AIA North Carolina Creates Vision
for Public Engagement
Heightening awareness of the value of architects and architecture profession, as well as increasing public engagement, has been AIA’s vision since its founding in 1857. In North Carolina, the Center for Architecture & Design (CfAD) has given AIANC and our seven local sections a tremendous tool in fulfilling this vision!
Programs generated from the CfAD are some of the most effective public engagement tools used in AIANC's recent history. Since its inception as an idea, AIANC leaders have embraced CfAD as a vehicle to spread the message of the importance of architecture and design throughout the state and region. CfAD's outreach initiative, Activate, has been the driving movement for developing exhibits, tours, panel discussions, design competitions, and other educational opportunities. This Activate Committee has now turned its programming focus statewide. Activate North Carolina is a resource to organize and host events across the state that will increase public awareness and engagement for all seven sections.
On September 24, the AIANC Board of Directors took a holistic look at the CfAD’s utilization and vision. The Board agreed that in order to reach the full potential of this asset and accomplish long-term goals, we must first retire the short-term debt on the building, allowing us to dedicate resources to programming developed and generated by AIANC’s Activate Committee.
With this in mind, the directors voted unanimously to:
- Collaborate with each AIA section to strategically incorporate Activate programs for the broadest public exposure and appeal.
- Allocate approximately 10% of the future AIANC budget to the public engagement vision of CfAD.
- Earmark the first two years of this allocation primarily to retire short-term CfAD construction ‘angel loans’ from members.
- Allot a portion of this allocation for seed program funding during the first 2-3 years.
- Commit 100% of this allocation to additional dedicated staff and ongoing programming the third or fourth year and beyond .
This dedicated on-going allocation will be funded by an annual dues adjustment of $60 per member and $30 per associate member. All current services and activities of AIANC will remain in tact and will not be affected by the dues adjustment.
When the ‘great recession’ hit the profession from 2009-2013, most efforts for relieving the Center's construction debt and its programming were put on hold. In 2010, to take advantage of construction financing through an American Recovery & Reinvestment Act bond, a group of AIA members came together to offer 'angel loans' as a fundraising bridge to make the CfAD a reality.
In 2014, with the economy finally stabilized, the Capital Campaign was resumed and the ‘angel lenders’ agreed to two-year extensions of their loans. These lenders must now be repaid. With almost $900,000 raised by the Capital Campaign, only a small fraction ($200,000) of the short-term ‘angel loan’ debt remains. The dues adjustment will be reflected in the 2016 dues invoice.
The Board is enthusiastic about its plan to achieve this vision of long-term architectural public engagement. Your contribution as an AIA member will enhance the profession of architecture for generations to come.
he AIA North Carolina 2015 Board of Directors