Like special occasions in our personal lives, or our communities, IFEA’s 50th Anniversary offered us a special opportunity to celebrate the past and imagine the future. It allowed us a time to reflect on our successes, learn from our mistakes, remember those who have stood by our side along the way, and rededicate ourselves to even greater goals as we look to the next 50 years.
In 2005, we celebrated a major mile stone - our 50th Anniversary! Among the many celebrations, we took time to sort through all our archives, boxes, files, conversations, and any other records we could find to produce a historical outlook of the IFEA over the past 50 years! Below is an excerpt from our special 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition of "ie" magazine along with highlights linked to the left. Be sure to click links to the left and the magazine to the right to see how far the association has grown over the years!
We have had the good fortune of viewing this special milestone from a unique vantage point. During the year leading up to our 50th Anniversary, we have sifted through documents, photographs, and publications, playing detective as we pieced together our history. We spoke with many individuals who impacted our association directly and were, in turn, impacted themselves as a result. We met our past, our present and our future. And we made some new friends throughout the journey.
When an organization begins, very few people think about preserving records and archives for future historical reference. In fact, like many great civilizations, much of our history has been passed along in stories, from generation to generation. Along the way, many have been forgotten, lost, changed or embellished. Some have grown larger than life with each telling; tough or unpleasant times are now often viewed humorously with the passing of time; and conversations often turn reflective as we remember the many individuals who have touched our lives.
The result of many hours of research, by multiple individuals, we were able to piece together the history of our association over the past 50 years. To the best of our abilities, we attempted to sort through the boxes, files, envelopes, conversations, and records to produce a historical outlook that will allow you to revisit the IFEA for yourself, from the spark of a vision fifty years ago, to the global network that it has become today. We made an effort to remember special friends and milestones that have molded our association and our industry; to help reopen some special memories that you may have tucked away temporarily; and to re-spark our imaginations as to what the future may hold.
Above all else, the one notable thread that has run throughout all of our research and conversations along the way is the consistent willingness of those in our industry to openly share with one another – our successes, failures, ideas, creativity, experience and friendship.
Ours is an industry that is built around dreams and imagination, and the people who understand not only the importance of dreaming, but know how to make them come true. Steven Davison of Walt Disney Imagineering pointed out that we are all “memory makers”. We are also community builders, storytellers, vision painters, bridge builders, and the purveyors of possibility. We bring families, friends, communities, countries and people together. We help them celebrate the special things in their lives, inspire them to see more, and provide the spark that allows them to light the world around them. That is the gift that we bring to the world and the legacy that we will leave.
We hope you enjoy this special overview of the IFEA’s first fifty years and we look forward to imagining new dreams with you as we continue to unite and further our industry around the world.