USITT Fellows Fund Announces New Initiative With Cal State LA

Congratulations to USITT Fellow Pat MacKay, with Linda Essig, and Meredith Greenburg, for their hard work on this project. What to do with collections of theatre books and other resources is a question that MacKay, former publisher of Theatre Crafts and Lighting Dimensions, has pondered for years. Finally there is a solution!

The USITT Fellows Fund has partnered with the University Library at Cal State LA to establish the Design Resource Collection, which will provide students, faculty, researchers, and the Los Angeles community with a unique and diverse set of resources to engage, explore, and conduct research in the areas of Theatre and Performing Arts Production and Design.

The Design Resource Collection will include books and other resources covering a wide-range of design related topics, including stagecraft, emerging theatre technologies, and many others, including:

Scenery and Stage Design History and Practice

Costume and Makeup History and Practice

Special Effects and Props Design

Stage Engineering and Machinery

Lighting Design History and Practice

Theme Park and Resort Design and Execution

Garden and Landscape Design

Social Histories of Performance and Influences

Period Style in Fashion and Interior Design

Resources from Global Theatre Communities

Projection Design

"The creation of the Design Resource Collection in Cal State LA's University Library will provide tangible visual resources and a small gathering space where students and faculty from across performance arts and design disciplines can come together to do what they do best: analyze, synthesize, and create collaboratively," said Dr. Linda Essig, Ddean, College of Arts & Letters; and Dr. Meredith Greenburg, chair, Department of Theatre and Dance at Cal State LA, in a joint statement. "Even more, it will make Cal State LA a hub for entertainment design and production."

"The Design Resource Collection at Cal State LA is the largest project funded by the USITT Fellows Fund since its inception," noted David Grindle, USITT executive director. "It is exciting to see the collected books and wisdom of so many successful theatre practitioners accessible for inspiring a new generation. At the heart of USITT for the last 60 years has been the need to connect people in our industry and across generations. This collection allows those connections to live in a vibrant learning space where the next generation of designers, technicians, and managers are preparing to impact and influence the entertainment technology industry."

Cal State LA's University Library is open to the public. After the Library is able to safely re-open and the new DRC space is completed, everyone will have access to this unique new collection. Individuals not affiliated with Cal State LA are welcome to check-out resources using a Community Borrowing Card.

All volumes will be housed together in a newly designed and distinctive space on the third floor of University Library North. Capitalizing on the best of current academic library designs, the welcoming space of approximately 800 square feet will feature low shelving units, a collaborative workspace, and lounge-style study spaces, along with the flexibility to display highly visual books, models, costumes and more. These design elements will foster a dynamic user experience of exploration, learning and discovery.

"This initiative is one of the most important projects ever attempted by USITT: preserving a heritage of the accumulated specialized collections of theatre scholars," said Dr. Joel E. Rubin, USITT co-founder, past president, and fellow. "This is a brilliant strategy of preservation and future inspiration."

"As the physical and digital center of intellectual exploration, knowledge creation and scholarly and creative engagement, the Design Resource Collection will be an important and exciting new addition to the Cal State LA University Library. Through its collections, resources and exhibits the Design Resource Collection will support students and faculty and will position Cal State LA as a destination for current and future scholars in theatre and entertainment design and technology in the greater Los Angeles area," said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, dean of the Cal State LA University Library.

The Design Resource Collection is made possible with generous support from the USITT Fellows Fund. Established in 2015, the USITT Fellows Fund provides grants to further USITT's purpose and mission by funding initiatives, projects and activities of USITT with direct support from donations to the Fund. For more information about USITT and the USITT Fellows, please visit

For more information about the University Library's Design Resource Collection, please visit

To make a donation in support of the Design Resource Collection or University Library, please contact Jim Loduha at [email protected] or visit

To make a donation to USITT, please visit