After a combined eight years of serving as a board member for the Michigan Architectural Foundation, starting January 2, 2018, Tom Mathison has become the foundation’s president for a term that will last two years.
The Michigan Architectural Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and educating people about architecture and its relevance to daily life. It offers scholarships to architecture students and grants for community projects, as well as education programs to teach children K-12 about architecture.
Funding for these efforts comes primarily from donors in the community. To that end, Tom Mathison is planning MAF’s first donor appreciation event this spring. The event will showcase various projects and scholarship recipients that have benefited from donor generosity, communicating the importance of donor support and the foundation’s appreciation of them.
Looking to the future, Tom plans to strengthen existing efforts to educate people on the benefits and importance of architecture. He also seeks to create more relationships with local organizations; one existing relationship is with the Detroit Optimist Club. Other future developments include a new website, a program video for “Architecture, it’s Elementary,” and additional funds for grants.
Tom discussed how MAF’s impact reaches more than just local communities: “MAF Public Awareness Grants supported two films, ‘The Wizard of Boulder Place,’ a Michigan Emmy award winning film on Charlevoix’s Mushroom Houses, and a documentary on architect Eero Saarinen. Both have helped bring awareness of architecture in a format that reaches viewers worldwide.”
Regarding the choice to become involved with MAF in addition to the foundation’s growing impact, Tom said, “Along with creating quality buildings, places and experiences, as architects, that’s the sort of legacy we want our profession to leave.”
Learn more about the MAF on their website here.