No one has given more to Michigan architecture than Rae Dumke, Hon. AIA. With fifty-four years of service to architects and architecture in the state of Michigan, both as the long-time Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects Michigan (AIAM) and since 2011, as a Trustee of the Michigan Architectural Foundation (MAF), Rae is a one-of-kind and devoted leader. MAF is proud to announce that Rae is the recipient of the 2020 Michigan Architectural Foundation Leadership Award.
In only nine years since her retirement, Rae has made the greatest impact on children’s architectural education of anyone in Michigan. In 2011, she worked with MAF to establish the Rae Dumke Development Fund, an endowment focused on supporting architectural education for youth and general information on architecture for adults. Rae formed a strong advisory committee for the fund, then proceeded to create unique architecture-related educational materials and resources in keeping with the fund’s vision. She also partnered with Doug Koschik, Library Director, and Stephanie Klimmek, Head of Youth Services at Birmingham’s Baldwin Library, to help curate the fund’s two architecture book collections.
In 2014, a collection of books primarily for adults and teens, titled the 100 Essential Architecture Books, was developed through the fund, and introduced at an event that celebrated its founding and attracted 150 attendees. The collection is housed at Baldwin Library and available to all Michigan residents via the MelCat interlibrary loan borrowing service. The Essential Architecture Books Collection now numbers over 140 titles; in the coming months, the collection will expand again, with the addition of 25 volumes spotlighting Women in Architecture. Rae collaborated with University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture Distinguished Professor and Dean Emeritus Stephen Vogel, FAIA, and other AIA (American Institute of Architects) Michigan architects to develop the Women in Architecture collection.
In 2015, a second book collection of 100 volumes called Build Imagination, for preschool through 8th grade children, was developed. Today, the Build Imagination collection has an unprecedented 423 volumes circulated. The Build Imagination collection also is housed at Baldwin Library, with an expansion of the program that includes hospital pediatric wards and medical care-related facilities throughout Michigan. In addition to the books, the Build Imagination program features STEM-based learning kits for hands-on, in-library use by children.
The Dumke Fund currently is planning the introduction of the Architectural Maker Kits program, designed to provide tools for children to engage in hands-on learning of architectural concepts. Fifteen Michigan public libraries will receive the kits, making the program accessible to thousands of children throughout the state.
Rae’s philanthropy extends to other MAF projects as well. Through MAF’s Dumke Fund, she has provided support for the documentary film ‘The Wizard of Boulder Park’; the Tincknell Fund; the restoration of the Frank Lloyd Wright Affleck House; and the architecture degree programs at Lawrence Technological University, University of Detroit Mercy, and the University of Michigan.
Rae’s leadership in the programming and content development of architectural education materials for children and adults alike is unparalleled. Her vision, leadership and execution of these programs is a model for others who want to educate and inspire creativity in children, and advance awareness of how architecture makes life better for everyone. MAF owes Rae our gratitude for forging a better future for all of Michigan’s residents.