Season of Giving: Highlighting AWAF


Rather than a person, this month’s Spotlight highlights the Association for Women of Architecture Foundation (AWAF). A sister organization to AWA+D, the AWAF is a tax-exempt charitable 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering educational and professional leadership opportunities for women in architecture and related fields. Their main focus over the last several decades has been to provide financial support for women in design through our annual Scholarship Awards Event where we celebrate bright emerging talents by awarding scholarships to support these exceptional women and their pursuit of an education in design. The recipients must be California residents and/or students attending an accredited school within the state.The Association has a rich history with roots dating back to 1915, when four female architectural students at Washington University in St. Louis formed the first society called La Confrerie Alongine. The Association for Women in Architecture–Los Angeles chapter was formed around 1940, and in 1997 the Association for Women in Architecture Foundation, Inc formed to facilitate the ability to receive charitable donations through fundraising events, outreach, and estate contributions. Over the last 50+ years, the organization has provided over 200 scholarships amounting to tens of thousands of dollars to students of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, environmental design, plus urban and land planning.Many of the winners showcase a well-rounded person who is deeply engaged and has much to offer to our profession and beyond. Many applicants display a wonderful touch and thoughtfulness in their work, plus they volunteer and are leaders in an entrepreneurial sense. For foundation winners, the overarching x-factor is engagements above & beyond the profession and showing what outside things feed into their work.As AWAF looks forward, the goal will be to expand to include supporting women already in their careers with a Professional Development Scholarship that can facilitate opportunities of research, travel, study, writing and other forms of contribution to the professions of architecture and its allied fields.Their main fundraising event is the holiday fete held each December, where money goes into the investment fund so that there is a secure base from which to offer future awards.