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Greetings from NIAUSI!
Exciting things are happening these days, and we thought we would get the word out!

"Visione e Commemorazione"

Our recent event on November 7, 2008 in Seattle

On November 7, NIAUSI hosted our "Visione e Commemorazione" event to honor our late dear friend Astra Zarina, architect, professor, and one of the founders of NIAUSI, and outline Astra's, Tony Costa Heywood's, and NIAUSI's shared vision for the future. The event was held at NBBJ's "Giant Steps" space in Seattle. Fine food, wine, and conversation set the tone for the event.

NIAUSI president Stephen Day presented a retrospective including the founding of NIAUSI and the Civita Institute, along with new membership program opportunities (see below). Clark Pickett showed a poignant film about Astra's life, teaching, and legacy.

The three 2007-2008 NIAUSI Fellows, Bill Hook, Kristian Kofoed, and Ann Hirschi, presented their work drawn from the breadth of inspiration gained while staying at the NIAUSI facilities in Italy. And the recently named 2009 Fellows were announced (see below).

Visione e Commemorazione Event

We would like to thank the many "friends of NIAUSI" who attended and helped make this such a special event. We also wish to thank our event sponsors: NBBJ for generously providing the space, staff and resources and to Café Lago and Tutta Bella Columbia City, and Tutta Bella Stone Way restaurants for providing portions of the food.


The Zarina-Heywood Gift

and the Civita Institute

Tony Costa Heywood and Astra Zarina

In 2007, NIAUSI entered into a long term agreement with the late Professor Emerita Astra Zarina and Architect Tony Costa Heywood to cooperate in the development of a permanent study center in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy: the "Civita Institute." As part of that agreement, Astra and Tony agreed to donate to NIAUSI several buildings that they had restored over the years in Civita to be used in connection with the work of NIAUSI and the Civita Institute.

As announced at the "Visione e Commemorazione" event, NIAUSI is inviting all of our partners from the last twenty-seven years - and new friends - to join us in this historic endeavor by becoming NIAUSI Members (see below).

The Civita Institute is establishing an arts-based study, research, and educational center to be housed in these and other historic buildings located in the ancient center of Civita. The Civita Institute facilities will be used to further the mission of the Civita Institute: to inspire and foster an interdisciplinary understanding of the unique qualities of Italian hilltowns and their environs that remain pertinent to our contemporary experience, through the promotion of architectural studies, historic preservation, scholarly research, artistic creation, and professional exploration.

We will be providing updates on the Civita Institute work through our web site and newsletters as we move forward with these exciting and challenging opportunities.


Our New Membership Program

The Opportunity to Become a "Founding Member" of NIAUSI

Twenty-seven years after its inception, NIAUSI is becoming a member-supported organization! NIAUSI invites friends, colleagues, and all interested parties to join our new membership program to further the missions of NIAUSI and the Civita Institute.

In order to be listed on our rolls as a Founding Member of NIAUSI you must join us as a member before December 31, 2008. The Visione e Commemorazione event at NBBJ was the official launch of our membership program. But those who would still like to join us as Founding Members can find the enrollment and Membership information materials at our website.

In addition to supporting NIAUSI's mission in the Pacific Northwest and Italy, members at certain donor levels have the opportunity to stay at the historic, restored Civita Institute facilities, located in Civita di Bagnoregio, along with other member benefits.

This is a wonderful opportunity to visit Italy and stay in remarkable historic facilities, in your own private house – not as an anonymous tourist but as a Member of a nonprofit organization that is working to further goals you believe in.

Funds from our Members will be used to sponsor fellows, provide necessary maintenance and repairs at the Civita Institute, provide for operating costs at the Institute, and allow us to expand programs.

New Addition

Please view a short video of the recently renovated Civita Institute facilities. We will be providing additional materials describing the Civita facilities on our web site in coming weeks.


NIAUSI Advisory Group

Civita di Bagnoregio

NIAUSI is excited to announce its group of Advisors, which will take an active role in providing input and feedback to the Board and organization in the years to come.

Our Advisors include: David Hoedemaker, Steven Holl, Elaine Day Latourelle, Dennis Ryan, and Peter Steinbrueck.


NIAUSI's 2009 Fellowship Program

Since 1985, NIAUSI has funded a unique fellowship program that has supported cultural exchange and creative exploration in Italy by Northwest architects, designers and artists. We convened an esteemed panel of jurors to select our new Fellows.

Many distinguished and talented applicants submitted proposals in our latest 2009 NIAUSI Fellowship Application.

Our jury chose our three 2009 Fellows, as follows:

Two Month Fellowship:

Clair Enlow is a freelance journalist with a special focus on the built environment. Clair was an editor and has been a writer for the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce and has contributed to numerous magazines. Clair will be investigating the processes by which decisions are made relating to modern development within historical contexts, and looking for useful parallels between what she finds in Italy and what she has observed here at home.

One Month Fellowships:

Perri Lynch is a Seattle artist and teacher who intends to investigate sound as a spatial force, using a combination of photographic and audio techniques to explore unique spaces, intersections and thresholds in Civita with both residents and visitors playing a role in these explorations.

Jennifer Milliron and Edward LaLonde, both architects, will share a one month fellowship. Entitled Vertical City - Seattle, their project will examine the implications of living, working, and moving through places of extreme topography. The insights gained will assist them in demonstrating how we might capitalize on the positive attributes of our own unique topography.

Civita di Bagnoregio


The World Monuments Fund Symposium

Conservation and Sustainable Development of Civita di Bagnoregio and the Tuff Towns of Central Italy, May 2008

Josh, Jesse and moderator on scooter

NIAUSI, together with the New York-based World Monuments Fund and several Italian organizations, conducted anáinternational symposium focusing on the geologic and cultural sustainability of Civita di Bagnoregio and certain related tufa or tuff-based hilltowns (the "Tuff Towns" as they are referred to by geologists). This remarkable gathering, moderated by NIAUSI Board members Iole Alessandrini and Jesse Nickerson, took place May 14-18, 2008, with funding by WMF, American Express and the Kress Foundation and extensive in-kind support and expertise provided by NIAUSI.áá

Local and international experts and support professionals wereáhosted by the late Professor Emerita AstraáZarina, Architect Tony Costa Heywood,áNIAUSI, the WMF, the Civitonici (residents of Civita), and the Mayors and Comunes of Bagnoregio, Pitigliano, and Orvieto.

Participants convened in Civita for the symposium for the majority of the event, traveled to Pitigliano and Orvieto for presentations and tours, learned about the recent and substantial geological stabilization efforts in the area, and discussed/forged needed future partnerships and interventions to assure the geologic, cultural, and economic sustainability of these most amazing towns.

We eagerly await the full report from the WMF and are working on strengthening the partnerships forged through this dramatic and consequential symposium through future events. This symposium also provided an initial opportunity to hold an ambitious international conference using Civita facilities and to support local vendors for lodging, catering, restaurants and conference spaces.

The conference was a great success and we look forward to developing additional retreats, conferences, educational programs and arts-focused tours in furthering the mission of the Civita Institute and NIAUSI.

Stay tunedů


Artists with Disabilities

Hosted at the Civita Institute Facilities

Three talented artists with Down Syndrome, painter Lupita Cano of Seattle, photographer Clara Link of Tacoma, and watercolorist / performance artist Dylan Kuehl of Olympia, along with their chaperones and a NIAUSI guide, experienced a once in a lifetime art sojourn in Italy including a four day stay at the Civita Institute facilities. The trip occurred October 27th through November 3rd and included cultural and art experiences in Rome, Orvieto, Bagnoregio, Civita, and Todi.

Our Website

The three were able to raise over $5,000 to fund their expenses and are now dedicating themselves, with support, to creating a book, video, and public presentations of their experiences. NIAUSI is proud to support inclusion of people with disabilities in the artistic, cultural, and historical experience of Italy.


Updating OuráContactáList

NIAUSI is always updating ourácontactálist. Please send email and other contact information for yourself and interested others to Stephen Day, president of the NIAUSI Board.

Special thanks to Cory Crocker and his team at Well Built Web for their extraordinary dedication to assisting us with our web page, contact list, and newsletters.
©2008 NIAUSI, The Skinner Building, 1326 Fifth Avenue, Suite 654, Seattle, WA 98101 |