For the past three years, my husband and I have been planting grapes. Each year we add another row and now we’re up to 36 vines of Marquette, Frontenac and Frontenac Gris. As you can see by the one dried, bug-eaten yuck, we still don’t have this viticulture thing fully mastered. But we’re learning. And one thing that’s helping is our membership in the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association (WGGA).
As a business, I have membership in other organizations as well. They’re all paid memberships, but none of them so costly as the AIGA membership I renewed this week. It’s annual dues are a whopping $295 and for a one-chick design agency like mine, this is no small change.
But here’s why I’m a proud member of AIGA and gladly squeeze out the money.
AIGA is the professional association for graphic designers. It was founded in 1914 as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and it’s the oldest and largest organization for design. Yes, being a member of AIGA is kind of a status thing for designers. And, yes, I suppose you could say it’s one we can simply buy into. But when designers join AIGA, it shows they’re committed to a high standard of professional ethics. It shows they believe “designers serve a critical role as communicators, educators and innovators.”
As a designer, AIGA does a lot for me. It offers a plethora of benefits, including product discounts, members-only job listings, and more resources than I can mention in one blog post. But what I value most is the camaraderie. Being a solo entrepreneur is great. But it’s also…well…solo-ish. Sometimes I feel isolated. Sometimes I want to bounce ideas off another designer or learn something new. Here’s where AIGA is especially helpful.
So, come Tuesday, September 6, when everyone else is lagging back to work after a 3-day weekend, we Madison AIGA’ers are going to hold off another hour or so. We’ll be gathering for our Morning Blend of coffee and conversation. This month’s topic is social media—do join us!
Or if evening and a glass of wine are more to your liking, Madison AIGA is presenting Hey Neighbor, An Evening With Local Creatives on Thursday, September 8. Check it out!
In addition to AIGA and the Wisconsin Grape Growers Association, Adunate is also a proud member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation and the Seed Savers Exchange.