The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts to Present Award for Sustainable Production at Hollywood and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals

The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) announces the inaugural Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production, debuting at the Hollywood Fringe Festival June 17th – 27th. The CSPA Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production is designed to reward ecologically sustainable practice in the production of a fringe show. The winner will be announced at the Fringe Awards Ceremony on June 27th at 7:00pm, and will receive a plaque and a feature article in an upcoming edition of the CSPA Quarterly, the CSPA’s print publication highlighting the most exciting work being done in sustainability and the arts.

The award will be adjudicated by the CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright, along with a number of CSPA affiliates. It will be looking at public communication and education, resource use and transportation in support of presenting a fringe show based on methodology developed by the CSPA itself and San Diego’s Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company, who has created a comprehensive Green Theater Choices Toolkit with a generous grant from the Theater Communications Group.

While debuting at the Hollywood Fringe, the CSPA Fringe Festival Award for Sustainable Production will also be offered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August, where the CSPA will be presenting a panel on sustainability in theater at Fringe Central in Edinburgh on Monday Morning, August the 16th.

“We’ve been working since we started the CSPA on how to provide resources and guidelines for sustainable production to the theatrical community. Both Miranda and myself come from theatrical backgrounds and it is important to us. The fringe festival model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows. It is easier to start the conversation at a fringe level of production than Broadway. By starting with the Hollywood Fringe, our local and the newest fringe festival, and immediately moving to the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest and oldest fringe in the world, we are looking to create the greatest visibility and excitement around the introduction of ideas of sustainability to the largest number of theater artists at home and away,” says Executive Director Ian Garrett.

To be considered for the award, a production fills out an online questionnaire. Questions range from an inventory of materials used to what public transportation lines run close to venues to how themes about sustainability are addressed in their shows. Because venues vary so greatly, various sections may not be included in a single evaluation to provide equal footing for the shows on a case by case basis. Shows are encouraged, but not required to provide a CSPA affiliate with tickets to their production to allow a trained eye to look at shows and projects as they exist in the real world.

As an independent producer and designer, outside of the CSPA, Garrett is also involved in bringing shows to both the Hollywood and Edinburgh festivals. He will be designing for the Rogue Artist Ensemble’s ‘Hyperbole: Origins’ workshop at Art\Works Theater on Santa Monica for the Hollywood Fringe (To be premiered in full production at Inside the Ford this Fall) and is the conceiver and producer for the devised physical theater piece on memory, aging and identity ‘At Sundown’, which will be at the Edinburgh Fringe at Venue 13. Garrett also serves as the Festival Producer for CalArts Festival Theater, a program of California Institute of the ArtsSchool of Theater that enables students and alumni to bring work to the Edinburgh Fringe, now in it’s 7th year. In the interest of fairness, these shows will not be eligible for the CSPA’s award.

“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that.”

To apply, fringe show producers can head over to the CSPA’s website at http://www.sustainablepractice.com/fringe or email fringe@sustainablepractice.org. Applications for evaluation will be taken up until the end of the festival, though it is encouraged to apply while it is still possible for a CSPA affiliate to view the show. All questions regarding the award by also be be directed to fringe@sustainablepractice.org.

The CSPA was founded by Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. It provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. We support the infrastructure of this network by supplying artists with the information, education and intellectual community they need to make the best choices for their sustainability. We do this through three independent programs: CSPA Online Resources, annual CSPA convergence and the CSPA Institute’s curriculum building. We extend these efforts with key partnerships with like minded organizations. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others. Under the umbrella of the CSPA, each program and partnership uses different tactics with their own mission to create a comprehensive and cooperative synthesis in artistic sustainability.

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