I was in Los Angeles last week, getting ready for the 2011 TCG National Conference that will run from June 16 to 18, with pre-conferences beginning on June 14. It was great to be there and see such a wide range of work, from the Wooster Group’s Vieux Carré at REDCAT to Dick Van Dyke’s Step in Time at the Geffen Playhouse; from the Network of Ensemble Theaters’ Micro-Fest: LA to the Antaeus Company’s production of The Autumn Garden. And thanks to Jesus Reyes for the tour of East LA Rep’s new theatre space. The L.A. theatre community is large and diverse and ready to welcome the national theatre community in June. During the Conference, we will kick off TCG’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, spend several days building new knowledge and friendships and take time together to imagine the future of our field. We will be telling you more about the Conference theme in the coming weeks.
Our advocacy efforts are always lively, and I wanted to bring to your attention a couple of things. As you’ve most likely read, there has been a controversy at the Smithsonian Institution following their decision to remove a video work by David Wojnarowicz on display at the National Portrait Gallery as a result of comments by several elected officials. TCG is closely monitoring this situation and will communicate with you, if and when, a collective field-wide response is needed. Meanwhile, TCG and the Performing Arts Alliance are preparing in the event of controversy in the performing arts.
Another area of ongoing concern has to do with the tax deductibility of charitable donations. With the current federal budget deficit, this issue is not going away. This article is enlightening on the topic, showing some of the different proposals made by various think tanks and the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. It reminds us that we must also keep this issue on our collective radar.
Finally, a recent GuideStar report shows that contributions to not-for-profits are actually on the upswing. If you haven’t seen the report, I want to call your attention to it.