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Amtrak Cascades


De Laurenti

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Montvale Hotel Spokane


Pink Door

Vespa Seattle


W Hotel Seattle


2006 Fellowship Season Begins

by Herschel Parnes

2006 will be a busy year at NIAUSI's facility in Civita. Between May and October, four NIAUSI Fellows will have the opportunity to pursue topics of interest while living, working, and participating in the daily life of this unique hilltown. The first will be Alan Maskin, an architect from Seattle, who will be in residence in May and June. While in Civita, Alan will create a graphic inventory as a means of 'reading' the town, using techniques similar to those he learned twenty years ago as a student in UW's Architecture in Rome program - this time from the perspective of a mid-career professional.

2006 Fellow Miriam Ginsburg will be in Civita in September-October and will be looking at fundamental issues related to preservation, exploring the continuum from actively preserved vitality, through abandonment and deterioration, and on to disappearance. The nature of physical transformation, and its cultural and anthropological context will be part of her research.

Seattle public artist/light sculptor Dan Corson will also be in Civita in the fall as a 2006 Fellow. His intention is to investigate the nature of light, both natural and artificial, in subterranean and hidden spaces. Dan plans to document many of these spaces using several different revealing methodologies, informed by history as well as mythology, and bringing to these investigations a perspective gained from years of exploring the interplay of light, sculpture, the natural and the man-made.

Wave Rave Cave
2005-2006 Fellow Dan Corson's 'Wave Rave Cave', Seattle, 2004

In addition, Betty Torrell, one of our 2004-2005 Fellows, had to reschedule her time in Civita to this July and August, thus filling out the schedule. She will be exploring the idea of the hearth as a cultural artifact, through its history, its context, its function, and its meaning in contemporary building.

We are very excited about these projects and we're confident that the experiences and insights gained during their stay in Civita will be beneficial to our fellows as well as to the Pacific Northwest community.

NIAUSI is in the process of updating our Fellowship Application for 2007. We expect to have it available in April. Please check for it on our website or email the Fellowship Committee.


Civita and the World Monuments Watch Update

by Ross Whitehead

Civita di Bagnoregio, home to NIAUSI's fellowship facilities and the Civita Institute, is now officially on the World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered Sites 2006. The designation has a two year duration. To make the most of this short time, NIAUSI President Clark Pickett, Vice President Iole Alessandrini, and board member Ross Whitehead traveled to New York City in February to meet with our World Monuments Fund (WMF) advocate and Director of Programs, Norma Barbacci, and WMF Vice President for Field Projects, John Stubbs.

This proved energizing, but highlighted the significant work ahead. Following our meeting, John Stubbs traveled to Italy and visited Astra Zarina and Tony Costa Heywood in Civita.

Our principal aim with the Watch listing is to convene an international symposium dedicated to developing, documenting, coordinating, and ultimately funding conservation measures at Civita, chief among them the geological stabilization of its bluffs.

To this end, the World Monuments Fund has provided seed money through American Express, founding sponsor of the World Monuments Watch, and connected us with hilltowns in southern Tuscany listed on the 100 Most Endangered Sites list in 2004. These towns, principally Pitigliano, Sorano, and Manciano, are located due west of Civita and face similar conversation issues related to geological instability and economic obsolescence.

100 Most Endangered Sites 2006
ICON is a quarterly publication of the World Monuments Fund. To become a WMF member, contact Ross Whitehead or

As envisioned by the WMF, our symposium, while still located in Civita, will expand to include the Tuscan towns as well as cultural and economic issues generally affecting Italian hilltowns.

In the coming months, NIAUSI will establish a relationship with the sponsor of the Tuscan hillltowns listing, and will reach out to the Italian and Northwest professional community to develop topics and participants for the symposium. We will also seek additional funding, through individual and corporate sponsors and through such conservation-minded organizations as the Kress Foundation.

We encourage our supporters to consider topics within their areas of expertise applicable to Italian Hilltowns, and to contact NIAUSI's WMW Committee Chair Ross Whitehead or in Europe, Professor Zarina. At present, we intend the symposium to be held in Spring 2007.


A Successful Celebration: Una dei Cento

by Mark Millett

In November of last year we gathered together to celebrate our success in getting Civita di Bagnoregio designated as one of the world's 100 most endangered sites by the World Monuments Fund. While turnout on that rainy Veterans Day was a little less monumental than we had hoped, we achieved our fund raising goals, enjoyed socializing with our friends, and had excellent Italian wine and hors-d'oeuvres supplied by the Pink Door.

The surroundings of beautiful Italian furniture and lighting at Current set an appropriate design tone as did the vintage Vespa loaned to us by Vespa Seattle.

We met the new Fellows, Dan Corson, Alan Maskin and Miriam Ginsberg, and heard about their proposed projects. We also talked about the Civita International Symposium that focuses on the stabilization and preservation of the town scheduled for the Spring of 2007.

Of course we also raised funds for our work by accepting donations and by auctioning off week-long stays in Civita, trips, hotel stays, vacation hideaways and restaurant  certificates.  Many thanks to our supporting individuals and businesses (Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, nbbj, W Hotel Seattle, Amtrak Cascades, Pink Door, Montvale Hotel Spokane, Current, Vespa Seattle, De Laurenti, Volterra, and others).

©2006 NIAUSI, c/o Current, 629 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98104 |