SiPA invites industry to sustainability webinar

Image Caption: The free webinar is on Wednesday 29 July, where a panel of experts will discuss how the industry can create more sustainable approaches to its work. © SiPA / The Fifth Estate / Maltingsberwick / CC BY-SA

The Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA), is joining forces with the Association of British Technicians (ABTT) and The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), to stage a free webinar on Wednesday 29 July, where a panel of experts will discuss how the industry can use the current hiatus to create a more sustainable approach to its work.

SiPA’s Carol Scott, Principal Advocate for Sustainability at TAIT and SiPA, will be joined by a host of respected live production industry and environment leaders to discuss how we shape the future of touring and performance to reflect the climate emergency the world is facing.

Alongside Carol Scott will be Jon Bausor – multi-award-winning international Stage Designer and Creative Director; Spike Brant – CEO of Nimblist and a designer and advocator of sustainability; Ian Garrett – USITT Member and designer with Toasterlab; Huntly Christie – CEO of Christie Lites based in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom; and Dr Chris Jones, Research Fellow at University of Manchester who is currently examining the key impact areas of the music industry on the environment.

“Every cloud has a silver lining, even the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Scott, who globally leads the charge at TAIT and wants to make sustainability an essential part of the DNA of the entertainment industry. “As an industry, we know it is imperative that we become more sustainable. This current hiatus is giving us all time to evaluate how we can holistically transform the way we work. Collectively, we can become an industry that creates a legacy that humanity can be proud off.”

USITT’s Executive Director, David Grindle, noted: “The pandemic has had a disastrous effect on our industry worldwide. It is exciting to see us take this challenging time and work together to envision a more sustainable theatre when we reopen.”

Huntly Christie, who has been a leader in the stage lighting industry for 35 years says: “We were an early adopter of renewable energy and sustainable business practices. Over time we have implemented an array of more sustainable practices at Christie Lites including the use of renewable power in our Canadian operations and the installation of a large solar array, which supplies electricity to our Orlando warehouse.”

Dr Chris Jones, Knowledge Exchange Fellow for the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester comments: “My research background is in assessing the environmental performance of energy systems, but more recently I have been working directly with organisations such as Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Electricity North West and Massive Attack on sustainability issues more broadly.”

Tyndall Manchester has been a leading group on providing policy relevant research on climate change internationally for 20 years.

Robin Townley, CEO of the ABTT, welcomed the opportunity to support the world of live performance production in combatting climate emergency: “The ABTT was very pleased to join in the foundation of SiPA early in its existence and it is great that we are now able to join forces with USITT to further support its work in mobilising circular and regenerative practice in our industry. The ABTT is very involved in providing guidance for the theatre industry in the UK, much of which is introduced to students and trainees as they prepare for careers in theatre technology and live performance production. We recognise that we must play our role by incorporating the best approaches for sustainable and restorative practice in our recommendations so that new generations of practitioners are able to work responsibly from the very start of their careers. We welcome everyone to the forthcoming discussion.”

The online panel discussion – which is free to join – is at 17:00 – 18:30 on 29 July, and interested parties are invited to sign-up as soon as possible at the ABTT website.

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