From Pat MacKay, the mother of us all, she who spawned LDI back in 1988, there has always been a strong presence of women on the staff. A tradition we are proud to continue, from Jessi Cybulski, LDI show manager, to Marian Sandberg, content director for all our digital products, to sales managers such as Kelly Turner and Jo Zola, and content producer Meghan Perkins, to name just a few.
I am also glad to be able to say there is a great list of women participating in our LDI professional training program this year. Starting in the LDInstitute, Green Hippo’s Hippotizer hands-on media server training will be taught by Rachael Cady, a freelance lighting and projection designer living in Kansas City, MO. Her design work has been seen all over the world, and she served as the head projections programmer for Green Day’s American Idiot (Broadway production), Jennifer Lopez’s AKA Tour, Jason Aldean’s Burn It Down Tour, Imagine Dragons, and Wintuk (Cirque du Soleil), as well as a Hippotizer media server tech and engineer for Pitbull, Cirque du Soleil, and Paula Abdul.
Instructors for A.C.T Lighting’s hands-on class with the MA Lighting grandMA3 console include Aria Grosvenor, who received her BFA in Lighting Design through Webster University, and then she joined the software support team at A.C.T Lighting and plans to continue following lighting wherever it may take her. Luckily, this year it takes her to LDI.
Maegan Wilson will be at the head of the class for High End Systems Basic Hog 4 training. She studied lighting and projection technologies at the University of Texas in Austin. During her time there, she started working as an intern for High End Systems and then became part of the product support team.
Lighting and projection designers appearing as featured speakers at LDI2019 include the esteemed Tony and KOI Award-winning Peggy Eisenhauer, who will discuss her “Lighting Design Of A Lifetime,” for Le Rêve at The Wynn with the session taking place right in the fabulous aqua theatre that houses this award-winning show. Also on the docket are Jen Schriever, Maranda Debusk, Solveg Busler, Anaheta Agahian and Catherine Pendleton, and Elaine McCarthy. And our new Extended Reality sessions spotlight Ashley Crowder.
Vicki Clairborne of disguise serves as a moderator for The Art Of Programming sessions, four on lighting consoles and two on media servers. And Wendy Luedtke of ETC chats about color... And as we embrace diversity, our "Shaking Things Up: The Case For Diversity in Live Events" panel will be moderated by Andrea Jepson of LMG, with panelists including Ormilla Vengersammy...... and there are others to be sure!
Women hold up half the sky but have never been an equal force in the entertainment design and technology industry. Fortunately that is changing, with more women in leadership roles and top design positions. Live Design and LDI are proud to be at the forefront of that and our efforts include the Pat MacKay Diversity in Design Scholarships, where this year’s winners include talented female and non-binary students who represent the future of design. We applaud their diversity and thumbs up to all the women who have struggled to make it in a man’s world. Starting with Ms. MacKay!