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GLIN==> News Release: Communities and Waterways Speaker Series

                                MN SEA GRANT
                                NEWS RELEASE

Contact: Tari Rayala, AIA, (218) 591-6892, tari_rayala@charter.net

Speaker Series to Focus on Connections Between Communities and Waterways

The Northern Minnesota component of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) invites the public to join an interactive speaker series starting at 7 p.m. on January 16 in Fitger's Northern Lights Theater. The three-part series, "Re-establishing Connections to Our Waterways," will engage architects, city planners, water resource specialists, and community members in dialogs culminating in a charrette (an intense period of collaborative design activity). The presentations are free and, after January's, will be held the second Tuesday of each month through March. Refreshments will be served.

"We're excited to bring this initiative to Northern Minnesota," said Tari Rayala, associate director for AIA Northern Minnesota and an architect with Architectural Resources in Duluth. "It's a way to connect with the history of the Laurentian watershed, and to consider how waterways contribute to our lifestyles. As a result of this series, we intend to develop policies outlining the responsibilities of communities and individuals towards maintaining the region's outstanding water quality.?

To stimulate discussions, representatives from the City of Duluth, the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program, development corporations, and residents of Northern Minnesota will present information on the relationships between water and development. "Re-establishing Connections to Our Waterways" is supported by a $10,000 grant from the national AIA office through the organization's new community service program, Blueprint for America. As a cornerstone of AIA's 150th anniversary celebrations, Blueprint for America allows architects to addresses a community challenge in collaboration with fellow citizens, professionals, and local government officials.

?We applaud AIA Northern Minnesota for seizing this opportunity to demonstrate how good design makes a difference,? said national AIA President Kate Schwennsen.

For more information on discussion series, please visit the AIA Minnesota Web site: www.aia-mn.org.

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