January 2018

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January 2018

Thoughts from David Grindle

USITT Executive Director

Well, here we are, another new year!

When our kids were little they had a favorite book about the new year in which Tigger got to the end of the calendar and began to panic because there were no more days left. Pooh then comes to the rescue by teaching Tigger that we aren’t out of days, we start over, with a new year and the months begin all over. It seems a silly story, but one that I read so many times that it sticks with me to this day. Frankly, that’s the thing about children’s books. The simple stories and lessons stick with the adult because you read them over and over and over and over ... (you get the idea).

So here we are at the time where we look back and see what we have accomplished in the past year while looking forward in anticipation for the new. 2017 was another year of USITT impacting lives and making a difference in our industry. Sometimes we get caught up in the numbers of it all. It was a record setting Conference attendance, that’s incredible! Also, last year we had multiple events where up to 40 people each time got intensive, hands-on learning. In all cases, lives were enriched and skills were increased. Whether 40, 400, or 4,000-plus, it isn’t about the number as much as it is about the outcome.

The number is great, don’t get me wrong. But it is about the impact on lives even more. We certainly want to impact as many individuals as possible. Look at the Rigging Safety Initiative. It might be one auditorium that is inspected and eight people trained, but how many more lives are made safer in concerts, plays, musicals, and general school events because of that? That is what USITT is about, impacting lives.

As we look back over the past year and years prior, we begin to see a growing impact of our Institute. That gives us hope and excitement as we look forward. Our commission leadership is meeting monthly to plan not just Conference ideas, but things throughout the year. 2018 has many great things coming. New Symposia on Architecture and Design, expanding Elite Training, and much more are all in the works. These give us the opportunity to build on past successes, learn from past missteps, and continue to develop resources to serve member needs.

Let us all take the wisdom of Pooh and be joyful that the old year has passed and the new is upon us. But let’s also have the enthusiasm of Tigger to bounce in to the adventures that lie ahead no matter how large or small.