Metlife

Sustainable Revolutions — TCG Circle

(This post was originally posted on the TCG Think It, Do It, Blog It as part of  The MetLife/TCG A-ha! Program.)

By Anthony Runfola, Childsplay

It’s been just over a year since we had our first meeting about our Think It! Grant. Today is my last day in the office for 2010 and I’ve spent it looking over the notes from those meetings as well as from our three sustainability summits.

At Childsplay, we will begin our 2011/2012 season planning in earnest next month. With that comes the opportunity to start laying the groundwork for some of the organizational changes we have been talking about throughout this past year.

So, in the spirit of the season, I present to you my Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions for 2011!

  • Encourage our artistic director to hire teams of designers that work on at least two shows within the season to see if each production can share resources.
    • Many theatres have been doing this already to address financial concerns. But a great side effect is that you may be reusing certain units between shows.
  • Challenge our designers to think about sustainability when designing.
    • As we noted in our post from this past May, designers thought differently about what they would design when challenged to “make it sustainable.” Of course, we are going to have to be more specific than that when we try to do this for real.
  • Include production staff in design meetings from the very beginning.
    • Not surprisingly, communication emerged as an essential component to creating more environmentally conscious scenery. I will venture to have our TD work along with the director and designer beginning at the very first meeting.
  • Ensure all metals used in scenery get recycled.
    • This really is a no-brainer. It will cost a bit more to make this happen, but certainly the price is nothing next to the cost of continuing to dump metal into the ground.
  • Be proactive in trying to find a taker for our used scenery before strike.
    • To be fair, I’ve tried this before without much luck. But I will keep trying!

via Sustainable Revolutions — TCG Circle.

A-ha! Program: Think It, Do It – 2010 Recipients

NEW YORK—MetLife Foundation and Theatre Communications Group (TCG) have announced the third round of recipients for the A-ha! Program: Think It, Do It, which encourages TCG member theatres to think and act creatively. Six theatres were awarded grants, totaling $225,000, to either research and develop new production ideas or experiment and implement innovative concepts in the theatre field. The total award amount is a 50 percent increase from last year’s total of $150,000.

“In light of these uncertain economic times—when many arts organizations are wary of taking risks or seeking to create work through unproven methods—the A-ha! Program is a beacon to draw our member theatres to experimentation,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “This program allows them to strive for new ways of thinking and development and testing new models, without having to shoulder all the financial responsibility.”

The A-ha! Program has two components: Think It grants ($25,000), which give theatre professionals the time and space for research and development, and Do It grants ($50,000), which support the implementation and testing of new ideas. The program aims to discover and disseminate best practices that can benefit the field by supporting risk-taking, reflection, experimentation and the development of creative strategies in theatres.

“MetLife Foundation is proud to continue its partnership with TCG to support not-for-profit theatres seeking new ways to create and develop work and practices that strengthen local communities and the field in general,” said Dennis White, president and CEO, MetLife Foundation. “We believe the A-ha! Program is essential to participants in building models of creative strategy.”

The 2010 A-ha! Program recipients are:

Think It

  • Pillsbury House Theatre (Minneapolis, Minn.) will develop its transformation into a Cultural Community Hub. The project will focus on assessment and metrics planning that will define and measure organizational success.
  • Curious Theatre Company (Denver, Colo.) will explore innovative opportunities for reinventing the resident artistic company model for the 21st century American theatre, by re-centering artists within producing organizations.
  • Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles, Calif.) plans to conduct focus groups and interviews with students, academic administrators and theatres to explore an internship model that pairs graduate students in arts administration with Los Angeles theatres.

Do It

  • Southern Rep (New Orleans, La.) will establish Youth Onstage New Orleans, LA (YO NOLA) as a pilot program to bring the arts to the underserved population at a New Orleans elementary school, via a student-run theatre company. This program includes mentoring, workshops and building life skills.
  • Northlight Theatre (Skokie, Ill.) is building Northlight On Campus, a two-year, comprehensive residency program in one underserved suburban middle school featuring after-school drama programs, artist visits, student matinees and a commissioned play for students.
  • Dad’s Garage Theatre Company (Atlanta, Ga.) will create their first season of online content in tandem with their live work. This ongoing initiative will be self-sustaining and will redefine them from a theatre company to a creative company.

The process and progress of these recipients will be chronicled on the TCG website, www.tcg.org, and the A-ha! blog, http://aha.tcg.org/.

The grant applications were reviewed by an independent national panel of theatre and technology professionals comprised of Polly Carl, director of artistic development, Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago, Ill.); Brad Carlin, development director, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center & board member/consultant, Salvage Vanguard Theater (New Braunfels, Texas); Ian Garrett, executive director, The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (Los Angeles, Calif.); Thomas O. Kriegsmann, president, ArKtype (New York, N.Y.) and Marilyn Tokuda, arts education director, East West Players (Los Angeles, Calif.).

For more information about the MetLife Foundation, please visit its web site at www.metlife.org.

For more info about TCG, please visit www.tcg.org.

via Stage Directions.

Mo`olelo’s Green Theater Choices Toolkit

click hereto downloadIn Fall 2008, Mo`olelo received a MetLife/TCG A-ha! Think it , Do it grant to research and develop a tool to measure the environmental impact of theater and help the industry make choices that do not cause long-term damage to our communities. We partnered with Brown & Wilmanns Environmental Consulting and adopted their “Green Choices” methodology. The Green Theater Choices Toolkit was finally completed on December 18, 2009. Click here to download the 24-page pdf.

via GREEN MO`OLELO.