Following a deep strategic review in mid-2011 the ALD is changing and growing with greater focus on member benefits, public and industry engagement. A significant investment in resource has already been made consisting of a new office in central London and a permanent management post.
ALD Chairman Peter Mumford said, “We had a clear mandate from the members at the last AGM to get on with developing the ALD through expanding and advising the professional membership, and promoting the art of lighting design more widely. The Executive came up with several key initiatives, which included marketing ourselves better, more help for recently graduated designers – we call them ‘emerging LDs’ – and increased levels of support for professionals working in lighting. It was obvious that we needed someone working full-time on this project, in an office that would be available to a larger group of the membership.”
Appointment of the ALD’s first Executive Director
Ian Saunders, who has held the part-time posts of administrator and treasurer for the ALD since 2006 and has directed the association into a strong position both financially and organisationally, has agreed to become Executive Director. He is standing down as treasurer to concentrate on seeing through the ALD’s development plan.
The ALD has now established an office in Shaftesbury Avenue in London, from where Ian operates, and members are encouraged to visit and use the facilities when working in the West End. The ALD’s membership extends to lighting designers from around the world, some of whom are regular visitors to London, and who are very welcome to visit the new office. Ian said, “We are expanding our membership and I’m very pleased that we are attracting growing numbers of programmers, projection designers and others who are so crucial to the art of lighting in live performance.”
Peter Mumford continued, “To help with this planned growth of the association, we have made a number of changes in the Executive. I was pleased that Rick Fisher, my predecessor as Chairman, agreed to join Richard Pilbrow as Vice President – this enables the ALD to retain Rick’s distinguished contribution and on-going passion to develop the profession. Mark Jonathan agreed to be my Deputy Chairman, a position that’s ever more vital with many of us working internationally these days.”
Highly respected UK lighting designer, Johanna Town, takes over from Mark Jonathan as the new Professionals’ Representative and brings her extensive experience not only in funded theatre but also as an Equity committee member. Ian added, “We are also delighted that another busy lighting designer, Katharine Williams, has agreed to be co-opted onto the Executive member, to add her point of view as a professional designer.
The ALD’s development plan involves creating several sub-committees to work on apprenticeship placements, the role of the associate lighting designer, re-designing the association’s website as well as setting up regional groups that can support the members in their area. Ian continued, “We are looking at setting up funded opportunities for upcoming, emerging LDs to gain paid experience opportunities to work, assist and develop alongside a top flight established LD, on large scale shows.”
There is greater focus on PR for wider dissemination of the achievements, challenges and point of view of lighting design as a collective profession of many functions.