April 25, 2014
The Board of Directors of the Educational Theatre Association has authorized the EdTA staff to organize a meet-and-greet event for candidates in the July 2014 board election during the Thespian Festival in June. Executive Director Julie Woffington said the event will be part of the EdTA Town Hall meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 27 at the Festival in Lincoln. It will be structured in a way that is consistent with the organization’s election rules, which prohibit campaigning by board candidates.
Woffington suggested the meet-the-candidates event after discovering that all nine candidates in the July election—who are standing for three board seats and the vice presidency of the board—will be attending the Festival.
The board has taken a series of actions in recent years in an effort to broaden member participation in selecting the EdTA leadership, including changes in the makeup and procedures of the board’s Nominating Committee and multiple reviews of election policies.
“In a typical election, fewer than ten percent of the members who are eligible to vote actually participate,” said Woffington. “We’d like for that number to be higher, and we think giving members a chance to get to know the candidates better is one way to encourage participation.”
In other action during its April telephone meeting, the board:
- Accepted and approved an audit for the 2013 fiscal year by the accounting firm Barnes Dennig. Patrick Frambes, a CPA with the firm, said he expected to issue an “unqualified or clean opinion” that EdTA’s financial affairs are in good order.
- Heard a report on the launch of the Theatre Education Community on the EdTA website from Woffington. Member participation in the Community’s blogging and discussion features has been growing steadily and meeting expectations, she said, and producing lively conversations on a wide range of professional topics. Since the early February launch, about six hundred people per month have set up their profiles with pictures in the community, and the blogs are receiving over a thousand views per month.
Woffington also reported on the recent annual convention of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and on Arts Advocacy Day. EdTA had a strong presence at both. Twenty-two individuals representing nine states joined the organization’s Arts Advocacy Day delegation, including all six of its International Thespian Officers and Democracyworks essay contest winner Emily Zauzmer, who delivered her winning essay to a general assembly organized by Americans for the Arts.