The Wright-Ingraham Institute is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) education and research institution established in Colorado in 1970 by its Founding Director, the late Elizabeth Wright Ingraham. Elizabeth was a prolific author, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a champion of women’s issues, and a highly regarded innovator who served on numerous boards and committees throughout her illustrious career. She is credited with the design of approximately 150 buildings throughout the Southwestern United States and was posthumously inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Frank Lloyd Wright, and strongly influenced by the teachings of George Bernard Shaw, Elizabeth was passionate about architecture, community, conservation, and creating synergistic relationships between natural and built systems. She created WII to promote, direct, encourage, and develop opportunities contributing to the conservation, preservation, and responsible use of human and natural resources. Under her direction, the Institute opened the Richard T. Parker Advanced Center for Research in 1973 at its Running Creek Field Station site. The field research and educational workshops, developed to study the ecosystems of the Front Range of Colorado, remain cornerstone to WII’s programming mission.
Lea Rekow, Ph.D., is executive director of the Wright-Ingraham Institute. Lea is the co-lead BifrostOnline and is on the steering committee for the Humanities for the Environment Circumpolar Observatory. She formerly taught sustainability through immersion learning at FGCU, and was founding director of Green My Favela in Rio de Janeiro. She has been an advisor to the Integrated Media and Art and Technology programs at Cal Arts, a member of the Institute for Australian Geographers and of New York Women in Film and Television. She has previously held positions as executive director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe (NM), executive director of Gigantic ArtSpace (NY), media director at the former Center for Peace and Human Security (NY), adjunct professor of media and communications at Pratt Institute (NY), director of Harmonic Ranch (NY), producer at Simon & Schuster (NY), and cultural advisor for Advance (Australian consulate in NY). She has also been a special envoy for the European-based Open & Agile Smart Cities, an advisor to the European Urban IxD program, a research fellow at the Center for Art and the Environment (NV), and a consultant for the international sustainability network GlobalCAD. Lea has sat on numerous advisory panels including for NYFA, SVA, Parsons, Amnesty International, the MacArthur award, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Her research focuses on creative, transdisciplinary sustainability practices that usually involve reclaiming degraded space in areas where people are living under extreme socio-environmental stress.
Megan Ahearn serves as the Operations and Communications Manager for the Wright-Ingraham Institute and works with the administration of the Field Stations program. She has broad experience, both domestically and internationally, with non-profit organizations that focus on environmental sustainability and social justice. Formerly, she served as the program manager for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, dubbed “socially-responsible design’s highest award.” She has a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia, and a background in Anthropology. Megan attended the exploratory Field Stations faculty workshop in Colombia in 2018.
Kevin Bone is the director of the WII’s Field Stations program. Kevin was a professor of architecture at the Cooper Union from 1983 until 2018, teaching design, building technology, advanced concepts, and sustainability. For over twenty years he worked to integrate issues of environment into the curriculum at the college. He is the founding director of the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, where he developed the Institute’s programs and organized academic events on issues of environment, architecture, and resources. Bone has published and exhibited on topics ranging from architecture to infrastructure to energy and landscape. Bone is a principal at Bone/Levine Architects. For over twenty-eight years his practice has pursued a mix of contemporary architectural design, technical consulting, and historic preservation. He was previously on the board of directors of the Wright-Ingraham Institute, including serving as the WII president, and is leading the development of a new generation of Field-Stations programming.
The next three to five years present the Wright-Ingraham Institute with an important horizon toward which we will set our sights to grow incrementally with the goal of building both our programs and our infrastructure. We envision a future in which our basic core operations are covered by a modest annual distribution from our endowment. Programs, projects, communications, and event-related expenses will be covered through a combination of earned income from individual gifts, program fees, and other support. To date the Institute’s programs have been initiated by the WII Board members and incubated under their leadership. We envision continued engagement of Board members in program development in coordination with senior staff who will provide program leadership. Over the next three years our growth strategy centers upon developing the infrastructure to direct, manage and sustain our programs and projects with incremental additions to the Institute’s staff, expansion of our income strategies, deepening our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work, and evolving our programs to ensure a wider impact and increase the number of individuals and institutions engaged in our work.
The Wright-Ingraham Institute’s Organizational Statements represent the core beliefs of our Institute. They inspire and guide our choices in the way we operate and deal with people. They help determine how we approach our decision-making processes and how we implement our programming.