The United States Institute for Theatre Technology Inc. (USITT) has announced two new awards that recognize the work of USITT members: the Barbizon Award for Lighting Design and the Zelma H. Weisfeld Costume Design and Technology Award. Announced at the 37th Annual USITT Conference and Stage Expo in Pittsburgh this past March, the awards will first be presented at next year's conference, to be held in Long Beach, CA, March 18-21.

The Barbizon Award for Lighting Design, instituted by USITT and the Barbizon companies, will recognize a USITT member who has demonstrated excellence while pursuing a graduate degree in the area of lighting design. The Zelma H. Weisfeld Costume Design and Technology Award, established by longtime USITT member and costume designer Zelma H. Weisfeld, will recognize a USITT member who has demonstrated excellence or outstanding potential in the areas of costume design or technology in the performing arts while pursuing a graduate degree. Both sponsors made their awards possible through generous donations to USITT's New Century Fund, set up to foster special USITT projects, scholarships, international activities, and awards.

Two other awards funded through the New Century Fund are the KM Fabrics Inc. Technical Production Award, now in its fourth year, and the Clear-Com Sound Achievement Award, in its third year. The KM award, established by KM Fabrics Inc., recognizes one USITT member a year who has demonstrated excellence while pursuing (or who has recently completed) a graduate degree in the area of technical direction or production. The Clear-Com award, established by Clear-Com Intercom Systems, is awarded annually to a USITT member who demonstrates excellence or outstanding potential in the area of sound while pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. The 1997 KM Fabrics Inc. Technical Production Award was presented to Alys E. Holden of New Haven, CT, an MFA Design and Technical Production candidate at the Yale School of Drama.

Nominations for these awards will be accepted until December 5. All four of the award winners will be presented a check for $1,000 at the fellows reception to be held during next year's USITT.

USITT also announced that its annual Conference and Stage Expo will add a new exhibitor-sponsored conference session to the events planned for next year's show. Traditional programming for the show is sponsored by USITT commissions, composed of 10 special interest groups within the association such as lighting, scene design, and costumes. These commissions field suggestions from exhibitors about possible conference subjects. However, for the first time in USITT history, exhibitors will take the reins and sponsor two sessions, one of which is currently under development. The other has yet to be filled and will be offered to exhibitors who previously expressed interest in sponsoring a session. The USITT Exhibitor Committee is currently working on establishing a session selection method for the future.

For more information about the nomination process for the awards, the USITT, the Conference and Stage Expo, or becoming a member, please call the national office at 800/93-USITT or 315/463-6463, fax 315/463-6525, or write to USITT at 6443 Ridings Road, Syracuse, NY 13206-1111. You can also learn more about USITT by visiting its website at www.culturenet.ca/usitt.