WICA celebrating 25th anniversary

The organization founded in 1996 is the result of a 10-year, community-funded effort.

The largest arts organization on Whidbey will be celebrating a momentous event this Sunday with an in-person celebration.

The Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, also known as WICA, is turning 25.

Although the organization was founded in 1996, its establishment was a 10-year, community-funded effort.

That same kind of community support has helped WICA weather the COVID pandemic. The center made a return to in-person programming this year, with art, political talks, music and a play already on the schedule.

“We do have limited capacity, but we think we’ve come out of COVID stronger than ever because we know to pivot and adjust and do whatever we can because we’re so diversified,” Executive Director Verna Everitt said.

The building was built in phases, and different kinds of programming were added on throughout the years.

Today, WICA is the county’s biggest arts organization and employer. It employs over 600 regional and international artists annually.

Everitt joined WICA in 2018. During her time as executive director, she has helped instate daytime programming, the Whidbey Island Film Festival and summer programming.

The latter is WICA’s newest change. An outdoor “Summer Nights” series was created last summer, and is planned to continue this year. Before, the organization closed during the summer for a deep cleaning.

Sunday’s anniversary celebration, which runs 1-3:30 p.m., will be an open house that will include complimentary champagne and non-alcoholic sparkling beverages, a poetry reading from Judith Adams and a conversation with Everitt and WICA’s first executive director, Vito Zingarelli.

The indoor seating area will have a capacity of about 75 to 90 people, although the festivities will also continue outdoors.

“Twenty-five years later, we are the premier art center on the island,” Everitt said. “And I like to think of us as the town square where everyone comes to gather and share great ideas and great conversation and be entertained.”

More in News

Turkey, hog, bunny, robin, fawn troubles | Island Scanner

The following items were selected to reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times
Chlorine shortage leads to water supply worries

North Whidbey residents have been asked to voluntarily reduce water usage.

Island man arrested after he crashes car in closed work zone

Azamat B. Kurmangali appeared telephonically in Island County Superior Court June 21.

New commander takes helm at NAS Whidbey

Capt. Eric Hanks has been selected to replace Capt. Matthew Arny.

Langley council picks Chaplin for mayor over fellow council member

Langley city council members chose Scott Chaplin as the next mayor over Councilmember Thomas Gill.

Rowing club may find a home at Windjammer Park

Rowers of all ages may be coming to Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor, if a local club’s plans work out.

100+ Women giving back to community

A group supporting Island County nonprofits is seeking new members before its next donation cycle.

WhidbeyHealth lists vacant property for $727,500

WhidbeyHealth has listed a 4.56 acre vacant property for sale on the real estate website Zillow.

Lawyer seeks writ of habeas corpus for jail inmate held in prison

Kevin J. Daves was allegedly held in solitary confinement and fed only peanut butter and crackers.

Most Read