This year, the 2013-2014 ITO board was lucky enough to get to travel with our Adult Advisory board to Summit in Denver. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to not only get to talk with the 2012-2013 ITO and meet the chapter directors, but to meet with each other and discuss goals and values for the year.
We sat in on all of the workshops led by the previous ITO and got time to discuss with them individually. During meals at the hotel, we got to mix and mingle with the chapter directors. This gave us the opportunity to talk with them about their festivals, but it also gave them a chance to get to know us a little bit. This year’s board feels like Summit was a wonderful opportunity for all involved.
Under the leadership of Kimberly Staples, Scott Wilson, and Diane Carr we discussed and decided on the values that we wanted to represent our board this year. In addition, we decided on our goals.
After many discussions, we decided that our ITO values this year would be community, determination, and trust. We felt that it was important to create not only a community of learning, but also a community that felt like family. We made a pledge to never give up on one another or the goals we had made. Throughout this process we have put the utmost confidence in one another in order to achieve our goals. We have been given a lot of responsibility by each other, the adult advisory board, and the chapters. We want everyone involved to be able to trust us and trust our board. These are the values that we felt were of the utmost importance.
Then, we sat down with Ms. Julie Woffington and the rest of the adult advisory board to discuss the things that needed to be accomplished this year to further the mission of the Educational Theatre Association. We decided that our three main goal topics needed to be junior thespians, advocacy, and communications. From there, we came up with three very specific goals.
Here are our final goals:
We want to get students more involved in theatre advocacy.
We want to create more awareness about Junior Thespians.
We want to make social media more popular while keeping it as clean as possible. We want to connect thespians with thespians and keep them informed.
This year, we have successfully promoted all of our social media in a clean and professional manner as well as adding instagram to our list of social media run by the ITO. The likes on our facebook page have increased by over 350. We have also used our social media to promote the Educational Theatre Association’s agenda by sharing their facebook posts and getting word out about scholarships, grants, and opportunities for thespians. We have kept an active presence on Community as we prepared ourselves for the public launch. We currently have a very active presence in the student to student community, the STO/ ITO closed community, our personal ITO community, and the open forum.
For Junior Thespians, we have started a junior troupe of the month to promote junior troupes. This January, we selected our first junior troupe of the month. As we have been traveling, we have been making it our mission to advocate for junior thespians. Many of us will be attending Junior Thespian Festival and we intend to promote it highly on our social media pages. As a board, we believe that Junior Thespians are very valuable to the International Thespian Society. Junior Thespians are our future; increasing the involvement at the junior level will increase involvement at the high school level and beyond.
This year, we also prepared an advocacy workshop to travel with. Many of us have taught our workshops at the different state conferences we have gone to and had wonderful feedback. We have heard so many stories about what high schools are dealing with in their programs, and have worked to give them the best tools possible. One thing we have heavily promoted is the advocacy toolbox which can be found at schooltheatre.org/advocacy. All six of us have the honor of attending the National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, DC. We hope this will further our knowledge and skill set to present workshops on this information to Thespians at festival this summer.
By the end of the year, the ITO as a whole will have attended 39 state conferences. If you have any questions on our goals, please feel free to message us on Community or e-mail us!