February 2011

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February 2011

News From Joe Aldridge, USITT President

Can't Help But to be Involved!

The 2010 closing party was such a success that the organization is doing it again!

The 2011 Annual Conference will close with a great party, live music, and a (very) few words to announce the winner of the 2011 Joel E. Rubin Founder's Award, instead of a formal awards banquet.

Photo/Casey Kearns

It has been almost 10 months since we were all together in Kansas City, celebrating the 50th anniversary of USITT. In less than nine weeks (as of this writing) we will gather in Charlotte for the Annual Conference & Stage Expo. The 50th afforded us the opportunity to alter, significantly, the programming schedule for the conference in order to gather as friends and colleagues to celebrate.

As a result of those changes, we are adopting a new programming model that only slightly modifies the "traditional" schedule allowing for more Stage Expo-only time without affecting programming time.

Evening schedules are being modified to maximize the networking opportunities while still attending to the business of the Institute.

Opening Night festivities will be combined with the USITT Address, the installation of new Fellows of the Institute, and the presentation of Awards for Young Designers & Technicians in the Performing Arts. New Products Showcase will occur on Thursday evening. Friday evening is reserved for the traditional receptions and Tech Olympics. The traditional Awards Banquet on Saturday night is being replaced with an event that entails finger food, drinks, a few awards, and a celebration.

As always, the Annual Conference & Stage Expo provides the opportunity to renew friendships, network, and share information with each other. Pre-conference PDWs and the regular conference programming has been in the planning stages for months and, in some cases, years and promises to be some of the most relevant to date.

As soon as you have the opportunity, visit the USITT website, download the meeting matrix, and begin to plan your activities at the conference. Be certain to include the all-important all-conference events mentioned earlier.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, we had record numbers participate in the balloting process to select the new leaders of the Institute. Please continue this participation by attending the all-conference events such as the Keynote address and the annual USITT business meeting, the Opening Night festivities, New Products Showcase, and the Closing Night celebration.

Plan to attend Regional Section meetings and favorite Commission meeting as well. Don't forget to allow ample time to attend the Stage Expo floor, visiting with all exhibitors. You never know what new gadget or new technology they will be unveiling at the conference. Whether this is your first conference or your 51st, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, seek out any of the Board members, officers, staff, or Fellows and let us know what's on your mind.

Get involved, be involved, and stay involved. You, alone, are responsible for making the most of the opportunities afforded to you at this annual gathering.

See you in Charlotte!

27 weeks and having a great time!

Joe Aldridge

We'd like to hear your comments on this story. 
Please e-mail Joe at joe.aldridge@unlv.edu.