Arbor Day Program Provides Safe Rigging for Schools

Arbor Day Program Provides Safe Rigging for Schools

USITT is calling on the backstage community to promote safe stages with the third annual Rigging Safety Day on Arbor Day, April 28.

USITT launched its first #RigSafe day in 2015, playing on the word "arbor" as a support for stage rigging. Theatre and entertainment groups around the world shared information, memes, videos, and safety tips for the system of weights, pulleys, and machinery used to hang and move backdrops, lighting, curtains, and other equipment to stage live shows.

"Arbor Day is a day for all of us to celebrate safety and training for everyone in the industry," said USITT Executive Director David Grindle. "From the school or community theatre to the touring shows and spectacles, rigging safety is taken seriously by everyone in our industry. Use Arbor Day to thank a rigger, to celebrate safe practices, or to promote a renewed commitment to safety."

Helping schools stay safe is the mission of the USITT's Rigging Safety Initiative (RSI), a program launched by USITT and founding sponsor JR Clancy in 2011. Since then, USITT has approved rigging inspections and training at more than 120 secondary school stages, impacting more than 150,000 students. The program receives support from both corporate and individual donors. All monies go directly to providing inspections and training.

RSI applications are reviewed in spring and fall; the next deadline is Nov. 15. Schools that are selected and inspected receive a detailed rigging report - what's working properly and what potential safety problems can be prevented with routine care.

"I love to visit high schools and talk to them about our industry," said Jill Maurer, Clearwing Systems Design Engineer. "Having never had exposure to outside professionals while I was in high school compels me to educate possible technicians about how they could work and live in our industry."

Join the initiative by sharing rigging safety tips on social media under the hashtag #RigSafe. Help USITT extend its impact on rigging safety through contributions at

USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is a national non-profit association for the live entertainment production industry. It provides hands-on learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities for emerging and working professionals in the backstage arts. Its Annual Conference and Stage Expo is the only complete production event in North America, featuring over 250 training sessions and 280 exhibitors of the latest tools and resources for creating live entertainment. More information is available at

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