NIAUSI Newsletter

Spring 2009

Email Us

NIAUSI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization


Corporate Supporters

American Express

Amtrak Cascades

Café Lago Seattle

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

The Heathman Hotel Portland

Montvale Hotel Spokane


Steven Holl Architects

Tutta Bella Seattle

W Hotel Seattle

World Monuments Fund

Zimmer Gunsel Frasca



Messages from Civita and Rome

Following the Earthquake

We have heard from NIAUSI members Tony Heywood (in Civita) and Kathleen Rasmussen (in Rome) following the April 6 earthquake in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. Tony and all in Civita are well - there were only very slight tremors felt there, with no visible damage to structures.

Kathleen tells us that Romans experienced significant jolts early Monday morning, but so far there is only very minor damage in the capital.

Our thoughts are with those in Abruzzo, where many lives have been lost, with serious damage to cultural resources. Here is a link to related articles, photos and video in Il Messaggero.


Welcome to Our New Members

Congratulations and thanks again to all of our new Members. Our first annual NIAUSI Membership drive was very successful. Your support allows NIAUSI to continue its 25 year-old mission, to maintain its facilities in Italy, to fund its fellowship programs and to support cultural connections between Italy and the Pacific Northwest. Follow this link to our Founding Members page on our website to see our new members.

Civita di Bagnoregio.

Civita di Bagnoregio. Photo by Clark Pickett


Stay at Civita!

Make plans soon for your stay at the NIAUSI facilities in Italy

NIAUSI members that join at the "Sustaining Member" ($500) level and above are granted the benefit of staying at one of the houses that are part of the NIAUSI facilities in Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy. These historic houses have been skillfully restored over the years and provide an ideal base for exploring the hilltowns and other remarkable cultural sites of central Italy.

Click here for details about the Member Stay Program. Also note that you can always increase your Membership level to increase the Member stay benefit.

Please note that this benefit must be used by any individual Member within a certain period, varying from one to five years after your membership begins, depending on the Member level. So it is important that you plan ahead.

We still have many opportunities for Member visits to the facilities during 2009 - but you should reserve soon if you are planning your Italian journey.

NIAUSI facilities, Civita.

NIAUSI facilities, Civita. Photo by Jim Corey

Staying at the NIAUSI facilties as a Member is a great way to connect with Italy, while supporting the work and mission of NIAUSI.

We hope to see you in Civita soon!


Buon Viaggio to Our Current Fellows

As most of you know, for over 25 years NIAUSI has awarded fellowships to architects, designers and artists, for research and travel to Italy. See our web site for further information regarding our Fellowship program and the application process. Over dinner at Cafe Lago in January, several board members met with the 2009 Fellows and Betty Torrell, one of our 2005 Fellows, to discuss logisitics for their residencies in Civita.

With additional support from the AIA Foundation and the Raynier Foundation, Betty Torrell will be the first of the current group to travel to Civita, spending the months of July and August studying the hearths of Civita. Clair Enlow will arrive at the beginning of September for a two month residency during which she will be looking at decision making processes relating to development in historical contexts.

Overlapping with Clair, Jennifer Milliron and Edward LaLonde will be in Civita for the month of September, investigating the implications of extreme topography on spatial organization and the activities of everyday life. Finally, Perri Lynch will spend part of October and November using audio and visual techniques to study sound as a spatial force.

Civita from campanile.

Civita from campanile. Photo by Iole Alessandrini

It was clear from our meeting that our Fellows (and the Board) are anticipating their residencies with great hopes. When coupled with the fellows' overlapping timeframes and interests, the prospect for creative synergies among them is very exciting. We look forward to hearing reports about their explorations this coming fall.


Call for NIAUSI Board Members

One of NIAUSI's core assets is its volunteer Board of Directors. The NIAUSI Board is (and has been over the past 25 years) a dedicated, committed and talented group of individuals who share a passion for architecture, history, art, cultural connections - and a passion for exploring Italy's contributions to world heritage.

With our expanding mission that includes new program and facility goals in Italy, we have decided to expand the number of Board members from the current ten Directors to a total of fifteen.

The Board meets monthly in Seattle, to discuss NIAUSI matters (over antipasti and wine, of course), in addition to a small number of special purpose meetings.

Aurelian arches, Rome.
Aurelian arches, Rome. Photo by Tom Miller

Most Board members are also involved in one or more committees that work on special projects or tasks (such as the Fellowship committee, the Italian Facilities committee and the Membership committee).

If you have an interest in joining the Board, please email NIAUSI Board president Stephen Day.


Call for NIAUSI Committee Members

Another one of NIAUSI's great strengths is its remarkable group of supporters in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Re-casting NIAUSI as a member-supported organization has allowed our Members to participate in special projects in support of NIAUSI's mission - recognizing that most Members do not have the time or inclination to serve on the Board.

  • Fellowships: Herschel Parnes and Iole Alessandrini, chairs
  • Membership: Jim Corey, chair
  • Italian Facilities: Clark Pickett, chair
  • Fundraising and Donors: Nancy Josephson, chair
  • Strategic Planning: Stephen Day, chair

NIAUSI has no paid staff, which allows this organization to keep overhead costs to an absolute minimum and to direct donor funds to most effectively serve NIAUSI's mission.

The Pantheon, Rome.
The Pantheon, Rome. Photo by Jim Corey

But we have many potential projects on the horizon - and we know that our Members have great vision, expertise and a desire to help shape this organization and its work over the coming years.

We need your help and your ideas. If you have an interest in joining forces with NIAUSI either in general or to work on a specific committee - or if you have an idea for a special project or NIAUSI program that you would like to propose (either in the Northwest or in Italy), please email NIAUSI Board president Stephen Day.


Message Regarding Astra Zarina

From the American Academy in Rome

The American Academy in Rome honored the late University of Washington Emerita Professor Astra Zarina, one of NIAUSI's founders, with a full page obituary on its Society of Fellows website, and mention on page two of its Winter 2009 newsletter.

Professor Zarina was the first woman to win the AAR Rome Prize in Architecture. "The obituary of Professor Zarina is the most viewed page in the history of our blog," reports T. Corey Brennan of the AAR.

A sketch of Professor Zarina by NIAUSI board member Jim Corey is also featured in the article.

A sketch of Professor Zarina.

Astra Zarina (2007), sketch by Jim Corey.

©2009 NIAUSI, The Skinner Building, 1326 Fifth Avenue, Suite 654, Seattle, WA 98101 |