Over the last 4 years, I have had the great fortune to serve and lead within our Connecticut creative community, most recently as President of AIGA Connecticut, alongside a team of supremely talented and dedicated individuals. I have watched our chapter progress exponentially in ways both quantitative and qualitative. I consider this to be a direct reflection of the creative spirit that lives and breathes in our state. As my term as President draws to a close, I’d like to offer a collective congratulations and a virtual toast to what we have all accomplished together.
We rolled up our sleeves and helped people
We created programming and initiatives that provide students and aspiring designers with guidance, resources, connectivity, and visibility to employers and industry leaders. As an example, a record 14 creative firms and individuals came to the table at our annual Emerging Professionals Workshop this year, where they gave focused career advice to students and personally reviewed the portfolios of nearly 100 individuals. We also sought to help communities in need, leveraging the power of creativity to exhilarate and inspire. And broadly, we provided opportunities and avenues for creative people to shine and uplift others and their profession.
We created opportunities for inspiration
Whether on a macro level, through our acclaimed creative programming, or on a micro level, through situations that spark enthusiasm and revelation between creatives, inspiration is engrained in what we do as a community and organization. You can hear it in the collective gasp of awe in an audience when they see the work of an acclaimed design personality we may host as a speaker. You can also see it in the subtle glint of admiration in the eye of a young designer nervously talking to the design legend that has graciously paused to give them advice.
We connected and engaged
When opportunity calls, our creative community answers in record numbers. As an indicator of that enthusiasm, in the past year, nearly all of our events and programs have reached capacity. And, now more than ever before, people come with their hands raised to help. As an organization, our pool of willing volunteers has never been deeper or more diverse. Our newest Board of Directors is a reflection of this, containing both creatives and non-creatives, all equally willing to support our mission of advancing design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. We have also engaged with some of the state’s most credible arts organizations and institutions to expand our collective influence to the benefit of our respective communities.
We grew together
Our AIGA Chapter is perhaps the most visible representation of Connecticut’s vibrant creative community. As a litmus test for its health, we continue to grow as an organization. The willingness of individuals to invest in any organization is both a personal sacrifice, and a tremendous endorsement of that organization’s cause. We are eternally thankful to continue to receive the generous commitment and support of our members. Your support has transformed Connecticut into the second largest AIGA Chapter in New England in six short years. That growth is the amplification of your voice, and is firm proof that there is creative life between our neighbors in Boston and New York.
I’d like to close by looking forward. I am genuinely excited by the power and potential of our new Board of Directors, led by Kim Barker-Craven as Presdient, and Rena Debortoli as Vice President. It is truly a roster of individuals who are equally capable and passionate, and I am honored to continue to work alongside them. Thank you for the opportunity to serve, and for all you have done to support AIGA Connecticut.
President, AIGA Connecticut, 2012 – 2014
P.S. I’d like to personally thank Tyler Rine, Kim Barker-Craven and all of our previous Board Members, Volunteers and Advisors who have sacrificed so many hours of their personal time and brainpower to the benefit of our organization and community. While your hard work is invisible to most, its result is abundantly clear.