USITT Announces 2017 Winners of Innovation Research Grants

by Michael Eddy
USITT announces 2017 Innovation Research Grant Winners
USITT announces 2017 Innovation Research Grant Winners

USITT is pleased to announce the winners of the USITT Innovation Grants for 2017: Ian Garrett and Jonathan Allender-Zivic. The Innovation Grants are a commitment from USITT to invest in research that will move our industry forward.

Each cycle offers up to $110,000 of research funding to explore ideas that will adapt current technology for entertainment use or will create new technology for our industry. These new and innovative proposals will address technology challenges faced by the entertainment industry.

The focus of Garrett’s research will be: Emerging Immersive Technology to Time-Shift Live Performance with Augmented and Virtual Reality. The project proposes that these technologies are more aligned with theater-making than other artistic disciplines and that theater makers are readily equipped to lead innovation using them in storytelling.

Garrett is an Assistant Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University, director of the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, and a trustee for DanceUSA. He is a designer, producer, and researcher and the resident designer for the Indy Convergence, an international arts accelerator and pop-up residency based in Indianapolis.

For his study, Allender-Zivic will research: 1/2” Scale Previsualization Model Box for Media, Lighting, and Scenery. The project is designed to bring projection and digital technologies together in a lab-type environment, to provide educators with a cost-efficient means of training for students in these technologies.

Allender-Zivic is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of South Dakota, teaching lighting design, sound design, and stage management. Jonathan has been working both academically and professionally for over 15 years.

With these grants, the Board of Directors hopes to see greater impact for the industry than ever before. “The Innovation Grants program not only raises the amount of funding available for distribution and ultimately for greater impact, but we hope it will also increase the stream of research projects over multiple years,” said USITT President Mark Shanda. “These grants will allow for larger strides to be made in areas like safety, or sustainability and energy savings, and could even lead to new partnerships for the industry.”

This new funding initiative is a yet another return on the investments made by the Institute’s membership and by generous donors. Continued support from members and donors will help USITT to support and expand its mission, ensuring the positive impact of the organization for practitioners, educators, and students in the theatre and entertainment industry well into the future.

Further information from USITT: