CHICAGO – URTA hosted a gala celebrating its 50th anniversary at the Palmer House in Chicago on January 25.
The sold out event featured a performance by Colby Lewis from the Chicago cast of Hamilton. An URTA alum from the University of Connecticut, Lewis offered, “I’m playing hooky today, but for a good cause. URTA changed my life”. Additional music was provided by local blues band the Stitely Trio.
Former Executive Director Scott Steele, who passed away last year after a brief illness, was remembered and former President Brant Pope announced URTA’s intention to establish the Scott L. Steele Legacy fund, which will support emerging artists as they build a footprint in the professional world.
URTA Presidents (l to r) Cam Harvey, James O'Connor, Gary English, Holly Durbin, Brant Pope, Cal MacLean. Photo by ©2019 Jon Allegretto for Maypole Studios Photography
Also announced was URTA’s partnership with Live Design International (LDI). URTA will hold a recruiting event for MFA candidates in design and technology fields at the 2019 LDI Show. President Holly Poe Durbin said, “We believe this partnership will provide immense benefit to both organizations”.
Donations were raised through the event to fund ten Candidate Awards for the 2020 URTA Auditions and Interviews (“the URTAs”). Candidate Awards provide prospective MFA candidates with free registration for the URTAs along with free admission to all continuing education programming.