Part of my introduction to Baltimore nearly ten years ago was a gorgeous block of printed tickets to the AIA Baltimore Spring Lecture Series. I quickly appreciated their value. Not only were the lectures thought-provoking, enlightening, and varied, but afterward the networking was stellar. Many of you probably met me first in my capacity as a program manager for the Neighborhood Design Center. My job included recruiting and coordinating design volunteers working with communities throughout Baltimore City. After a spring lecture, I could check in on several projects in moments while catching up with architect and designer friends. It seemed as if everyone was there, and the camaraderie was electric.
The first lecture of the 2020 series was possibly the last time many of us fellow members saw one another before quarantine. It was early March, and I recall a sense that change was impending. Never though would I have predicted a shift to virtual lectures through both the 2021 and 2022 series. Kelly Danz, AIA, Randy Sovich, FAIA, and the rest of the committee navigated the Lecture Series through this transition with incredibly hard work. The quick pivot in 2020 was followed by series that embraced the virtual format to continue to bring voices from Baltimore and beyond into our homes and (home) offices.
Those of you who joined us at the BAF Doors Open Baltimore opening lecture by Dr. Nicole King, Ph.D. last Thursday evening might have felt nostalgic as we gathered again. 2023 offers the possibility of a return to an in-person Spring Lecture Series, but only if we put in the work. Our Lecture Series Committee is looking for new membership and new leadership for next year. Simply put, the current committee can no longer sustain the series without additional help.
On the Lecture Series Committee, you get to invite your heroes to come to Baltimore. Or if not your heroes, then at least people you think are interesting, fascinating, or changing the way you think about architecture. Collectively you create moments for our architectural community to convene and discuss fresh ideas. And now is the year, now is the season to get involved. Please consider joining the Lecture Series Committee. Email me for more information.
Laura Wheaton, AIA, LEED AP bd+c
2022 AIA Baltimore President