AfTA-USITT Partnership Takes off with Book Donations

March 9, 2020

By: Dr. Kene Igweonu, President, African Theatre Association

October of last year marked the signing of a memorandum of understanding detailing a new partnership between the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and the African Theatre Association (AfTA). The AfTA lists as its objectives the exchange of information and research on African theatre and performance process. USITT also leads its charter with a similar commitment to conduct research and share the results of that research. The first initiative under this partnership will see the joint donation of books on theatre and entertainment design and technology to African universities, starting with three Nigerian higher education institutions in May 2020.

AfTA first initiated a ‘Books Fund’ about 10 years ago with the aim of sending academic books and journals donated by members to university libraries in Africa. However, this was operated on an informal basis — essentially colleagues traveling from, mainly from the UK, to any African country would take as many books as possible (as part of their personal luggage allowance) to donate to libraries at the Institutions they are visiting. On its part, USITT’s realization that recently retired colleagues were often dispersing their personal libraries through various means including to students or offering them in the USITT book sale. Though these were worthy efforts, USITT wanted to find a way to retain and preserve the rare books in an archive so that they would be available to members and researchers in the future, while donating the remainder to other suitable libraries.

The AfTA-USITT partnership provides a framework for both organizations to combine efforts to make theatre books available to African institutions where the books will provide a much-needed resource for students and faculty.

We are still accepting donations of books for the partnership with the African Theatre Association. We ask that you send books to:

AFTA Book Project
290 Elwood Davis Rd #100
Liverpool NY 13088

We have three libraries we are supporting spring so anything you might have to offer will be helpful to people who are just as excited about a career in theatre design and technology as you are.

Books leave May 1 for Nigeria, so please find a few things to help our colleagues.