May 2, 2013
Members of the Educational Theatre Association Board of Directors have been flying the EdTA flag and making connections for the organization in far-flung destinations this spring.
EdTA’s key strategic priorities this year include enhancing the national stature of the organization, building awareness of our work, and nurturing membership diversity by reaching out to new segments of the theatre world. Board members reported on the work they’ve been doing in recent travels in support of those objectives during an April 13 conference call meeting.
Karen Pionke and Matt Conover represented EdTA at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology annual conference in Milwaukee March 20-23, and Pionke also participated in the 2013 Junior Thespian Festival in Augusta, Georgia March 1-3. Board Vice President Jay Seller and Vice President-Elect Frank Pruet were part of a large EdTA delegation to Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. April 8, and participated in a Kennedy Center leadership conference called the Symposium on Arts Education and State Policy. Gai Jones reported on California Youth in Theatre Day, in Sacramento, March 12. President Gloria McIntyre dropped in on an American Alliance for Theatre and Education regional Theatre in Our Schools event at the Cleveland Playhouse March 26.
It was Matt Conover, though, who represented EdTA in the most exotic location this spring. On a trip to China on behalf of his employer, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Conover took time out to meet with Elise Lammers, the American theatre teacher at Wuxi High School No. 1 in a suburb of Shanghai, and Jeff Zhu, a Chinese education management executive. Both were eager to learn more about the Thespian Society, Conover said.
In matters closer to home, Director of New Media Jim Talkington sketched for the board the extensive renovation of the EdTA website that an interdepartmental team of staff members has been working on for several months. The site is being redesigned with clearer navigation paths, revised content, and important new community features that will provide for easy online interaction among members and friends of EdTA.
The board also signed off on a “clean and unqualified” audit of the organization’s financial affairs during its recent five-month transitional fiscal period and approved a housekeeping measure designed to streamline the board’s periodic review of its governance policies.