Cultural Arts Commission

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The Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission is a volunteer board that works to help arts, culture and heritage grow and thrive in the City of Kirkland. Along with supporting art and cultural initiatives throughout the year, the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission advises the City Council on art acquisition and promotes strategic arts planning in Kirkland. The Cultural Arts Commission is charged with managing and curating the City's public art collection, including a 1 Percent for Art mandate for City projects over a certain threshold. In addition, the Cultural Arts Commission has partnered with neighborhood associations as well as private developers to expand the public art offerings. 

The Commission meets on the third Wednesday of every month (with the exception of August and December when there are no meetings). The Commission meets using the hybrid meeting model. Commissioners attend in person in the Rose Hill Room at City Hall with a meeting start time of 5:45 pm. The public is always welcome and can participate either by attending in person or by attending virtually using the zoom link found below. If you have art ideas you'd like to share with the Commission at one of their regularly scheduled meetings, please email arts@kirklandwa.gov to let us know which meeting you will be attending. 

Next Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission Meeting

Date:  Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Location:  Rose Hill Room, City Hall or virtually via Zoom

Time: 5:45 PM

Zoom link

Agenda  posted prior to meeting date.

If you have any questions about the meeting, contact Public Art support staff at: arts@kirklandwa.gov


Past Meeting Archive Past Meeting Recordings

Note: The City of Kirkland appreciates the interest of our community members and values public involvement. We make every effort to make the recordings of our meetings available soon after each meeting is completed. However, due to technical difficulties that may occur with our digital recording system it may take up to four days for a recording to become available online. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Meet the Cultural Arts Commission

Alisa Sargsyan - Chair (term expires 3/31/2026)

Alisa Sargsyan Alisa Sargsyan

Alisa is an award-winning composer, classical pianist and music educator living in Kirkland since 2013. University of Washington alumna, Alisa holds a Master of Music degree in Composition and a Master of Arts degree in Piano Performance from Yerevan State Conservatory of Music. 

Alisa is constantly active as a pianist, accompanist, musicologist and composer. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed in the USA, UK, Finland, Netherlands, Russia, Armenia and Georgia. An experienced chamber musician, Alisa is also a co-founder of GALA Violin and Piano Duo, performing both classical and contemporary music. Recent performances include recitals at Schneebeck Concert Hall at the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma) and Brechemin Auditorium at the University of Washington (Seattle). 

With 20 years of experience working in the field of Arts, Alisa is committed to serving our local community, connecting artists of various backgrounds, ages, and disciplines in order to celebrate and preserve our diverse cultural heritage.

 

 

 

Prashant Walia - Vice Chair (term expires 3/31/2028)

Headshot of Commissioner Walia Prashant Walia  

Prashant is passionate about his community and the sustainability of the planet. When he is not working with his teams globally to solve business challenges for his clients, he is usually thinking about how we can ensure that the environment is protected and sustained for future generations. Through his travels, he has been fortunate enough to experience cultures and people from all over the world, witnessing their hospitality firsthand. This global perspective has strengthened his belief system that people yearn for the same good stewardship and community vitality, regardless of the country or continent they call home. He is inspired by the Kirkland City Council's vision and has volunteered for the Cultural Arts Commission to help foster a culture that realizes that vision.

Council vision: “Kirkland is one of the most livable cities in America. We are a vibrant, attractive, green and welcoming place to live, work and play. Civic engagement, innovation, and diversity are highly valued. We are respectful, fair, and inclusive. We honor our rich heritage while embracing the future. Kirkland strives to be a model, sustainable city that values preserving and enhancing our natural environment for our enjoyment and future generations.”

 

 

Chris Lye - Commissioner (term expires 3/31/2025)

Commissioner Chris Lye with cute dog Rocky Chris Lye  

Chris Lye is a former tech and videogames marketing veteran who now focuses his efforts on arts, philanthropy and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) social initiatives. He began his adventures in philanthropy by serving on the board of the Lo Kwee Seong Foundation, a private family foundation dedicated to supporting local education, arts & culture based in Hong Kong. He soon realized he had a passion for community service closer to home and currently serves as the Board President of the Kirkland Arts Center. 

In the last few years Chris has returned to making art himself and studies oil and watercolor painting and has an ongoing graphic novel project. 

 

 

 

Ana Aguirre - Commissioner (term expires 3/31/2028)

Headshot of Ana Aguirre

Ana Aguirre

Ana Aguirre is a printmaker, visual artist, and art educator living in Kirkland, WA. Her artistic skills have been nurtured by her formal education in Visual Arts and her professional background in graphic design. She is a full-time artist committed to using natural materials and environmentally friendly inks, continually experimenting with hand printing and press methods, particularly in collagraphy. Her work has been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including those held at galleries in Kirkland and Seattle. Her work has also been featured in OPB Art Beat Oregon and art publications.

As a curator, she believes in the power of art to bring people together from different backgrounds and cultures, and she works as a liaison for underrepresented and young artists, celebrating their diversity and unique perspectives. Beyond her art, Ana is passionate about giving back and serving the beautiful and diverse Kirkland community. 

 

 

 

 

 

Vivian Liu - Commissioner (term expires 3/31/2027)

Vivian Liu pic

Vivian Liu

Growing up in China, Vivian discovered her interest in traditional Chinese art. With each brushstroke, she breathed life into centuries-old techniques, infusing them with her own unique creativity. Art became not just a skill but a way of life, an ever-present source of inspiration, and a conduit for self-expression. Her passion for all things art-related knew no bounds, driving her to explore new mediums and styles continually. 

Vivian's journey took a transformative turn when she ventured into the realm of web design. This transition allowed her to blend her artistic prowess with the digital age, creating immersive online experiences that captivated and engaged users. As a web designer, she embraced the challenge of melding aesthetics and functionality, crafting websites that not only looked beautiful but also served their purpose seamlessly.

Seven years ago, Vivian embarked on a new chapter of her life when she made Kirkland, Washington, her second home. Immersing herself in the local culture, she developed a deep appreciation for the city's unique charm and character. Determined to share her love for Kirkland, she turned to her artistic talents as a means of expression. Through her art, she aimed to convey the joy and fulfillment she found in living and working in this vibrant community.

 


Luana Hancock - Commissioner (term expires 3/31/2025)

Headshot Luana Hancock

Luana Hancock

Luana is a longtime supporter of visual and performing arts. She discovered her own passion for singing, writing and language at an early age and nurtured her interests through various choral groups, musical theater productions, recitals, apprentice programs, competitions, and clubs over the years. She studied journalism and French at the University of Oregon, which included a year of academic and vocal music pursuits in Lyon, France. Such experiences shaped Luana’s fundamental belief that art transcends barriers to connect people in shared humanity. Her love of art of all kinds remains an anchor in Luana’s life, regularly inspiring her world travels, hobbies and work.

Over her more than 20 years as a communications professional, she has helped organizations foster public benefit and inclusion through creative storytelling, culture-building and engagement.  You are likely to see Luana admiring Kirkland’s public art while running with her dog through city parks and trails or dining on Park Lane with her husband. As Commissioner, she is proud to serve her community and support ongoing efforts to elevate artists, enhance the area’s natural beauty in unexpected ways, and reflect our rich cultural diversity so all feel welcome.

 

Sage Sommer - Commissioner (term expires 3/31/2027)

 

Sage, a dedicated leader in contemporary art logistics with nearly two decades of experience, brings a wealth of expertise to the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission. With a strong background in fine art logistics, she has provided invaluable oversight in the handling, installation, and ongoing care of artworks in museum and public settings. As the Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, Sage aligns departmental activities to fulfill strategic and artistic objectives, supervising all aspects of collections and exhibitions stewardship.

In previous roles both at the Henry and SITE Santa Fe, Sage managed substantial budgets for multiple exhibitions annually, collaborating with artists and curators to bring creative visions to life. Notably, Sage has organized large-scale public projects, including new commissions in Volunteer Park (Seattle, WA) and the Railyard Park (Santa Fe, NM). With a commitment to community engagement, Sage served on the Railyard Park Arts Committee for 8 years and co-curated a mutual aid exhibition that explored resilience, loss, and care during the pandemic lockdown.

Beyond professional accomplishments, Sage is driven by excitement and a deep passion for serving the community, creating inclusive public spaces, and contributing to the vibrant cultural fabric of Kirkland. 

 

 

 

Maya Park-Weber -Youth Member (term expires 3/31/2025)

Headshot of Maya Park-Weber Maya Park-Weber  

Maya Park-Weber is a high school student who has been creating art since she was old enough to hold a pen. She believes art is an invaluable source of enrichment that deserves attention and celebration. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved in the cultural arts of her community!