Sustainability in Theater Conference attended by 90 people locally, and 30 people internationally, representing 9 states and 4 countries

The Sustainability in Theater conference was presented by the Minnesota Theater Alliance and the Twin Cities Sustainable Theatres Group at Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis, April 30 and May 1, 2012. The event was Webcast live by QwikCast on April 30, and 11 breakout panels were live online for interactive participation through Google+ Hangouts on May 1. Locally, there were 90 attendees, including many individual artists, and representing 60 different organizations. Online, there were 30 attendees representing 20 different organizations, 9 U.S. states, and 4 countries.

Keynote presentations were made by Terry Gips, Sustainability Associates; Stephen Rueff, The Clean Campaign; and Mary T’Kach, Ramsey County. International case studies were presented by Ian Garrett, The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, and included presentations by Arcola Theatre (UK), Festivals Edinburgh (UK), Julie’s Bicycle (UK), York University (Toronto), Fisher Dachs Associates (WA), and Childsplay (AZ).

Follow-up activities to the conference include a summary to be presented Leah Cooper, John Bueche, and Ian Garrett at the national Theatre Communications Group annual conference in Boston, June 2012; an online discussion and document forum for knowledge sharing in the industry; and plans to present the conference again. Local initiatives being discussed in Minnesota in response to the conference include expanding the membership of the Twin Cities Sustainable Theatre Group; more frequent convenings to share knowledge and plan collaborative projects; consideration of a shared reusable sets and props inventory, either physically or virtually; and collective purchasing of green materials.

The conference was planned and presented by a volunteer task force made up of artists and administrators from Bedlam Theatre, Bemidji State University, Brave New Workshop, The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, CostumeRentals, Guthrie Theater and Minnesota Theater Alliance.

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