How i3 Started

Posted on by

How i3 Started

Co-founder Rob Lerner tells the story of how SMA got its is…

The occasion was brunch in honor of John “Economic Hit Man” Perkins on the eve of the 2016 San Miguel Writers’ Conference, where John was a featured keynote speaker. We were at the home of Conference ringleader Susan Page and Mexican folk art impresario Mayer Shacter. The pancakes had long since been consumed, and fueled by a third (fourth?) round of coffee; the conversation had jolted up to such high-minded topics as the “state of human civilization.”

Suddenly, Diane blurted out, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a regular lecture series here in San Miguel, something like the City Arts and Lectures series in San Francisco?” I could tell from the glint in Susan’s eye that she thought it was a good idea, too.

That was the spark, and just few meetings later we had a name—i3: ideas that inform & inspire — a volunteer steering committee, and our first presenter: former Mexican President Vincente Fox, speaking on U.S.–Mexico relations in the wake of the 2016 U.S. election.

Steering Committee:

Tina Bueche
Brigham Golden
Rob Lerner
Susan Page
Kathy Sulkes
Diane Varney

Founding Patrons:

Tina Bueche
Jo Curtis
Jack Goodwin and Ruth Kaplan
Rob Lerner and Diane Varney
Christine McReynolds
Susan Page and Mayer Shacter
Rachel Stratford and Mark Stout
Kathy Sulkes
Bill and Jackie Wilson
Helen Corcoran
Anne Zim
Joan Strouse and Bill Greenfield
Emily Severinsen
Thomas Schneider
Woody and Laura Rea (2 donations)
Martha Donnelly
Frank Thoms
Nonnie and Ed Markeset
Judith Hadlock
Honey Sharp and David Lippman
Martin O’Malley
Mike and Marti McGinnis
Barbara and Gunnar Erickson
John Wolff and Helle Szkobel
Kathleen Mann
Carol Latta
Gloria and Jerry Fastrup
Paul Roach and Connie Early
Linda Conetta and Michael Ormsby
Brigham Golden and Lynn Rawden
Linda Hampton
Tim Sullivan
King and Phyllis Culp
Adele MacArthur
Linda and Martin Simon
Eleanor Goodwin and David Garrity
Alice Eilers
Heather Hanley
Maia Williams and Wyman Rousseau
Miguel Kelly and Ivonne Ruiz