The State of Your Association from the ITA President, Carmel DeStefano
Dear Members of our Theatre Community,
As another year comes to an end, I look back on our blessings and the obstacles we had to overcome during 2021. Although we in Illinois are still masked, we are not letting COVID keep us from meeting friends, going out to dinner, and attending LIVE THEATRE! Groovin’ in 60’s Shakespearean love, or cheering on a historic life or death dance competition, or dodging the craziness in a restaurant farce has transported me out of my isolation into the many worlds theatre creates. This heavenly feeling reminds me of the importance of the Illinois Theatre Association to advocate for all types of theatre and my role as president to make sure we fulfill our mission.
During this past year, the ITA Board has addressed many structural, financial, and social problems in the hopes of making the association leaner, but stronger. With the realization that centering the day-to-day business on the shoulders of one person was no longer workable, we hired a management company called Big Buzz Idea Group to fill that role. Over the past few months, our representative, Brad Ball, has converted all of the organization book keeping and our membership registration over to a company called Wild Apricot. This transition hasn’t been completely smooth, so please, if you’ve had a problem with member registration, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an attempt to save money on an office space barely used for over two years, the Board decided to move out at the end of our lease by December 31st. I’d like to give an enthusiastic acknowledgement to Rick Arnold, for sharing his “mover” expertise and organizational skills to our relocation. Our financial and historical records have been organized and stored for easy access, and some of the furniture will be donated to those in need. Note: our new office address and phone number are listed at the bottom of this newsletter.
Although it seems like much has changed, our mission has stayed the same. We are dedicated to supporting and advocating for all-types of theatre across the state. The different divisions are busy planning workshops, seminars and/or performances. Events already scheduled are the Illinois High School Theatre Festival on January 6-8, 2022 at Illinois State University where we will celebrate "In the theatre, all are welcome," and "Take Ten, Playwriting and Performance Festival" in April sponsored by the Creative Drama & Theatre for Young Audiences Division. First session for the CD/TYA Festival will be on December 11th. If interested or have questions, contact Elisabeth Westphal email@example.com, or David Downing firstname.lastname@example.org. Check our weekly Friday Finds for additional events sponsored by the Professional, Community, and College Theatre divisions.
After the long span of isolation, the ITA Board is instituting some policies to invite our membership to be more involved, especially our retired members. One of our first initiatives is to open our committees beyond the Board to include our members. Please, consider joining a committee that interests you. With the accessibility of Zoom, the few scheduled meetings will be easy to attend. I also invite our members to view our board meetings. The schedule will be posted in the Friday Finds.
This past year has brought struggles but also opportunities for change. May these obstacles make all of us stronger and more creative. Have a joyous holiday and a new year filled with LIVE THEATRE!
Take care and stay safe,
President, ITA Board of Directors