The Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) announces that the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) has put forward a generous challenge grant of $50,000 over the next five years in their continuing support of the program. USITT has played a key role in the development of the certification program, both through their financial support and their active participation on the ETCP Council.

“The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) is pleased to offer a $50,000 challenge grant to further the important work of ETCP in its ongoing effort to protect the health and safety of crews, performers and audiences in performance spaces,” says Sylvia Hillyard Pannell, USITT president. “USITT is the bridge between its members and other performing arts and entertainment industry artists, artisans, educators, and students. As such, we are proud to champion this vitally important cause and look forward to many other organizations meeting and exceeding our challenge.”

Several other ETCP Council members have already responded to the challenge placed by USITT. InfoComm International and the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology have stepped forward as new donors while Production Resource Group has increased its already significant support. Randy Lemke, executive director of InfoComm International comments, “I will without hesitation state that the quality of the ETCP program is world-class.”

Tim Hansen, Chair of the ETCP Council adds, “We are starting to see significant increases in applications to take the exams as more and more employers and facilities are requiring certification for technicians in lead positions, but contributions are still necessary to sustain the program in its start-up phase. We hope the industry will step forward to invest in this important program and help us meet USITT’s generous challenge grant.”

This important industry-wide program focuses on disciplines that directly affect the health and safety of crews, performers, and audiences, thus reducing workplace risk. ETCP conducts examinations, awards certifications, and recertifies technicians in three areas: Rigger–Arena, Rigger–Theatre, and Entertainment Electrician. There are currently almost 500 certified technicians making the industry safer everyday.

More information about ETCP is available on the website. If you would like to contribute to the program or are interested in becoming ETCP Certified, please contact Meredith Moseley-Bennett, ETCP Certification coordinator, at 212-244-1505 or certification@esta.org.