A letter from our local board

To our AIGA members & creative community, 

There have been some changes with the national AIGA organization that have resulted in both current and future changes to the local AIGA Cincinnati chapter. Our team would like to shed some light as to what has been going on and highlight some changes you might see in the future.

As many of you know, AIGA Cincinnati is the local chapter of the national AIGA organization and our chapter represents 1 of 70+ chapters across the U.S. With our ties to the national organization, we are able to maintain our nonprofit status and provide resources and programming to our community with the support of the national organization and membership dues. Membership dues are paid to the national AIGA organization, and each chapter previously received a small portion of those dues back to their local chapter to help pay for events & programming throughout the year.

However, in the Fall of 2022 it was decided by the national board that local chapters would receive a reduced amount from membership dues, and in the following Spring of 2023 it was determined that all funds would be cut from local chapters for an undetermined amount of time. Meaning all local chapters would no longer receive the portion of membership dues paid to the National AIGA organization. 

Initially our team was hopeful that this truly would be a temporary fix as the national organization tries to navigate their financial hardships. Our local board of volunteers made a conscious effort to keep operating costs low, event costs low, and invest more time and effort into finding new sponsorship opportunities for larger events like Cincinnati Design Week. While these changes have helped our chapter to continue to stay afloat, it has also meant less events and programming for our community.

Unfortunately, the latest update from the National AIGA was a unanimous vote for local chapters to have their own autonomy when it comes to chapter dues — meaning that each individual chapter is able to charge their own membership dues in addition to dues paid to nationals. With this, the National AIGA board also voted to no longer pay forward a portion of membership dues to local chapters for the foreseeable future. Our local Cincinnati board took a vote and decided against charging additional local dues to members. We do not believe that charging members a mandatory fee to be part of our local community is the answer, and we also know that the last increase in membership pricing has already put financial hardships on our creative community. But with all of these changes continuing to happen, our team thought it was important to provide transparency to our Cincinnati community members. While there are other opportunities and perks for being an AIGA member, we want to make it clear that AIGA memberships no longer provide direct financial support to the local AIGA Cincinnati chapter. If anything changes with this new structure, we will be sure to inform everyone as soon as we are made aware.

With that said, you will see the local chapter line item ($0 Cincinnati) added to the AIGA membership checkout, but also may begin to notice some changes to the prices of events throughout the year and especially during design week. Our goal is always to ensure that events & programs remain accessible and affordable as possible, but in order for our chapter to stay afloat financially, some ticket price increases will be necessary depending on the event. We will always work with our community if prices become a hardship, and are happy to help when able to provide access to the entire creative community. We will also be taking steps internally to make other cost-saving choices like changing ticketing platforms to reduce fees, utilizing low-cost or free administrative tools when available, and continuing to pursue sponsorship opportunities whenever possible.

Overall, our board is continuing to work together on what our future as a chapter looks like, what our community needs, and how we can continue to serve our community & bring everyone together. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via email at communications@aigacincinnati.org or please feel free to fill out this survey and someone from our team of volunteers will reach out to you soon! 

All the best,

AIGA Cincinnati Board

Ashton Spann, Chapter President

Beau Broering, Co-Vice President

Clara Cornelius, Co-Vice President

Pierce Gohlke, Operations & Finance Director

Mallory Hartzler, Accessibility Director

Skye Gould, Community Director

Mason Duncan, Communications Director

By aigacincinnati
Published April 24, 2024
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