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BIG ARTS to support ‘Red Alert’ initiative for arts

By BIG ARTS - | Aug 25, 2020

BIG ARTS, a member of the Florida Professional Presenters Consortium, is joining “Red Alert” — a nationwide effort to encourage Congress to provide relief for the live entertainment industry, which has been affected by the pandemic. The consortium is a statewide organization of over 60 performing arts venues.

On Sept. 1 from 9 p.m. to midnight, BIG ARTS’ windows will shine through with red as part of the nationwide call to action, imploring the U.S. Congress to pass the RESTART Act (S. 3814/H.R. 7481) and the Save Our Stages Act (S. 4258/H.R. 7806) as quickly as possible.

The RESTART Act and Save Our Stages Act offer economic relief to the live events industry, which has been shuttered since March. Red Alert also advocates for extending Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to provide relief to those without work since March due to COVID-19. Nationwide, 12 million show workers are estimated to be unemployed because of the pandemic, including designers, technicians, programmers, stagehands and others.

“Performing arts venues are closed because we know that COVID-19 spreads within intimate closed spaces, which of course perfectly describes a theatre or club,” BIG ARTS Executive Director Lee Ellen Harder said. “BIG ARTS is happy to join our colleagues in urging help for the arts, artists and venues that contribute so much to our qualify of life across the country.”

Kevin Stone, president of the Florida Professional Presenters Consortium, stated:

“Our culture, the music, dance and theatre created and performed in each of our cities, is what makes them unique and special places. We must make sure that survives. It’s also about jobs and the economy. The member venues of Florida Presenters alone create a total economic impact every year of $495 million, which supports the Full Time Equivalent of 15,425 jobs, $377.7 million of household income, $21.8 million of local government fees and taxes, and $26.1 million of state government fees and taxes.”

Fans and the public can help raise awareness and create pressure on Congress to act in several ways. Visit www.saveourstages.com to send a letter to your U.S. senators and representatives. Use the hashtags #SAVEOURSTAGES and #RedAlertRESTART on social media. Light your residence or business red in a show of solidarity or use a red filter on a social media image.

The Florida Professional Presenters Consortium represents performing arts venues throughout Florida, from Panama City to Key West, from the largest cultural institutions in the state to the smallest most vital organizations in rural and underserved counties. The business of culture is a major component of Florida’s diverse economy, contributing a $1.4 billion impact. The activities of the members of Florida Presenters contribute almost a half billion dollars to that impact.

BIG ARTS joins the following fellow Florida Presenters taking part in Red Alert: Arts Garage, Delray Beach; Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers; Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale; Center for the Arts at River Ridge, New Port Richey; Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center/Palm Beach State College, Belle Glade; Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando; Florida Theatre, Jacksonville; King Center for the Performing Arts, Melbourne; Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College, Niceville; Old School Square Center For The Arts Inc., Delray Beach; Opening Nights at Florida State University, Tallahassee; South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, Miami/Cutler Bay; Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa; The Flagler Auditorium Performing Arts Center, Palm Coast; The Lyric Theatre, Stuart; The RP Funding Center, Lakeland; University of Florida Performing Arts, Gainesville; and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota.