National Endowment for the Arts Selects American Architectural Foundation As Administrator of Mayors' Institute on City Design
December 8, 2003
Washington, D.C. - After an extensive national selection process, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) today confirmed the selection of the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) to continue as administrator of its urban planning and design initiative, The Mayors' Institute on City Design (MICD). The MICD is headed by a cooperative partnership with the NEA, AAF and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Participants and supporters recognize the MICD as a successful model for how design professionals can engage civic leaders to create a better-built environment in our nation's cities. The AAF will serve, as it has for the last four years, as the managing partner for MICD assuring operational integrity and the daily administrative functions for the NEA program. Additionally the AAF will work to expand the MICD's reach to additional communities across the United States.
"NEA views the Mayors' Institute on City Design as our most significant program in the entire agency. We are delighted to announce the continuation of the American Architectural Foundation's excellent leadership of this program," said NEA Chair, Dana Gioia. "I have high ambitions for the MICD and am confident that our partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors will produce outstanding results."
Since 1998 the AAF has partnered with the NEA, and U.S. Conference of Mayors to lead this program working with over 250 participating mayors to lead redevelopment efforts that have extensively impacted cities from Cincinnati to San Antonio. Described by many mayors as the most meaningful experience during their public service, the MICD is a program that has a demonstrated history of providing great value to elected community leaders for nearly two decades.
"We are honored to have been selected by the NEA to continue our association with this important program," said AAF President and CEO, Ronald E. Bogle. "We are enthused by the leadership of NEA's new Chair, Dana Gioia, and are eager to work with Jeff Speck, NEA's new director of Design. Jeff's knowledge, experience and passion for city design will add enormous depth to the MICD. The AAF is eager to build on the foundation we have helped to create over the last few years to expand on the value and scope of MICD."
The MICD is dedicated to improving the design and livability of American cities by connecting mayors with foresight and expertise available through partnership with the design, development, and planning professions. They do this through institute sessions, which are designed to empower civic officials to make informed decisions. Certain core values about the design of cities are intrinsic to the program, including the necessity of livable communities, the importance of strong neighborhoods, and the merit inherent in preserving and enhancing each city's individual character.
Tom Cochran, Executive Director of the U.S. conference of Mayors, had this comment: "We are pleased to partner with the American Architectural Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts in this important effort. The Mayors' Institute is an important program for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and we are delighted that through the continued commitment of the AAF, this program has seen enormous success in numerous communities across the country."
Joseph P. Riley, Mayor of the City of Charleston, S.C., and founder of the Mayors' Institute is in full support of this continued partnership. "We are very happy with NEA's selection of the American Architectural Foundation to administer the MICD. They have done amazing things throughout their association with the MICD. Under the leadership of Ron Bogle and his staff, the foundation brings extensive community development and political capacity to the table, coupled with their past successes, and intense dedication, they are perfectly positioned to expand the MICD to new venues." Mayor Riley added, "I look forward to working with AAF and the partnership and impacting cities across the country as they have done here in Charleston. I can think of no other city that the MICD has worked so well, our city is consistently ranked as one of the most desirable destinations in the United States."
Since its inception in 1986, the program has received numerous honors including the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 2000. By striving to turn mayors into design advocates, the MICD focuses its efforts on the leaders who are closest to these communities and arguably have the most direct impact of the progressive design of our cities.
Beyond the American Architectural Foundation, The MICD draws on a number of other groups to provide assistance and resources including The American Institute of Architects, The Urban Land Institute, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, and The American Society of Landscape Architects.
Please see the Mayors' Institute web site at www.archfoundation.org/micd/
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