February 4, 2019 / President's Letters

February 2019 President's Letter – Things Are Heating Up!

Aspiring architects and architects at last year’s Mentorship Roundtable at Ayers Saint Gross

Hello and happy February. It was freezing last week, and the coldest day of all was spent in Annapolis for the annual AIA Maryland Advocacy Day. But I have to say that to see the bright white cupola of the State House against a crystal blue sky was truly lovely as I hurried around the Capitol circle. Greeting our delegate guests as they arrived—shivering—at the AIA Maryland Chapter House was a lot of fun. I’m pleased to report that it’s the home team—AIA Baltimore legislative committee members Dan Bailey, Adam Read, Chris Parts, and Joel Fidler, the 2019 AIA Maryland Chapter President—whose diligent work keeps AIA Baltimore members fully represented when the state legislature is in session. And our chapter’s new generation of leaders, Valencia McDowell and Brian Helfer, Jr. (my undergraduate architecture students at Morgan State), made the rounds in the Senate and the House on behalf of our chapter, too.
The choice to participate in Advocacy Day makes a powerful and profound connection between our profession and our community. It reminds us of what we can all do to make a difference in the present. Through our many endeavors and initiatives, we have, to my mind, expressed a genuine desire to do something real and meaningful, acting on the belief that one positive move can lead to many others. Our chapter is politically active and culturally engaged to empower our membership. The experience of participating in Advocacy Day is exhilarating. Plan to join us next year in Annapolis! And you can follow our statewide legislative priorities in 2019 on the AIA Maryland website.
This month’s events at AIA Baltimore are, in fact, a tribute to positive change. Our committees’ embrace of transformation has been driven by the chapter’s vast experience. Join us for the 2019 Mentorship Roundtable, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Thursday, February 7. The event is co-sponsored by the Emerging Professionals Committee and the Equity Committee, and hosted by Hord Coplan Macht. College students and professionals at any stage of their career are encouraged to participate. This year, the Fellows of our AIA Baltimore Chapter will join the Mentorship Roundtable in addition to holding their annual Demystifying Fellowship workshop at 4:30 pm immediately preceding the mentorship event. All AIA members interested in AIA fellowship are encouraged to attend to ask questions and get instructions, information, and advice.
Before I sign off, I encourage you to stop by the AIA Baltimore Gallery at the chapter house to see the astonishingly beautiful landscape photography pieces by local artist Peter Stern. They’re selling fast—I’ve already bought two! And there are still a few pieces of Jerome Gray’s exquisite watercolors available in the Bookstore. They make lovely Valentine’s Day gifts for all you architecturally inclined romantics.

Suzanne Frasier, FAIA
Morgan State University School of Architecture + Planning