and the Future
Michelle L. Smith
Membership & Ad Sales Manager
To keep pace with inflation and support plans for increased services in the coming years, the Board of Directors agreed to increase membership dues effective July 1, 2008. This is the first time in years that a dues increase will be implemented for every membership type.
Dues collected do more than just help "keep the lights on" for USITT. With this revenue, USITT provides members with access to professional development opportunities like the Annual Conference & Stage Expo. For those who were in Houston, the turnout was phenomenal and many attendees have been reporting high satisfaction with the experience.
Another upcoming project dues will help support are the training workshops and programs USITT is developing jointly with ESTA.
USITT continues to document the rich and extensive work of some of the greatest American designers living today by publishing its monograph series. The fourth and most recent addition to the series focused on the legendary sound designer Abe Jacobs. The Designs of Abe Jacob is a nice complement to previous monographs focused on the work of Tharon Musser, Ming Cho Lee, and Willa Kim. As always, these publications are offered to current members at a reduced price.
Membership dues also help fund important initiatives such as the recent professional organizational assessment. This thorough review of the Institute's current standing in the industry and recommendations for future activities will help USITT position itself for success for many years to come. Already on the "to do" list is a plan to use new software and technologies to enhance the performance of USITT's web site and deliver more member benefits and services electronically. As details on this project and others become available, they will be shared with members in a variety of ways.
While varying economic circumstances might cause people to consider forgoing an item like membership in a professional association, savvy individuals understand the need to keep skills sharp and networks strong.
The association's sound financial stewardship helps ensure professionals reap the benefits of belonging to the only membership association dedicated exclusively to "behind the scenes" theatre and performing arts professionals (and those training to become professionals). USITT's volunteer leadership urges members to continue their support this year and into the future.