The promotion of our profession to the public at large and continued engagement with our local communities has been a growing and welcomed emphasis of the AIA both nationally and locally. Thankfully this initiative hasn’t remained simply a “grand idea” relegated to our chapter’s strategic plan. It’s been deliberately and enthusiastically pursued through numerous initiatives across the state, including our intervention in the proposed SWEPCO transmission line placement near Thorncrown Chapel, the Arkansas Design Network (ADN) public lecture series, Studio Main in Little Rock, numerous Pop-Up neighborhood events, and many others.
This renewed emphasis has not been limited to our young emerging professionals. On May 27, the AIA partnered with the Arkansas Design Network in celebrating the publication of “Architects of Little Rock, 1833-1950” authored by the esteemed duo of Charles Witsell, FAIA and Gordon Wittenberg, FAIA. More than 200 friends and supporters gathered at the Historic Arkansas Museum for the book signing, and to hear testimonies from public figures and colleagues about the value of the author’s respective work, and of documenting the priceless heritage of those who helped lay the foundation of the profession in central Arkansas, and for the whole state.
It was my honor that evening, on behalf of AIA Arkansas, to present each of them a letter of commendation in recognition of their accomplishment, and for promoting the contributions of architects and the practice of the profession to both their colleagues and the public at-large. It was an evening to celebrate architecture, and to recognize the role architects have played in shaping our great state. Thank you for those that have and for those that continue to make our chapter a more relevant and more engaged organization making a difference in our communities.
Wesley R. Walls, AIA