Preserving our past…celebrating our future, our donors, and one another…. supporting the next generation of architects and our communities. For the Michigan Architectural Foundation, 2023 was marked by a number of milestones and successes. Let’s take a look back at the rewarding and fruitful past year.
SUPPORTING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ARCHITECTS: MAF 2023 SCHOLARSHIPS
In 2023, MAF awarded scholarships totaling $33,500 to twelve Michigan college and university architecture students. This year, the new AIA Grand Rapids Scholarship was added to the scholarships administered by MAF; AIA Grand Rapids scholarships were awarded to two students in 2023. Find out more about the scholarship winners here.
The 2024 MAF Scholarship application period opens in January; be sure to check the MAF website and MAF’s social media channels and newsletter for important announcements, including application deadlines, here.
FROM PRESERVING HISTORIC MUSIC VENUES TO PODCASTS AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS: MAF 2023 GRANTS
MAF awarded its 2023 Evans Graham Preservation Award to the Detroit Sound Conservancy (DSC). The $20,000 grant will help support the DSC’s preservation and rehabilitation of The Blue Bird Inn, a historic jazz club located on Detroit’s Old West Side, which is being restored for use as a neighborhood music venue, and multi-use community and arts space.
Applications for MAF’s 2024 Evans Graham Preservation Award will be accepted starting in January. Be sure to check the MAF website and MAF’s social media channels and newsletter for important announcements, including application deadlines (and read more about the grants, and the grant process, here).
Among the 2023 awardees for MAF’s Architecture Awareness grants (which were renamed this year to the MAF Damian Farrell Architecture Awareness Grants program (in honor of the program’s longtime chair and champion) were two Michigan architecture-based podcasts: Hidden in Plain Sight, which shares the stories of Michigan’s Black architectural community; and the Forming Function Podcast, which promotes the role and impact of design in everyday lives with approachable, educational, humorous, and entertaining stories that reveal why the world is designed the way it is, along with Michigan design stories that highlight the state’s architectural influence on the rest of the world.
MAF also introduced its new Educational Awareness Grants program. The grants support architecture-based education projects and programs intended to benefit students under the age of 18 years old throughout the state of Michigan. Each year the grant program will award up to $20,000 to help support architecture-related education programs that engage students in creative ways. Applicants may include but are not limited to public broadcasters, summer camps, neighborhood associations, public libraries, children’s museums, and other non-profit entities. Among the program’s first grantees were NOMA (National Association of Minority Architects) Detroit for its Project Pipeline Camps in Detroit and Kalamazoo; Birmingham’s Baldwin Public Library; ACE West Michigan; Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center; Glen Arbor Arts Center; and Munising Public Schools.
GENERATING PRIDE IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND HISTORY: MUST SEE MICHIGAN ARCHITECTURE
In 2023, MAF highlighted some of Michigan’s most architecturally-interesting and significant structures, in one of our most popular ongoing features, Must-See Michigan Architecture.
This year, we covered Meadowbrook Hall, Detroit’s Fox Theatre, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Affleck House and Meyer May House, Lafayette Iron Works, Charlevoix’s Mushroom Houses, Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, Michigan’s Googie Architecture, and University of Michigan’s A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning building, among others.
HONORING THOSE WHO HELP MAF ADVANCE AWARENESS OF HOW ARCHITECTURE ENRICHES LIFE
MAF also recognized many of its supporters and donors in 2023, including hosting its annual donor appreciation event in late April at the historic St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids. The purpose of the event was to thank MAF’s donors and to celebrate with scholarship winners and those who share a common love of Michigan architecture, the built environment, and the importance of nurturing future architects.
The foundation also awarded MAF board member and longtime scholarship fund supporter Kathy Banicki with its 2023 MAF Leadership Award. The selection was made in recognition of Kathy’s passion for supporting architectural education programs for young people, which drives her tireless, long-standing commitment to MAF. MAF board member and scholarship program co-chair Jeff Hausman, FAIA, was profiled, highlighting his support for the next generation of architectural talent.
And as mentioned above, MAF’s Architecture Awareness Grants program was renamed in honor of late MAF Board Member and long-time grant program leader Damian Farrell, in recognition of his dedication and commitment to growing the program and to advancing awareness of how architecture enriches life.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: MAF’S ARCHITECTURE ROAD TRIP SERIES
Once again, MAF took Michigan drivers and lovers of architecture on the road to explore Michigan architecture and sites, in its popular Architecture Road Trip series.
The theme for this year’s series was Michigan festivals; each tour explored architecture around the towns or en route to some of Michigan’s most popular festivals, including The National Cherry Festival, Grand Haven Art Festival, and Bay City Fireworks Festival; Blue Water Festival, Ann Arbor Art Fair, and Charlevoix Venetian Festival; the
Upper Peninsula State Fair, Eagle Harbor Art Fair, and Porcupine Mountains Music Festival; North American International Auto Show and ArtPrize; and a variety of festivals in Lansing, Muskegon, and on the campus of Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills.
CONNECTING PEOPLE OF ALL AGES TO (FREE!) ARCHITECTURAL RESOURCES AND EDUCATION
MAF expanded the reach of its children’s ArchiTreks program through broadcast on the PBS-affiliated Michigan Learning Channel. Birmingham’s Baldwin Public Library utilized its MAF Build Imagination Toy Kit for a STEAM-based child and parent play day event; and parents, teachers, libraries, grandparents, and educational program leaders continued to utilize MAF’S (free) architecture-based programs for kids, ArchiTreks and Architecture: it’s Elementary, to inspire creativity and steam learning, and fuel the imaginations of young students.
MAF also continued to highlight architecture book collections, including the Building Imagination collection for children; the 100 Essential Architecture Books (for older children and adults); and a special collection of books by and about women in architecture. All three collections are housed at Birmingham’s Baldwin Library and available statewide through inter-library loan (contact your local library for details).
Each collection was funded by MAF’s Rae Dumke Development Fund, and curated by Baldwin Library staff and MAF’s Library Committee (chaired by MAF trustee and retired long-time AIA Michigan Executive Director Rae Dumke, Hon. AIA; Rae received MAF’s Leadership Award in 2020).
AN EVENTFUL YEAR: 2023 MAF EVENTS
In 2023, MAF hosted several events to recognize its supporters and donors; raise money for its programs; and for networking and camaraderie among guests.
As previously mentioned in this article, MAF recognized many of its supporters and donors at its annual Donor Appreciation Event in late April at the historic St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids. MAF’s ‘Fore a Great Cause’ golf outing in May raised nearly $23,000 for MAF scholarships and education programs. The golf outing featured the first of two annual MAF live Auction for Education events (the second MAF Auction for Education is held during the summer AIA Michigan / AGC Michigan Midsummer Conference in August.
MAF capped the year with the MAF Banicki Scholarship Fund event in November, honoring long-time MAF supporters Katherine and the late John Banicki. Nearly $20,000 was raised; all event proceeds benefitted MAF’s Katherine and John Banicki Scholarship Fund. (read the story in this month’s MAF newsletter).