[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, July 13, 2011]
New Leadership at Cosanti Foundation
Arcosanti, Arizona, July 13, 2011 – The Cosanti Foundation in Paradise Valley, Arizona announced today that its founder, internationally renowned architect Paolo Soleri has retired as its President and CEO.
“There are other things that I want to accomplish,” said the 92-year-old Soleri. “I am ready to leave the management of the Foundation and its primary project – the urban laboratory Arcosanti – to the next generation.”
That generation will now be led by Boston Architect Jeff Stein AIA who has been elected the Foundation’s new President by its Board of Trustees. Stein, a longtime Soleri collaborator, leaves his post as dean of the Boston Architectural College, the oldest and largest independent college of design in the nation, to accept the position in Arizona.
Preserving the enormous Soleri legacy while continuing to strengthen the Foundation as it pursues new areas of urban research is on our agenda ahead,” said Stein. “All of us connected with Paolo and the Foundation are looking forward to a new era in its work.”
A letter for the Wednesday Morning Meeting…
Arcosanti Community Colleagues:
Good morning; it’s Jeff Stein sending you this note.
This is an important moment for Arcosanti. Please know that I am thankful that you are all here, and accept my sincere apology for not being present with you this morning to share this news in person. It is a surprise – but a welcome one – for me to accept my new role as President of the Cosanti Foundation – in Paolo Soleri’s good stead. Every one of us have been brought here by the ideas of Paolo Soleri. For the past two years, our friend and mentor, Paolo, has pondered his eventual retirement. This past weekend at our Cosanti Foundation Board meeting he made it official: at age 92 he has relinquished his management responsibilities with the Foundation, and with Arcosanti in particular.
Our job now is to move Arcosanti forward, to honor Paolo’s legacy, your ongoing good work, and the work of 8,000 others who have helped to build and grow this place over the past 40 years. We are in a real “What If” position at this time, and the Whole World lies before us. We are fortunate to have Paolo here with us as we continue our journey and work to move Arcosanti forward. I do not expect his thoughts – or the genius of his spirit – to stop within the state of grace that is retirement.
As we now redouble our efforts on site, our intention will be to move forward together in full honor of Paolo. And have fun doing so! The job is to make Arcosanti a place where we can do the best work of our lives, keeping in mind the significant experimental nature of this place and what it may mean to the culture at large.
In the space / time between today and my arrival in September, please know that Mary Hoadley and Tomiaki Tamura, as Officers of the Foundation, are in charge. They have the legal responsibility – and the confidence and respect of both Paolo and myself – for management decisions at Arcosanti.
I am honored to accept this complex new role and responsibility, which again, is a surprise. I believe that this is the right thing to do, even if it is not the easy thing to do. As Paolo and the Cosanti Board have decided that this is how it will be, I look forward to contributing to the daily work at Arcosanti, and spending time in serious discussion with all of you about how best to do that in future.
Jeff Stein AIA, President, Cosanti Foundation
[photo: Logan Bier & text: Cosanti Foundation]