By Design Day 2010, which is set to raise money for Behind the Scenes in the US and Light Relief in the UK, is nearly here. To date, more than 30 of the industry’s top designers have pledged a day’s royalties to the two charities, and their shows are a real indication of the global aspect of our industry. Although the majority are UK or US specific, several are international, with royalties from shows in 15 countries. Those who are not in a royalty situation can still contribute by making a donation. Businesses too – particularly scenic, audio and lighting rental companies – can show support with a day’s rental fee or single donation.

Established in 2007 as Light Relief Day and now renamed By Design Day, April 24 is the day that, each year, people in the professional entertainment design business give something back to help others less fortunate than themselves. In 2010 it’s hoped to top the total of $11,500 raised last year, and supporters this year includes Ann Wrightson, James Whiteside, Jennifer Tipton, Nick Schlieper, Tim Mascall, Mike Baldassari, and Neil Austin. See a full list here.

Since the beginning of the year, Light Relief has helped three lighting designers in the UK, while in North America Behind the Scenes has issued 13 grants to individuals involved in every facet of production. In each case, as well as the financial aspect, it has been the speed at which the charities have been able to respond that has been really welcome. To join your colleagues and pledge your support, please visit Behind the Scenes or Light Relief.