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Escape to Italy, NIAUSI Fellows Return...and Present

Come join NIAUSI for a virtual trip to Italy - an evening of wine and song and exotic accents - on January 27th as we welcome our returning 2004 Fellows. Mary Ann Peters, Cory Crocker, and MJ Anderson will present their work and share experiences from their months exploring Civita through the auspices of our fellowships. This is the very core of our mission, and we are proud of their work.

An additional highlight will be our raffle to win a trip to Civita itself! Bellissimo!

111 South Jackson Street
Pioneer Square
January 27, 2005 
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

World Monuments Fund

The World Monuments Fund - Our Application

Founded in 1965, the New York-based World Monuments Fund (WMF) is dedicated to the preservation of significant and endangered works of art and architecture worldwide through advocacy, financial support, fieldwork, education, and training. WMF works with governments, local organizations, and partners around the world, and has contributed to more than 400 projects in over 80 countries.

One of WMF's most effective tools in its quest to safeguard the world's cultural heritage is the World Monuments Watch, a biennial listing of the 100 Most Endangered Sites. Launched in 1995. The list highlights the plight of threatened cultural heritage sites by raising their visibility and attracting the financial and technical resources they often desperately need for conservation. For many communities around the world, the Watch may be the only hope they have of saving their endangered sites.

Watch listing differs from historic landmark designation, a permanent recognition established by governments or regulatory agencies. The Watch list serves not only to convey an honorary designation, but to affect change by targeting key problems and devising solutions for sites at risk. Sites selected for inclusion on the Watch list change with each two-year cycle. Ideally, WMF hopes to remove sites from any given list within the two-year period, hoping that their issues have been addressed and that they are making significant progress toward a sustainable condition.

In December 2004, NIAUSI submitted an application to nominate Civita di Bagnoregio to WMF's 100 Most Endangered Sites list. A large portion of the town's medieval fabric is in danger of sliding away due to erosion. As evidenced by successful consolidation projects in nearby Umbria and by recent geotechnical studies of Civita, this situation is correctable but costly. Small erosion control projects have been executed, but they lack cohesive vision. Legislation requested by the Region of Lazio could have appropriated necessary funds, but its passage is unlikely in Italy's present economic climate. Civita cannot wait.

Publicity has made Civita internationally known, vastly increasing tourism and the need to accommodate it. Active planning and conservation advocacy is essential. NIAUSI is well-positioned to serve that role. With over 20 years of experience raising modest funds to support fellowships in Lazio, NIAUSI has relied on volunteers in the American and Italian design communities to accomplish its goals. The considerable goodwill generated by NIAUSI's efforts, and the accomplishments of Professor Astra Zarina's Civita-based academic programs, allow NIAUSI to serve as effective advocates for the local government's efforts to secure funding.

Listing of Civita di Bagnoregio in the World Monument Watch's 100 Most Endangered Sites will help gain international credibility for NIAUSI's and the local government's endeavors. WMW recognition of Civita would further carry enormous weight in securing funding for the immediate consolidation project and future conservation efforts.

NIAUSI, Professor Zarina, and the Mayor of Bagnoregio propose that a symposium be convened to address the geological crisis, from which plans for concrete action will be developed and documented. Funding is sought from the WMF to host the symposium.

NIAUSI expects to hear from WMF about its decisions on the World Monuments Watch and the symposium funding in mid-2005.


Imperiled Civita di Bagnoregio

NIAUSI Plans a Busy Year

2005 is shaping up to be a busy year for the Northwest Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in Italy. In addition to the annual fellowship and residency awards, the NIAUSI board is planning new fundraising and community events and developing the next steps for the Civita Institute. Some of the upcoming events are as follows:

Winter 2005

Fellowship Presentations
NIAUSI will kick off the new year January 27th when it welcomes back the 2003/2004 Fellow, MJ Anderson and Residents Cory Crocker and Mary Ann Peters for an evening of presentations and celebration. The fellow and residents will give formal presentations as well as exhibit their work. The event is open to the public (see related article above).

Individual and Corporate Sponsorship Drive
February and March will bring the beginning of our individual and corporate sponsorship drive. NIAUSI will be asking many of you to help support our mission to enrich and contribute to the Northwest design community through our fellowship programs, design charettes and outreach activities.

Spring 2005

Website Expansion
An expansion and update to our website are planned for early spring. The changes will include more information, easier access and an updated calendar to keep track of our events.

2004/2005 Fellow and Resident in Civita
This spring our 2004/2005 Fellow and Resident will be in Civita. James Harrison will be in Civita to study indigenous masonry techniques and Betty Torrell will be there to document and study the fireplaces of Civita and their relationship to the concept of home.

2005/2006 Fellowship Application Available
Springtime also brings the release of the 2005/2006 Fellowship and Resident Applications. Look for the applications to be available online in late March with applications due in mid June and award notification in early July.

Annual Fundraiser Party
Our annual "big bash" fundraiser, with great food, wine, fabulous auction items and a few surprises is being planned for mid to late spring. Look for more information in our spring newsletter.

Summer 2005

World Monuments Watch Designation
In June NIAUSI finds out whether Civita di Bagnoregio receives the distinguished World Monuments Fund 100 Most Endangered Sites designation. Through a joint effort between the community of Bagnoregio, Professor Astra Zarina, Tony Costa Heywood and NIAUSI, an application was submitted in late November. The designation will help Civita and the surrounding communities finance and formulate a plan to save Civita, its cultural heritage and the surrounding landscape.

Annual Retreat
Early summer brings the NIAUSI annual board retreat. This is the time when the board meets outside the city for an entire day to review the accomplishments and failures of the past year, revise the long-range plan and select new officers.

Fellowship and Residency Selection
In late June, the 2005/2006 Fellowship and Residencies jury will convene and make its selections. Award notification will occur shortly thereafter.

Fall 2005

Draft Proposal for the Civita Institute
Early fall, NIAUSI will produce a draft model plan for the Civita Institute. This draft will spell out NIAUSI's plans for the Civita Institute in the coming years. An advisory board will be set up for review and comment. A final plan will be approved and implemented in mid fall.

Civita Institute Kick-off Fundraiser
A special fall fundraising to formally kick off the Civita Institute is scheduled for mid fall. Look for updates in our quarterly newsletter.

Board Recruitment
Every two years the NIAUSI board looks for new qualified members to join the board. Nominations will be accepted in mid to late fall with board membership beginning by the end of the year.

Clark Pickett


Civita Institute: an Update

Besides the drafting of a model plan to guide our development, a major focus of the Civita Institute this year is to research and adopt standards for the organization of our scholarly archives. Ben Dalton, a masters student in architecture from the University of Washington, is working with the institute to map the steps to digitize and organize our extensive collection.

The process will involve scanning drawings, documents, maps, and photographs to make these articles available to scholars and researchers interested in Civita and other Italian hilltowns.

Watercolor by
J. Brandt

To contribute your personal images and materials related to Civita to our collection, please contact us.

Any donations of used or new digitizing equipment would be most appreciated and are tax-deductible. In particular, we require flatbed scanners, printers, computers and photography equipment.



Construction Improvements in Civita
The brick floor in the studio bedroom has been taken up and and will be reinstalled so that no more dust will sift through the wood ceiling above the studio below. Salvatore Arcangeli started work this week so that the studio will be ready in time for the next Institute Fellow. He will also rebuild the roof over the studio kitchen and replace the leaking gutters.

The owner of the apartment over the studio kitchen has agreed to sell the apartment to Astra and Tony. They hope to close the sale the first week of February. The three rooms must be restored but, when finished, there will be a place for a couple of other fellows. There is also space for new bathrooms and the possibility of interconnecting the apartment with the studio and the ruderino.

Guest Editor: Cory Crocker
©2005 NIAUSI, c/o Current, 629 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98104 |