Featured graphic: On the left, the Sanford Center, with NLFX Professional’s lighting display on the right. Graphic and photography courtesy of Eric Callagan.
The Sanford Event Center, NLFX Professionals, the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, and smaller music venues such as Steve Ross’s Flying Dog Studio, set up red lights to bring awareness to the struggling arts industry.
The “Red Alert RESTART #WeMakeEvents” was a worldwide event on Tuesday, Sept 1 from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Last week, Bemidji Now interviewed NLFX’s Ben Stowe about the awareness campaign.
According to the “Be An Arts Hero” Coalition, the arts and culture sector employs 5.1 million people and provides $877 billion value added to the U.S. economy. Due to COVID-19, 62 percent of arts workers are fully unemployed and 94 percent report income loss.
There is bipartisan legislation, the RESTART Act, pending in Congress which may provide some relief to the industry.
Minnesota’s Senator Amy Klobuchar also introduced the “Save our Stages” bill to fund independent venues struggling in the pandemic.