April 2012

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April 2012

News From David Grindle, USITT Executive Director

Let's Celebrate Arbor Day!

Okay, I’m piggybacking here, but it works. Arbor Day is April 27 and that seems an appropriate time to support the arbors we all work with – the rigging kind.

In 2011, USITT started the Rigging Safety Initiative. This program has funded inspections of theatres at 22 schools in 14 states around the United States. The schools were chosen based on need criteria that looked at the age of the system, any known issues, and length of time since it had last (or ever) been inspected. The schools receive an inspection, with a full report, and four hours of safety training for their staff.

Each one of us has felt the pinch of tightening budgets when it comes to maintenance issues. If you work in a school, attend one, or know someone who does, you know that things such as safety inspections often go undone because the funding is going to the more pressing issue of what was broken last. This program is hopefully providing an opportunity to identify and fix problems before people get hurt or systems become inoperable. It keeps our stages working and all of the people who pass across them safe.

The training program insures that the most current information is being given to the people who need it the most. Each of us knows how stage lore leads to things being operated incorrectly or not quite properly. The training component of this grant assures that the staff that deals with the theatre, most of whom probably weren’t around when it was installed, know the proper way to operate the equipment to keep people safe. Again, resulting in lower chance for human error and safer stages.

This program has impacted hundreds of lives in one year, but it needs continued funding to keep things moving along. I hope you will take a moment to celebrate Arbor Day and make a donation to the Rigging Safety Initiative. Programs like these help the Institute make a lasting impact today and tomorrow. It is something all of our members can be proud of because it shows the work your Institute is doing.

Click here for a donation form. Help us make Arbor Day a safe day for theatres everywhere

David Grindle

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Please e-mail David at david@office.usitt.org.
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