Monday, October 31, 2011

How can we create sustainable resource sharing and green theater practices?

The Scenic Co-op, through Salvage Vanguard Theater, is committed to creating more sustainable and green theater practices. The Co-op is a set-share program. Our main focus is the reuse and recycling of set pieces, tools, flats, etc etc. We are thrilled to be receiving the Do It grant this year. The grant from TCG will enable us to move into the next phase of the Co-op. We will begin "phase 2" in earnest in November! This next era of the Co-op will be the era of "paid staff." This is very exciting to us. For the past few years the Co-op has been 100% volunteer run, and this is frankly not sustainable. Long term volunteers quickly burn out. Thanks to the Met-life/TCG Ah Ha Do It! we will be able to pay a part time coordinator, a part time office administrator, and two technicians for the day to day rentals and upkeep of our stock. In November the first step for us will be to start creating really clear systems and structures for the Co-op and start to push our on-line presence. Hand in hand with pushing our online presence is the desire to build our membership programs. The memberships to the Co-op will ultimately help it become a more sustainable program.
In the meantime, Connor (Co-op leader and coordinator) and I have been thinking about the question "how can we create sustainable resource sharing and green theater practices beyond shared scenic elements?" For the past year we have been gathering information about what the Austin community needs and what resource sharing ideas other theater and arts organizations around the nation are practicing.
We have gathered quite an extensive amount of information and have lots of ideas on what the community needs are and what steps we can take to begin to fill these needs. In mid-November we will be going to a community retreat to talk about our research findings and to decide which ideas to move forward with. Some ideas include, developing systems for shared space, shared law services, and shared book-keeping...
This fall will be a productive and exciting time for the Co-op. We are very much looking forward to building stronger and more sustainable systems of sharing resources and staying green.
-Jenny Larson, Co-op leader and administrator, Salvage Vanguard Theater

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