April 22, 2016
The Board of Directors of the Educational Theatre Association received a briefing on plans for the first EdTA Leadership Academy, planned as a six-hour professional development session for EdTA members during the 2016 International Thespian Festival. Development of the leadership training program has been a key initiative for EdTA board President Frank Pruet.
The training will include material on leadership style, professional behavior, relationships, motivating volunteers, advocacy, and evaluation, among other topics. Cost will be $100 for registered Thespian Festival attendees, limited to thirty participants. Pruet said the possibility of repeating the course during the 2016 EdTA National Conference in Las Vegas in September is being explored.
“I’m so excited we’re doing this,” Pruet said.
In other business during an April 16 telephone meeting, the board:
- Received a report from James Palmarini, director of educational policy, on EdTA’s participation in Arts Advocacy Day, which has been growing steadily in recent years. Thirty-four EdTA members from sixteen states spent two days in advocacy training sessions and met with their elected representatives on Capitol Hill. Salwa Megjhee, winner of EdTA’s 2016 Democracyworks essay competition, read her winning essay to Arts Advocacy Day plenary sessions.
- Heard a report from Marion Combs, director of development, on fundraising activities. A major focus of EdTA’s development work this year is the establishment of the Educational Theatre Foundation, a separate entity that will provide financial support for excellence in theatre education and to expand access to school theatre programs for every child. The first step, Combs said, is to recruit a strong board for the foundation. EdTA board member Hunter Bell and Cincinnati philanthropist Debbie Hill are the first two members to commit to the ETF board.
- Accepted, on the recommendation of its Finance Committee, a report from the accounting firm Barnes Dennig on its recent audit of EdTA finances. Rob Ford, CPA of Barnes Dennig, said the firm would issue an “unmodified (clean)” opinion of the organization’s financial statements and praised the cooperation of the management team and staff.