January 11, 2016 / President's Letters

January 2016 President's Letter

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The Future Architects Resources Committee (FAR) discusses Adopt-A-School at their December meeting.

Dear AIABaltimore Members,
In 2016, I propose that we refocus our efforts on “Service.” Over the year to come, it is my hope that we can redirect our collective energies in two separate but strongly intertwined efforts. As you know, AIABaltimore and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation have been reconnected, forming a new, much stronger collaborative relationship. Our respective missions inspire the following two goals.
Service to MembersFirst, to be of greater service to our members. As you may know, spurred by changes initiated by National AIA, the four Maryland components have worked towards a realignment to more effectively deliver services to members across the state. We have already taken several important steps towards this with a good deal more to come.
I am now asking for regular feedback from all of you (our members) towards how we can do an even better job of this in the future. I will work with our staff to create a new virtual “suggestion box” on our website so as to collect your ideas. Your specific requests will help direct & guide our decisions moving forward. As your chapter president, I am here to serve you. You are also welcome to call or email me directly (443.955.1953/aconsoli@umaryland.edu), should you prefer this to our virtual suggestion box. You have my commitment that we will do our very best to respond to your comments and requests.
Service to Our CityWe have witnessed painful events over the past year that have challenged our community. Accordingly, the second goal is to focus on how AIA/BAF can better serve the city of Baltimore and its most disenfranchised citizens. We can use our professional talents to help others dream about what might be and then take steps that get us there together.
Let me share with you just one example of what our chapter is up to in this arena. Last year, our Future Architects Resources Committee (FAR) brought together a group of volunteers from architectural firms and representatives from city public schools. They are working together to kick off “Adopt‐A‐School”, a new program aimed at introducing students to careers in design while instilling pride in the history of their neighborhoods and the built environment. We also heard about efforts of Ayers Saint Gross over the past 18 years working with Beechfield Elementary School. One firm and one school at a time we hope to build a better future for the students and city neighborhoods.
TeamworkI know that our future successes will not be a result of my efforts or those of any one individual. Instead it will happen only through the resolve of all our Architect, Emerging Professional, Allied, and BAF members working together. Please be part of this positive energy to make a difference by getting involved.
A very wise friend shared an instructive insight with me recently. He observed that all of us tend to allow both the past and the future waste much of our present time. We think about those things we wish we could have done differently or we become anxious about things that we may need to deal with in the future. In the process we do not fully engage in what we are doing right now. Today is what each of us has the greatest control over.
Please make each of your todays count. Over the coming year please consider resolving to do one (even very small) thing each day that either  1) helps your professional colleagues or 2) addresses one of the many needs in Baltimore. Because our daughter Elena is a dancer, I will reinforce this point by quoting the innovative dancer Martha Graham who said the following:
“All that is important is this one moment …. Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.”
I am looking forward to a great year together.
Thanks for this new opportunity to serve you!
anthony sig
Anthony Consoli, AIA
President, AIABaltimore 2016
Campus Architect, University of Maryland Baltimore