May 2014

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May 2014

News & Notices

Three Grants Awarded in 2014

Rich Dunham Chair USITT Grants & Fellowships

Great things were happening for USITT Grants & Fellowships at the Fort Worth 2014 Conference & Stage Expo including a surprising donation and announcement of 2014 grant recipients.

At the Annual Meeting on Thursday, past grant recipients Novella Smith and Robert Gerlack presented a $20,000 contribution to the Edward F. Kook Fund.

This year's grant recipients were also announced at the Annual Meeting. They are:

  • Rich Dionne: "Izzy" Intelligent Scenery Simulation Platform; $9,500. Over the course of the next year, Mr. Dionne and other project participants at Purdue University will create a wirelessly controlled scenic wagon (affectionately dubbed "Izzy," or Intelligent Scenery Simulation Platform) to explore scenery control solutions. The primary goal is to examine how RC6 controlled scenic units respond to unexpected changes in the physical environment while providing location feedback that goes beyond that linked to traditional motor/winch driven systems.
  • Daniel Lisowski: Demystifying Dynamic Braking Resistor Calculations; $10,000.This project builds upon Mr. Lisoski's research to explore dynamic braking in entertainment automation effects. His goal is to advance the industry's understanding of braking resistors by building a portable test station for common motor drive/automated stage movements and to analyze the results. The portability of the testing/recording system will allow him to travel to multiple locations to test manufacturer and university stage automation systems.
  • Catherine Bradley: Creation of Educational Materials for the Virtual Textile Project; $10,000; This grant will provide funding that will allow the Virtual Textile Project (a partnership between McGill University and five different museums) to become a source of historical textile samples in digital format for individuals and institutions in an open access database. The team has already received additional commitments of funding and equipment of about $120,000. The USITT funds will be used to create educational materials. The project's goal is to sample and make available 85,000 digital textiles by March.

Applications for Fellowships for next year are due by November 1. The accelerated application process will allow the committee to submit recommendations at the January meeting of the Board of Directors so recipients can receive their awards at the 2015 Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio. Questions about submitting a Fellowship application can be obtained by any member of the Grants & Fellowship Committee.