A small club of New York City-based illustrators, publishers, printers and graphic artists founded AIGA in 1914. Over the years, this design community has grown into a network of 15,000 professional designers, educators, students and design enthusiasts with more than 70 chapters nationwide, including AIGA Kansas City.
What AIGA does is advocate for a deeper understanding of design and designers’ value in government, business and media. Sharing the most compelling design work and engaging in thoughtful, provocative discussion on pressing issues inspiring designers and the public. And, graphic designers turn to AIGA’s programming for their professional development.
EAG’s art director, Ashley Tebbe, joined the Kansas City chapter of AIGA years ago out of a desire to surround herself with some of the best designers in town and to help fill the gaps in community support.
Embracing AIGA KC’s “you get what you give” philosophy, Ashley fed off the passion of other graphic designers in the group. In time, her purpose with AIGA evolved to one that sought to cultivate and support the ideas and dreams of those next to her. Knowing how this group cultivated her natural curiosity and stoked her creative design evolution, she went from member to KC chapter president.
With AIGA’s strong processes in place and a framework to build from, Ashley was able to hit the ground running—throwing a Design & Taxes event, planning speakers, and hosting a Sustainability & Design event.
Ashley explains, “A professional organization is more than a line item on a resume or a quip response in an interview or a happy hour. A great organization advances a profession, fights for inclusivity and fosters the growth of its members, both professionally and personally. A great professional organization realizes the goals of board members.”
A great board member believes in the power of community, retains empathy, shows up and is conscious of the privilege of who they serve. That fits Ashley perfectly. She says, “There are many ways to seek purpose in life, whether it’s through professional achievement, family building, community advancement or advocating for a cause. As president-elect/vice-president of operations of AIGA KC, I’m excited to raise up the design community that has been so good to me. The ripples of your actions have consequences, you just have to be willing to skip the stones.”