Wednesday, January 23, 2008

get LIT

Forgive the recent lack of League of Independent Theater news on this blog, been running and gunning on some other projects of late. I want to thank Nick over at Rat Sass for pointing out that we would do well to keep all of the developments and thoughts of the Steering Committee out in the open for concerned members of the territory to weigh in on. As a matter of public record, the Steering Committee is:

Me
Paul Bargetto
John Pinckard
Nancy Walsh
Erez Ziv
Bill Coelius
Robert Honeywell
Abby Marcus
Martin Denton
Leonard Jacobs
Shay Gines
Michael Goldfried
Morgan Tachco
Jennifer Darling
Steve Kovacs
Michael Gardner

God I pray that's everyone. Sorry if I dropped you, just let me know.

We met just about every Wednesday morning at 8:30 from November until the holidays hit and people started getting crazy with their own end-of-the year stuff. Abby, thanks to the Dramatists Guild, gave us a nice room and free coffee, which almost made it worth it getting up that early.

A few things that I believe I've put out there before but are worth repeating:

1. LIT is not a single-issue organization. The reform of the Code is a vital and urgent task that we will work to achieve with any and all partners. But in addition to this, we plan to:

create a comprehensive economic survey of the territory
work with enlightened realtors to preserve and create 99 seat theaters in the city
present an organized and informed voice to the feds, the city and the state to fiercely advocate for the territory
introduce a Code of Ethics to the territory, some general principles to maintain a professional and respectful workplace for all of us
raise 300 million dollars as an endowment for our individual members

and lots of other stuff. Which brings me to the second point:

2. We're still working on this. We broke down into some committees in order to get some things done faster. Robert Honeywell is heading the Legal Committee, since he's the only lawyer in the room. His fascinating and rewarding job is to draft some bylaws and guide us through the maze. Due to his and Nancy Walsh's research, we've decided to incorporate as a 501(c)6, which is, (if you don't know your nonprofit arcana), a business league with no limitation on advocacy, as opposed to a 501(c)3, which is more of a charity. Robert's still in the process of this.

3. Leonard Jacob's heading up the Research Committee, which is initially concerned with drafting the Economic Survey. Without real numbers, we're just doing the same old "scream and cry and bitch" routine when we sit in a room with politicos and business people. We're not saying we deserve respect and money because we're culturally imporant, we're saying we deserve real respect and real money because we're an economic engine that this city depends on.

4. Martin Denton is head of the Financial Committee, which is pretty inactive because we don't have any money yet.

5. Paul Bargetto is heading the Communications Committee, since he cares more passionately about this than anyone, which is saying a lot.

6. There are other committees, of course, Membership, Web, etc.

It's definitely time to move the discussion back into a wider realm. The Steering Committee idea was to get some focused conversation and to generate some ideas in an organized and timely manner. That was part of the impulse behind the podcast I did for www.nytheatre.com with Leonard. Anyone wanting more information or willing to help out with their time and energy is much, much more than welcome to email me or call me or any of the Steering Committee members. We could use some help. Kyle at Blue Coyote Theater has reached out, we're talking this week, I hope.

Next step is to get the thing born. Robert's working on that.

1 comment:

nick@ said...

Thanks John for the update. And thanks to everyone working on the League.