have waited until this late date to make their voices heard.
Everyone knew going into this project that there would never be 100 percent agreement on every decision. But the board concluded that this is a project for the whole community — not just VAA, not just artists — but the whole of Vashon. Significant decisions and costs were enveloped into the building with only the community in mind — ensuring the design of the building was LEED-certifiable; making the decision to purchase an adjacent lot to create more greenspace and providing the capabilities for an emergency shelter.
Do not allow a vocal minority to stop this building. Instead consider the long-term public benefit and community asset that the Center for the Arts will provide.
The spirit of our Vashon community is one tied together by our collective appreciation for beauty, the arts, our environment and freedom of expression. The Center for the Arts will provide a place for the physical manifestation of this spirit for generations to come.
— Scarlett Foster-Moss