Dear Members, Volunteers, and Friends,
Today marks the one year anniversary of AIGA Gainesville becoming a non-profit in the state of Florida. I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for your continued support of AIGA Gainesville and to take a look at everything we have accomplished. This time last year, a handful of dedicated volunteers had just completed several months of hard work to reach a goal of the 20 charter members needed to create a chapter. We now sit at 53 members, but the hard work hasn’t stopped.
In the past year, we have collaborated with so many of you to help create a community where design thrives. We brought Aaron Draplin to The Wooly and held a Graphic Novel Workshop at The Sequential Artist’s Workshop. We launched quarterly Community Meetings at Starter Space to make it easier for everyone to have a voice and help shape our chapter. We’ve networked at Drinks & Design each month at locations all over town and we have gathered for Coffee & Creatives to talk shop and get inspired by one another. But this is only the beginning.
Collaboration and involvement is the key to our success. Our chapter is fueled by volunteers and funded by local membership and sponsorship. As we head into our second year, I encourage you to make an effort to be more involved in AIGA Gainesville. Come out to more events. If you aren’t a member, please consider signing up. If you have an idea for a great workshop or a place for us to connect, reach out and let us know. We would love to help you make it happen. We are all looking for a place to connect and to develop professionally, but if we don’t all work together to create it, it just doesn’t exist.
The board is hard at work trying to put together more professional development opportunities for you this year. We would love to showcase all of you and the work you are doing and are looking for more ways to accomplish that.
I want to thank all of you again and I want to leave you with a few paragraphs that the board put together in the early months of our chapter. I like to think of it as our manifesto.
AIGA Gainesville exists today because our growing community and the needs of a maturing, vibrant and sophisticated business ecosystem have brought two things together: Decades of untapped local potential in the form of Gainesville’s design veterans, with an exploding group of new, fresh young talent who’ve chosen to make their mark here. Together, we’re making Gainesville a design destination.
We’ve got a never-ending youth movement, a constant stream of fresh ideas and fresh perspectives. One of the most highly educated, diverse and cultured populations in the state. We’ve got economic development spreading across all corners of our community in the health, tech and education sectors. And increased alignment between our city government, one of the largest preeminent public research universities in the nation, and an Aspen national #1 Community College. Not to mention an exceptional level of engagement between the public and our arts community.
Sh*t’s blowing up here, and we’re helping design it. Boom.
AIGA Gainesville stands for elevating our design community. Reducing the brain drain and connecting more talented people with opportunities to stay here. Growing the value of what our industry provides in a business community where “design thinking” is still a pretty new concept.
And most importantly, AIGA Gainesville is making the most of what designers here been waiting decades to prove to local businesses, marketers, and leaders: That we’re the real deal and we give a damn about this place just like you, and we’re in your own backyard doing amazing work.