Communication & Theater Association of Minnesota
A Letter from the CTAM President
Hello CTAM Family,
We are in a period of uncertainty as educators. We await the final decision announcement at the end of July regarding school for Minnesota. We await the news each day about the latest hotspot in our state. We wonder how our seasons/plays/performances/lives will happen as we continue watching COVID-19 impact our lives.
I want to apologize for making you wait for decisions to be made about the 2020 CTAM conference. The last update I sent out was a few weeks ago, and I intended to contact you more quickly with decisions, but unfortunately life sometimes happens and emails are sometimes delayed. I appreciate your patience as we on the executive committee and the Board of Governors work to determine the best possible options for a safe CTAM Conference.
Based on a number of concerns (including but not limited to the health risks and potential for outbreak, as well as the additional prohibitive costs for having a face-to-face, socially distanced conference) the executive committee decided the 2020 CTAM conference will be held virtually. There are too many risks associated with having a face-to-face conference during this time.
Moving CTAM online means new decisions needed to be made about format at timing. The survey sent out earlier this summer yielded many fantastic ideas, so those in conjunction with listening sessions held with the Board of Governors, led us to the following decisions on the format for the conference. The bullet-point list should give you a brief overview, and details are included below.
· This year, CTAM will have a two-part conference, with the first part in September and the second part in November.
· CTAM Part 1 in September will include organization meetings as we typically expect for our CTAM conference (e.g., MSCA, META, CTAM Business Meeting), a social gathering night, and panels/discussions/other content.
· Content-based submissions can be submitted as interactive/synchronous (as in, presented via Zoom) or recorded/asychronous (as in, the presenter(s) will share a YouTube or other similar link).
· Panel submissions and conference registration are live on the CTAM website at http://www.ctam.us
· CTAM membership costs remain the same as last year, and the conference fee will be $10 for members, $50 for non-members.
Many people expressed concern about having enough time to be prepared for panels at a September CTAM. Typically, the conference planner sends out the panel submission form early in the summer, but due to the uncertainty about the CTAM conference the panel submission form was not available.
Therefore, the 2020 CTAM conference will take place in two parts. Part 1 will happen September 14-19 and Part 2 will happen November 4-7. We decided to extend the duration of the CTAM conference to several days because many people brought forward concerns about districts allowing teachers to miss a class day to attend a virtual conference. We adjusted the schedule to an evenings-only schedule for weekdays and a full-day schedule for Saturdays.
CTAM Part 1 in September
We feel it is important to have some time scheduled during September for organizations to conduct business and for some panels to still take place. Many first-time coaches learn important information during the CTAM conference, and the earlier exposure is helpful.
We will have meetings for organizations throughout the week. We are in conversation with org leadership to schedule when they want the meetings to happen. The Board of Governors Meeting will happen Monday, September 14. More information will be shared as we have it. We will release the full meeting schedule as soon as it is put together.
Friday night will be a “social” night where we set up Zoom room options for different groups within CTAM. If you have a suggestion for a CTAM social group (e.g., New Coaches, New Directors), please email us! Also, if you’ve got more ideas about how we can create social spaces, please let us know!
We also welcome panel submissions for CTAM Part 1. If you would like to share your research, GIFTS, CRAFTS, or other similar content, please feel free to send in a submission! We can’t wait to see some of the usual suspects come forward as well as some new content that may be applicable to our ever-changing educational landscape.
When we first broached the idea of a virtual conference, some feedback we received suggested a virtual conference created the opportunity for a wealth of resources to be created and shared amongst educators. We wholeheartedly agree! However, some panels do require the interactive component to answer specific questions and have important conversations about the future of our activities and classrooms. Therefore, this year you will have the option to present in a pre-recorded or a synchronous way.
If you would like to submit an asynchronous, pre-recorded presentation, you can fill out a panel submission form (http://www.ctam.us) and let us know what you’d like to share with your peers. GIFTS, CRAFTS, and some research presentations may be well-suited to pre-recorded sessions.
Pre-recorded sessions will need to be uploaded to YouTube (or a similar platform) with a link sent to Julie or Roxy. The videos do not need to completed immediately, but they can be submitted any time between now and the selected Part (1 in September, 2 in November). We decided to have the sessions hosted through the presenter’s owned space so the presenter maintains control over the content and has the option to remove the content at their will. Video links will be posted to a section of the CTAM website.
We do, however, want to have the opportunity for those watching the videos to communicate directly with the presenters. Therefore, when you submit a pre-recorded presentation proposal, we will contact you to ask if you prefer to have an “office hour” option or if you would prefer to receive questions via email from those watching your video. Office Hours will take place during whichever CTAM you select.
Some presentations need an interactive component to work, and some presenters simply prefer to present synchronously. If you would prefer to present this type of panel, you can select the interactive/synchronous option on the submission form (http://www.ctam.us). We will schedule interactive/synchronous content for Parts 1 and 2 based on what we receive and have space to include. The interactive presentations will take place via Zoom.
Panel Submissions and Conference Registration
The panel submission form and the conference registration form are both available now at the CTAM website (http://www.ctam.us).
Membership and Conference Costs
Long conversations were held about membership and conference costs for this year. Conference fees cover the costs of holding a conference, and because we do not have the fees associated with utilizing hotel space or the banquet, we did not feel it was appropriate to keep the same cost for the 2020 CTAM conference. However, we also have some unknown aspects of hosting the CTAM conference, including the idea that we may have equipment we do not yet realize we need or other unexpected costs. Therefore, we decided on a conference fee of $10 for members and $50 for non-members. Money not spent to cover CTAM conference costs or other unexpected CTAM costs associated with COVID will be used either as a donation to the CTAM foundation or to start a scholarship fund for those who wish to attend CTAM in the future. More information on these initiatives to come.
CTAM’s membership fees cover the financial obligations of our organization throughout the year. Therefore, the membership fees will remain the same (as in $30 for regular membership, $15 college/graduate student membership, $15 retired membership, $50 department membership, or $0 high school student membership). High school students are allowed to attend CTAM for free.
Other organizations collect their memberships through CTAM each year, so if you would typically pay your MSCA, MDTA, or META memberships ($20) at CTAM, you will still have the opportunity to do so.
Finally, we are in need of candidates for our elections this year. You can expect more information about elections soon.
We know CTAM will not look or feel the same this year, but we are grateful for the leadership of so many professionals around the state in helping find the safest way possible to share the joy and experience we have across our disciplines. If you have any questions, please let Roxy Janke (email@example.com) or me (firstname.lastname@example.org) know.
Much love all,