Over forty years ago, in honor of renowned city planner Henry A. Bettman, the Bettman family established a memorial fund to support excellence in city planning, the hallmark of Henry Bettman’s career. The founders of the Bettman Memorial Fund designated AIA Cincinnati to serve as its custodian and administrator.
The chapter has directed proceeds from the Fund to support worthy urban design and planning initiatives consistent with the original objectives of the Bettman Fund founders. In 1998, wishing to invigorate participation in the design of our city – and to maximize the public and professional benefits of the Bettman Fund investments – AIA Cincinnati established the Bettman Prize. The Bettman Prize consists of the annual interest earned on the Bettman Fund’s principal reserves, which the Board of Directors may on occasion augment with supplementary non-Fund allocation when appropriate or available. The Board of Directors will set the amount of the prize in the budget at the beginning on the calendar year.
Contact our Executive Director for more information about supporting or applying for the AIA Cincinnati Bettman Prize.
AIA Cincinnati awards the Bettman Prize to proposals or exemplary merit that through creativity and vision seek to enrich the physical setting for urban life in greater Cincinnati. Proposals may address a broad variety of urban issues; neighborhood— conservation; public housing; the streetscape; information design, signage, and way-finding; energy and ecology; urban recreation and riverfront development, land use and zoning; transportation; building design; historic preservation; and the design and planning of monuments, memorials, parks, outdoor artworks, and other public amenities.
AIA Cincinnati welcomes proposals for projects of varied scope and format, including research, programming studies, speculative design, small-scale construction, exhibitions, and installation of public art. The amount of the Bettman Prize may range between $500 to $1500.
The Bettman Prize award program presupposes that modes but vivid demonstration of civic imagination can help stimulate positive debate about planning, design and city life. In the interests of such debate, the terms of the award stipulate that the Bettman Prize recipients will agree to present the completed project to the AIA Cincinnati membership and general public as the featured event at a regularly scheduled chapter meeting. In consideration of these requirements, the Board of Directors will disburse two-thirds of the award to the recipient(s) at the start of project and the remaining one-third upon its completion.
The Bettman Fund welcomes proposals from any applicant over the age of 18. AIA Cincinnati especially encourages planners, educators, artists, students, and concerned citizens to apply. Current directors, officers, executive directors and employees of AIA Cincinnati, AIA Ohio, and the American Institute of Architects are not eligible to apply for the Bettman Prize.
Considerations for the Bettman Prize is limited to one proposal per applicant. Past recipients in good standing may apply for the Bettman Prize no sooner than two years following receipt of their most recent award. This restriction may be waived by the Board of Directors at its discretion.
Criteria for Evaluation
The Bettman Prize jury will consider the following criteria in its evaluation of project proposals: relevance to the mission of the Bettman Fund; potential to broaden and elevate public awareness of urban design issues; breadth of constituency and public impact; creative depth; innovation; image ability; qualifications of the applicant; and project feasibility (the potential to complete the project within a 12 month period).
Selection and Composition of the Jury
The Jury will consist of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. The Jury will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors on the award of the Bettman Prize.
Proposals must include a brief letter of intent; a 300 word maximum project description; a brief resume of the applicant(s), a production schedule for the proposed project; and an itemized budget. Optional application materials include appropriate supportive documentation, a portfolio of selected work, , and letters of recommendation. Applications may not exceed ten (5) 8.5″x11″ pages, including letters of intent and support.
Exhibition and Publication of Projects
At its discretion, AIA Cincinnati may from time to time exhibit photographs and other documentation of the Bettman Prize – at area institutions, including schools, banks galleries, and libraries; releases to local and national newspapers and magazines images and editorial descriptions of Bettman Prize projects; and publish material related to the Bettman Prize program in the form of posters, pamphlets, monographs, and books.
AIA Cincinnati will work with Bettman Prize recipients to record the progress of work; store and maintain drawings; photographs and models of the work; and develop a suitable archive of Bettman Prize documentation for the benefit of future applicants, chapter members, and the public.
The chair of the Bettman Prize Jury will coordinate the annual program in close consultation with the Executive Director. AIA Cincinnati will solicit and accept applications for the Bettman Prize once every year. The deadline for submissions is August 15th. The Bettman Prize Jury will convene to review proposals accordingly. The jury has no obligation to make an award when it convenes. The President will announce the winning recipient(s) of the award within four weeks of the deadline. Projects will commence with the signing of a letter of agreement between AIA Cincinnati and the recipient(s). Bettman Prize recipients will present the completed project at a chapter meeting, open to the public, to be designated by the Board of Directors.