Seeking Ideas for 50th
Barbara E.R. Lucas
What is the best way for USITT to celebrate its 50th birthday in 2010?
When a celebration is 50 years in the making, the possibilities can be endless. Members of the Board of Directors, and the Institute's ad hoc 50th Committee have already brainstormed many possibilities, but they are seeking even more ideas on the many different forms the commemoration can take.
"Our members are used to designing, creating, and innovating, so we're asking that they help us focus on what they would enjoy during 2010," said Bobbi Owen, committee chair. "We're working on several terrific possibilities and want to make sure all areas and groups are included." This should encompass Regional Section-based celebrations and Commission-based celebrations, so there are almost endless opportunities to get involved.
Submitting suggestions is easy. There will be a suggestion box at the USITT booth at Stage Expo, reminder Post-It notes, a Cyber
Café set up to accept remembrances, and a special web page to keep members posted about plans, usitt.org/50, where suggestions can be made. Plans for creating a weblog to collect memories are underway. Messages can also be sent to
Many activities will be held in conjunction with the 2010 Conference & Stage Expo. There has been much discussion on USITT's ability to create a party wherever members gather, so specific suggestions on the form those parties should take are very welcome. People may have strong feelings about whether they prefer formal or informal gatherings, and are urged to express those opinions. A session on the 50th celebration will be held Wednesday, March 14 as part of the 2007 Annual Conference & Stage Expo.
Committee members are also collecting ideas. They are Joe Aldridge, VP Conferences; Carol Carrigan, USITT Office Coordinator; Larry Hill, Treasurer; Tim Kelly, Chair of Grants & Fellowships; Sylvia Hillyard Pannell, President; Brian Reed, Director at Large; John Uthoff, Immediate Past President; and Sherry Wagner-Henry, member.
USITT has already committed to producing a book about designers who were active between 1960-2010 but have since died, including Irene Sharaff, Oliver Smith, Peggy Clark Kelly, Raoul Pene du Bois, Florence Klotz, and others. TD&T, which will have five issues in 2010, will celebrate one decade in each issue, and a comprehensive history of the Institute is being prepared by Rick Stephens, USITT Archivist.
These are just a few of the many ways that USITT will celebrate its unique and vigorous character. Ideas from members, without whom the organization would not exist, will be vital as planning continues.