By Mary-Margaret Zindren, EVP/Executive Director

Weaving gratitude into my everyday is an intentional practice. I try to express it in the moment, and to regularly pause to consider all that I have to be grateful for.

The gratitude I feel – our entire staff team feels – toward our members this year is of a nature that’s very difficult to express. It makes me wish we all knew more languages (I’m sure there are a vast array of more perfect words are out there in Portuguese or Korean or Somali.)

We’ve just completed the Doors Open Minneapolis event, developed and implemented as a partnership between the City of Minneapolis and the AIA Minneapolis chapter. Because dozens of AIA Minnesota volunteers helped to select sites, to act as subject matter experts, and to greet attendees, nearly 10,000 Minnesotans spent a weekend focused on architecture.

Dozens of additional volunteers have helped to construct and to staff our first pop-up Center for Architecture exhibit: Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture. Whether drilling holes into walls, lifting pieces of shipping containers, or explaining the nature of the exhibit to youth from local schools, to visitors from the neighborhood, or to visitors from outside Minnesota, they have done so with positivity and enthusiasm. (The regular exhibit runs through June 15, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 12:00 – 8:00 pm, so if you haven’t yet stopped by, make it a point to do so, soon! And also watch for additional opportunities to bring groups to the exhibit space for gatherings through the end of July.)

A team of volunteers from our Women in Architecture Committee has been supporting AIA national in the planning and execution of the Women’s Leadership Summit, which we are hosting here in Minneapolis, September 12-14. Members will be taking time to lead sessions, to host happy hours at their firms, and to shepherd tours and events. Crucially, a number of firms have also stepped up to sponsor this event, committing dollars as well as to send attendees, ensuring an impactful experience for all.

These are just a few of the new efforts underway this year. There’s also the Design Team for the next iteration of the Intercultural Leadership Program. The Culture Change Resource Team and it’s planning group. Researchers within firms who are testing the 21st Century Development framework with real clients. And the Center for Architecture Task Force and its many subgroups.

And there are hundreds of members who are working to sustain excellence in every other aspect of the association’s work – from boards, committees, and knowledge communities, to the Homes By Architects Tour, awards juries, FAIA application support, making our Annual Conference consistently one of the best in the nation, and so much more.

It’s not just that we as a staff team literally couldn’t do this without you; it’s that we wouldn’t want to. The joy of associations – and of Minnesota’s AIA chapters, in particular – is that we are co-creating our success. Our offerings are relevant and resonant because they are of (not just for) Minnesota’s community of architects.

Thank you for making all that we’ve taken on for 2019 possible, successful, energizing, and inspiring. We have asked a lot of you this year, and we’re so thankful that, time and again, you’ve said “yes.” 2019 isn’t over and we’ve got more asks to come. Stay with us on this journey. We’ll have a lot to celebrate come December!

View the full June issue of Matrix.