USITT Partners with African Theatre Association

February 10, 2020

By: David Grindle, USITT Executive Director

Books. We all have them. Copies of Gillette, Brockett, Dorn/Shanda, and many more authors populate the shelves of our members. Books on design and books on construction. Books on management and books on every theatre topic you can think of. For many of us, these are stock references and we use them well. For others, one copy might be used, yet somehow we have two or more copies of the same thing.

This is not the case for some people, and not the case for some libraries. At universities across sub-Saharan Africa, they have limited resources for books. What resources they have often go to sciences and other topics, not theatre design, and technology.

USITT is partnering with the African Theatre Association to help make a difference. At this year’s Conference, if you have books on design, technology, and the arts that you would like to donate, we will ship them to university libraries that are asking for them.

African Theatre AssociationOur colleagues in the African Theatre Association are helping us work directly with universities to ensure that the books go to places that want them and will use them. We have a wealth of information in our books, we just have to get the books we aren’t using to the people who need to use them. This is one step in that process.

So, if you are a member who is embracing Marie Kondo’s philosophy of simplifying your life, or if your office has been threatened to appear on the next episode of Hoarders, bring your books, even a few of them, to the annual Conference and we will work to get them to people who will use them. If you aren’t coming to Houston and want to drop them in the slow boat shipping to our offices here in Liverpool, NY, we will include them in the donation group as well.

The first shipment will go in May with another scheduled for later this year. So, if you need time, don’t worry, this will happen periodically for the foreseeable future.

I would like to thank our partners at the African Theatre Association, especially President Kene Igweonu and Vice-President Charles Nwadigwe for their help in organizing this project. And thank you for thinking about the possibility of helping us help our colleagues around the world.