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COVID-19 Update: March 25, 2020: Legislative Breakthroughs, More Fundraising, the Industry Joins the Fight

The big news of the day: The Congressional stimulus package is almost certain to pass the Senate, after which it only needs the president's signature before becoming law. As this breakdown notes, it provides relief for freelancers and gig workers: nyti.ms/2vSJ2xE. In fact, some critics worry that the bill will lead to increased layoffs: cnb.cx/33JEKVT. Canada has passed a stimulus bill, too: bit.ly/2xoSXeN.

In the UK, Arts Council England announces a $189 million aid package: bit.ly/2JhyScZ.

In news that surprises nobody, The Tony Awards have been postponed. According to the statement, "The 74th Annual Tony Awards, scheduled to air live on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 7th from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date, in coordination with our broadcast partner. The health and safety of the Broadway community, artists, and fans is of the utmost importance to us. We will announce new dates and additional information once Broadway opens again."

On a more uplifting note, Robe joined forces with Dutch lighting companies to honor health care workers: bit.ly/2UjaRZi.

And, taking action, The Live Events Coalition, a new national coalition of live event and entertainment businesses, their employees, and independent contractors are calling on the Trump Administration and Congress to establish a special task force to rescue their industry in the face of total collapse as a result of COVID-19: www.lightingandsoundamerica.com/news/story.asp?ID=MKYU5C.

Spotify, the not-always-loved streaming service, is donating $20 million for relief to the music community: bit.ly/39ibuql.

And here's some inside info on the shutdown of the Olympics: wapo.st/2vPzIur.

James Taylor and his wife, Kim, have donated $1 million to Massachusetts General Hospital: bit.ly/2Jh4Ohq.

If you want to feel proud of your industry:

Here's more on Upstaging's conversion to making medical devices: bit.ly/3amVCUE.

ModTruss has joined the fight against the coronavirus: "We are industry experts in temporary and modular building structures. Teamed with local EMS and medical professionals, ModTruss has developed solutions to the cross-contamination epidemic that is occurring in and throughout our nation. In response, we've created a Bio Containment Unit (BCU) to host COVID-19 individuals as well as a Common Area Barrier (CAB) to separate patients from each other while they are on site in close proximity. Furthermore, our nation-wide dealer network and ourselves are poised and ready to build temporary exterior structures to augment the overflowing volume of individuals needing care."

And, as you can read below, ETC is manufacturing face masks for those fighting the coronavirus.

Companies continue to weigh in:

4Wall Entertainment has published this extremely useful list of online resources: bit.ly/2JhC2gW.

Adam Hall hosts an online industry talk via livestream on March 31, offering one-hour rounds of moderated discussions between experts, the Adam Hall Group is reacting to the international developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). After, the global event technology provider will present its 2020 product highlights in a virtual trade show. The livestream of the Adam Hall Industry Talk starts on March 31, 2020 at 10:00am Central European Time, at www.event.tech. The panel includes Marcel Courth (moderator, editor in chief, Production Partner; Nico Ubenauf, CEO, satis&fy; Joe Lamond: president and CEO, NAMM; Luca Lastrucci: CEO/co-founder, Powersoft; Marcus Graser, CEO, Claypaky; Simon Kropp, editor in chief, Event Rookie; and Alexander Pietschmann (host), CEO, Adam Hall Group.

From City Theatrical, Gary Fails, writes, "We're here and we're open for business." There's much more at bit.ly/39cxYsM. Gary also provides this excellent list of streaming performances bit.ly/33Rxfft.

From Clearwing: "Our teams in Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Denver continue to monitor the COVID-19 crisis and have adjusted our business operations to comply with existing and potential state guidelines on closures. We continue to accept and process quotes, orders, service needs, and other requests. In addition, arrangements can be made for delivery/pickup/shipping of equipment or products. Our operating hours are still in effect (8:30am - 5:00pm in Milwaukee, 9:00am - 5:00pm in Phoenix and Denver). All of our existing phone numbers will route you to the appropriate on-site and remote contacts within the company. We kindly request that any visits to one of our shops be scheduled in advance. As this every-changing situation continues, our team will continue to monitor and provide updates via email, social media, and our blog."

Digital Projection says, "Although our production capacity was reduced in February and March, we expect to be back to full production by the end of April. Even so, DP Inc., currently holds inventory of most projector models, and those that are not in stock will be back in stock by the end of April. Full engineering support is still available to us as well. Here in the US, much of our staff is working at home as instructed by municipal and state authorities. However, employees in essential roles are still working hard in our Kennesaw offices to provide our partners and customers with the best service possible. Members of our customer service, technical support, and application support teams have said they will continue to work in our offices for as long as is allowed. We are receiving weekly shipments from our factories and we continue to fulfill and ship orders here in the US."

ETC is moving all employees to a reduced work schedule. David Lincecum, VP of marketing says, "The action that we've taken today preserves our ability to continue to pay everyone, during a time when we don't know if everyone can come to work. We're doing this to protect the company and all our employees, who are our number one priority." Lincecum reiterated that ETC will remain open during the course of the pandemic, providing technical support to all its customers, including critical government, health, and broadcast institutions. Additionally, ETC mobilized to design and produce personal protection equipment for medical personnel. ETC has also taken extreme protective measures to ensure the safety of their workers in manufacturing and will continue to ship its core lighting, lighting and power controls, and rigging equipment to the best of their ability, pending restrictions in the global supply chain. ETC will continue its education and outreach activities at www.etcconnect.com/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fStudy-Hall.aspx. The company is also currently manufacturing face masks for those fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

From URTA, executive director Tony Hagopian writes, "URTA is collecting information and resources on a special page of our website. I hope it can provide some help and hope for those seeking it. This page will be revised regularly, as new resources come to our attention. Please let us know if you have something to share, whether it be a theatrical commons, information on health, safety, or support for artists, a new artistic platform or project, or other information that could be useful to someone in our community. We'll do our part to boost the signal."

And to keep you busy on those long nights at home:

Thirdwing, a digital theater company designed to develop plays directly for streaming as well as for the live stage, faced the cancellation of its first stage offering, Rachel Carey's The Female Genius, at Off Off Broadway's The Wild Project. Now, Thirdwing is partnering with The Wild Project to release one episode each night of their scheduled run starting on April 14. Half of all yearly streaming memberships will go directly to support The Wild Project. Those using the discount code WILD will get 10% off monthly subscriptions ($36 a year or $3.59/month) with all proceeds going to The Wild Project for six months. Audiences can visit www.thirdwing.watch for more information and sign up for the streaming subscription. Episodically written, The Female Genius runs just over an hour in one evening of theater. The play was specially designed to work well for home viewing and stage viewing and filmed in different styles reminiscent of the teleplays of the '50s and '60s.

The Hale Center in Utah is streamlining its production of musical Daddy Long Legs: bit.ly/2QJokrh

Sennheiser has more performances lined up on its Instagram site: www.instagram.com/sennheiser/?hl=en. On Thursday, the attractions include Ibiza-based producer and DJ Davina Moss (10:00am); American post-punk rockers Heart Attack Man (3:00pm); French DJ and producer Shiba San (6:00pm); on March 30, American alt-rocker Mat Kerekes of CITIZEN (3:00pm).

Off Broadway's Vineyard Theatre is raising money by presenting an online staged reading of Lucas Hnath's award-winning A Doll's House, Part II: bit.ly/2Um3dgV.

Off Broadway's Red Bull Theatre will present an online staged reading of John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, which the company presented in 2015. The livestream will be available on Monday, March 30th at 7:30pm at Red Bull Theatre's website at www.redbulltheater.com/live, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RedBullTheater, and at vimeo.com/redbulltheater.

Again, check out this list of available streaming performances from Stages: bit.ly/33Rxfft. (Hat tip to Gary Fails.)

(25 March 2020)

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