2018 Conference Education
Education Session information is tentative, subject to change.
All events at Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol unless otherwise indicated

Primary Sponsor of the 2018
Conference Education Program

Agile Ticketing
Tools & Techniques Sessions
Paramount and State Theatre Tour and Case Study
Early Bird Intensive Education Sessions
Theatre Tours
Keynote Address
Eye Opener Breakfasts: Peer Discussions
Resource Area - Historic Theatre Info Exchange

Last updated: 07.03.18

The League's National Conference Education Program includes 26+ sessions on restoration, development, marketing, operations, facilities, technology, and programming along with important case studies of best practices from around the nation, offering something for everyone.

Late Sunday afternoon, we will offer two "Early Bird" Intensive sessions for those who can't wait to get started.

Two segments of concurrent Tools & Techniques sessions will be offered on both Monday, July 16 and Tuesday, July 17.

On Wednesday, following tours of the Paramount and State Theatres, enjoy an in-depth study of the best practices of the Austin Theatre Alliance, including fundraising, marketing, programming, and arts education.

Tools & Techniques

Concurrent Professional Development Sessions

Monday, July 16 - Tuesday, July 17 (times vary) - Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Facilitated discussions, workshops, panel discussions, and case studies provide real solutions to real problems. Four concurrent Tools & Techniques segments on Monday and Tuesday will offer best practices, emerging trends and practical information for improving your historic theatre, your business and your community. Several sessions will be repeated following a 30 minute networking break to give each person an opportunity to attend as many sessions as possible. A few sessions will only be offered once (please note schedule below).

Click on each session name to read the full session description and get speaker information. Click where indicated to download the PDF for each specific Tools & Techniques Segment session details and speaker bios.

Click here to learn about this year's two optional Early Bird Intensive Education Sessions.

Tools & Techniques Segment 1 - Monday, July 16

Download the Printable PDF

9:30 AM - 10:45 AM and 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM | 6 concurrent sessions; all will repeat after a 30 minute break

TT1 Sponsored by:

First Half (9:30 - 10:45 AM)

Second Half (11:45 AM - 12:30 PM)

North Group

Bloomsburg Carpet

Tools & Techniques Segment 2 - Monday, July 16

Download the Printable PDF

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM | 5 concurrent sessions; all only presented once

TT2 Sponsored by:


Tools & Techniques Segment 3 - Tuesday, July 17

Download the Printable PDF

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM and 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM | 6 concurrent sessions; all will repeat after a 30 minute break

TT3 Sponsored by:

First Half (9:00 - 10:15 AM)


Tools & Techniques Segment 4 - Tuesday, July 17

Download the Printable PDF

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM | 6 concurrent sessions; all only presented once

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Paramount and State Theatres - Tour & Case Study

Wednesday, July 18, 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM - Paramount Theatre

Spend a morning touring the Paramount and State Theatres and then take a deep dive into their successful operations with an informative case study presented by the staff of the Austin Theatre Alliance. This highly successful team of non-profit, historic theatre operators have set the bar high when it comes to fundraising, marketing, programming, and arts education. Plan to leave with lots of ideas that you can replicate back home. This isn't just another LHAT theatre tour, this is a professional development gold mine.

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Early Bird Intensive Education Sessions

Sunday, July 16, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This year, the League will offer two optional "Early Bird" education sessions prior to the official conference kickoff on Sunday evening.

These sessions will have limited capacity, so they are first come, first served and will require advanced registration. Sessions are only available to full conference registrants and are included in the full conference registration fee.

Option 1 | 2:00 PM - 5:00PM: Historic Theatre Renovation 101: A Framework for Planning Successful Projects

Thinking about acquiring, restoring, and revitalizing a historic theatre? Already have one and need some help? This early-bird, in-depth session – featuring a team of leading experts in theatre planning, design, operation and tax credit financing – presents an overview of a historic theatre renovation project. Designed for historic theatre owners, community leaders, board members, senior staff and others who are considering, beginning or participating in the renovation of a historic theatre, this in-depth session will help you develop a clear understanding of your role in the process. Groups who want to renovate a historic theatre are encouraged to attend as a team.

Presenters: Alec Stoll, ASTC, (moderator), Principal, Stages Consultants, Highland Park, NJ; Michael DiBlasi, Partner, Schuler Shook, Minneapolis, MN; Susan Palmer, Principal, The Palmer Westport Group, Santa Fe, NM; Michael R. Schnoering, FAIA, Partner, Mills + Schnoering Architects, Princeton, NJ; and Kelly Updike, Executive Director, Embassy Theatre Foundation, Fort Wayne, IN

Option 2 | 2:00 PM - 5:00PM: Worst Case Scenario

Maybe it's a slip and fall or maybe it's a major weather event like a hurricane. Is your theatre prepared? What do you do now to prevent an accident or minimize the impact of a disaster? What do you do when it is actually occurring to ensure your patrons, artists, staff and volunteers are safe? And when it's time to recover, is that the time to ask if you are appropriately insured? It's the worst part of our jobs but preparing for the worst case scenario is probably the most important part or operating your historic theatre. What you do now could save not only your building, but it could save lives too.

Presenters: Tom Clareson, Project Director, Performing Arts Readiness / Lyrasis, Atlanta, GA; Ray Inkel, Production Manager, Alley Theatre, Houston, TX; and Brian Phoebus, Executive Vice President, and Kevin Sullivan, Client Executive, MDP Programs / National Trust Insurance Services, Baltimore, MD

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2018 Theatre Tours

Optional Pre-Conference Historic Theatre Ramble (theatres subject to change)

Sunday, July 15, 8:30 AM - 6:15 PM
Fee-Paid Option - Includes continental breakfast and buffet lunch.

We're sorry, but the 2018 Pre-Conference Historic Theatre Ramble is SOLD OUT!

Sponsored by


All theatre visits are still being confirmed and are subject to change, but we hope to visit the following theatres: Austin Scottish Rite Theater, Austin; Gaslight Baker Theatre, Lockhart; Majestic Theatre, San Antonio; Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, San Antonio; Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, San Antonio; and Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre, New Braunfels. The group will enjoy lunch in San Antonio and return to the conference hotel in time to freshen up before the Opening Night Festivities begin.

Conference Theatre Tours

(all times and theatres are subject to change)

After the final Peer Networking Eye Opener Breakfast on Wednesday, attendees will take a short bus ride from the hotel to tour the Paramount and State Theatres and will enjoy an in-depth study of the best practices of the Austin Theatre Alliance.

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2018 Keynote Address

Tuesday, July 17, 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM (time subject to change) - Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Sponsored by: Jujamcyn Theaters

Following a day of professional development and peer networking, we will welcome our special guest:

Duff Stewart

Duff Stewart is a 27-year veteran of GSD&M Idea City LLC. As CEO, he ensures the agency has the right people, resources and perspective to fulfill its purpose of doing whatever it takes to build clients' businesses. Through purpose-based branding, GSD&M helps articulate and activate its client's core purpose and creates simple yet powerful ideas that make a difference.

Prior to becoming CEO, Duff held many other agency roles, including president, COO, head of strategy and HR, and finally head of account service where was a three-time Effie Award–winning group account director for clients including Fannie Mae, the Fannie Mae Foundation, United Health Care and the United Health Foundation. His other brand experience at the agency includes Southwest Airlines, BMW, Walmart, PGA Tour, Jos. A. Banks, and Molson Coors Brewing Company.

In addition to his many operational contributions, Duff has long served as a cultural leader. He helped define and articulate the agency's core values: integrity, curiosity, restlessness, community, freedom & responsibility and winning. These values are carved into the floor of the agency's headquarters building—a massive construction project that Duff led as part of the revitalization of the western edge of Austin's downtown.

Within the Austin community, Duff is president of the board of directors for the Austin Theatre Alliance, past president and current board member of Songwriting with Soldiers, and has lent his time and talents to causes like the Anti-Defamation League and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. He is also active in local, state and national politics.

Duff began his career in commercial real estate after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in economics.

Of the many opportunities that GSD&M has offered him, none compare with meeting and marrying his wife Liz and raising their three childre

Duff Stewart

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Eye Opener Breakfasts: Peer Discussions and Networking

Monday, July 16, Tuesday, July 17 & Wednesday, July 18 AM (times vary) - Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Seek advice from your LHAT colleagues and share experiences in historic theatre operations, programming, management and facilities development through highly interactive information exchanges two mornings during the conference. A favorite of LHAT conferences, this newtorking breakfast introduces you to valuable resources within the League's network.

Monday Breakfast Sponsored by Staging Concepts

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Resource Area - Historic Theatre Information Exchange

Open Sunday afternoon, all day Monday & Tuesday - Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

The LHAT Conference is the nation's largest annual gathering of historic theatre professionals because it's all about peer information exchange. To enhance that experience, we need your help.

Please bring copies of any materials from your theatre that you think a fellow attendee might find valuable -- anything they can look at (or even better -- take home) to add to what they learned during conference sessions and peer networking. We want attendees to leave Austin re-energized, with all kinds of tools and ideas that they can share with their staff and board members back home that will help them forge ahead and plan for the success of their historic theatres.

What to bring

• Season Brochures and Programs • Capital and Annual Campaign Flyers • Volunteer Training Guidelines • Front of House Manuals • Employee Manuals • Emergency & Preparedness Plans / Safety Handbooks • Patron Code of Conduct • Sample Patron Incident Forms • Rental Rates / Sample Rental Agreements & Guidelines • Tech Sheets • Economic Impact and Feasibility Studies • Sample RFPs for Services • Sponsorship and Membership Brochures • Sample Offer & Venue Contract Riders •

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