October 2013

Print this page ›

October 2013

News & Notices

To Open Grant Award Applications

Rich Dunham Chair, Grants & Fellowships Committee

Michael Mehler discusses innovations in sustainable theatre with Anthony Runfola in the Tempe Performing Arts Center lobby. Mr. Mehler was assisting in research supported by the USITT Grants & Fellowships program.

Photo/Paul Brunner

It's fall and time for another round of applications for financial awards made possible through the USITT Grants & Fellowship Program.

The Grants & Fellowship program is open to all USITT members and, in alternating years, offers significant funding to Project Grants or Research Fellowships. This year, the Committee will accept applications for Grant Awards. Grant applications will be accepted until January 10. Anyone interested in the Grants program should visit the Grants & Fellowship Program's web pages for further information and application materials. Members should also receive information this fall.

Each year USITT's Grants and Fellowship Committee awards approximately $20-30,000 in funding to grant and fellowship proposals that have been made by members. These programs provide funding to help complete research in areas of study that are related to the industry. This study may come through conducting research into historical or cultural elements of theatrical design and technology, exploring significant (both known and unknown) theatre artists and crafts people, or researching the development of a new technology.

The funding provided by the program can also stimulate other granting sources by reinforcing the credibility of a researcher's work. A number of past award winners have had new avenues of research opened and personal development opportunities realized by having this funding provide the seed money that was required to complete projects.

Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been provided to USITT members through individual grants and fellowship funding provided primarily by the Edward F. Kook Fund. While this funding has provided the means of bringing an individual's research into reality, it also benefits the rest of the membership and industry. As a stipulation of receiving funding from USITT, researchers are expected to share their research by writing articles for TD&T or making panel presentations at the Annual Conferences.

Paul Brunner, who received one of last year's awards, and Michael Mehler co-authored an article that appeared in the most recent edition of TD&T.

Several notable projects that have been fulfilled through past recipients of USITT funding include; Lance Brockman's research on historical scene painting and the Twin City Scenic Project, Deborah Bell's research and continued publications regarding the ancient art of mask making, and Robert Gerlach's research into the color rendering abilities in using LEDs as a light source –which became a significant element of the Selador 7-channel LED lighting system found in ETC luminaires. The 2013 round of fellowship awards currently being sponsored include Howard Kutz's research on costuming during the Federal Theatre Project, Helene Siebrits, research at the Amrita Performing Arts Centre in Cambodia, and Anita Easterling's research of Indian scenic designer Khaled Choudhury.

Individuals and corporate members interested in contributing to the Kook Fund can make tax deductible contributions by contacting the National Office at 800-938-7488, ext. 102 or making an online contribution.