. . . field reports from a creative catalyst in the Pacific NW
On April 11, we lost a treasure (obit). Although I have never met her, I consider Anne Gould Hauberg a mentor. She spearheaded, developed and funded many lasting education, community initiatives and cultural assets here in the Pacific NW. Her creative vision, generous spirit and philanthropy contributed to Pilchuck Glass School, Tacoma Art Museum, Seattle’s Freeway Park, The Experimental Education Unit (EEU) which is part of UW’s Center on Human Development and Disability, the Studio Craft movement, any many others.
Among her contributions during her lifetime, there is one that captivated me most. It was her work as one of the founding members of “The Committee of 33”. In 1968, Anne Hauberg, Anne Robinson and Jacquetta Blanchett Freeman gathered a consortium of women (33, to be exact), who were dedicated to enhancement and “beautification” of the City of Seattle. Docile descriptors such as “beautification” don’t fool me. I know these were tireless, civic-minded warriors who spend much time, energy and resources on projects that have made Seattle the colorful and vibrant city it is. They met regularly, much like an arts commission would today, to identify potential projects in need of support and advocacy. They also donated and/or raised the money for these urban interventions.
“For Hauberg, the pursuit of beauty, a kind of symbol for intense civic engagement…”
– R.M. Campbell, PI Arts Reporter
I did some digging. The UW Library Special Collections houses the Committee of 33 minutes and records….3.26 cubic ft. (5 boxes), in fact. Their projects included tree plantings, landscaping, public art acquisitions, park proposals, fountain technology, park furniture and a multitude of preservation efforts. I was a newly minted Arts Commissioner in Bellevue when I learned about Anne and took particular interest in her urban focused efforts. Knowing that this public art and urban design advocacy began so many years ago was inspiring. The Committee of 33 essentially created a model of civic engagement that has informed our regional arts commissions. Below is a list of projects they implemented that span from 1972-2002.
Committee of 33 projects (1972-2002)
I’m kicking myself now for not following through with an idea I had back then… hosting a luncheon to honor the legacies of Ann G. Hauberg, Anne Robinson, Jacquetta Blanchett Freeman and the original 33 members (those that were living). I wish I had the opportunity to thank them for blazing that trail and for their inspired civic contributions. Transferring this kind of regional, community-building intelligence, from one generation to the next, is so critical. It doesn’t happen enough…or at all. Young people get inspired by watching how it’s done. Anne G. Hauberg and her compatriots were such fine examples.
The Committee of 33.1…who’s in?