“We go eastward to realize history and study the works of art and literature, retracing the steps of the race; we go westward as into the future, with a spirit of enterprise and adventure.” Henry David Thoreau[i]
At dawn I jogged up the granite steps of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Reaching the top and turning to face Civic Center Park and its dramatic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, I succumbed to the awe any Easterner feels in the vast American West. Below me lay a graceful tableau of Beaux-Arts city planning painted in green grass and trees and white marble, purple mountains and Colorado-blue sky. It hardly seemed to contain the uncontainable space and energy of the West.
Figure 1 – My early morning view of Civic Center Park from the steps of the Colorado State Capitol.
In 2002, after running the then-named Institute of Classical Architecture’s programs since 1997, I decided it was time for a workshop to discuss the future of our educational programs. 2002 marked the end of our first decade. During that time we had experienced financial, geographic and student growth and were on the cusp of three of our biggest steps forward: merging with Classical America, launching our template for chapters, and hiring our first President, Paul Gunther. Over the course of the following two years we gathered twice, inviting all of our faculty and fellows together to discuss the current and future state of our educational programs. We sought to arrive at a shared vision of future needs and possibilities. Many of those things we identified a decade ago have come to be fulfilled, some have yet to be, and some are no longer relevant. It is interesting to look back on this now, a decade later, after just returning home from the ICAA‘s National Curriculum Conference in Newport.
ICAA Instructors and staff meet at the 2013 National Curriculum Conference