September 1, 2020 — #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART and #ExtendPUA represent a major call to action this evening, imploring the US Congress to pass the RESTART Act (S.3814) as quickly as possible, offering economic relief to the live events industry, which has been shuttered since March, 2020, putting millions of people out of work. Additionally, the movement is to support ExtendPUA.org in their efforts towards continuation and extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to provide relief to those without work due to COVID-19.
The initial date of August 27 coincided with the closing of a national political convention and the organizers of #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART want to make sure their message is heard loud and clear and gets the media attention it deserves. “We had no intentions to piggy back on the convention, and we began receiving feedback from several US cities with concern about having our event on the same day. Therefore, a decision was made to move the date in order to expand our exposure,” says #WeMakeEvents North American director, Brad Nelms. “In the meantime, the group has managed to gather incredible support for this important movement, signing on more than 30 regional directors to lead the initiative in markets nationally. This team have been so fired up and already have commitments from hundreds of incredible venues and iconic locations nationally who will show support.”
The event will now take place this evening, when buildings, structures, and residences will be lit in red from 9pm-12am (local time in each market) as the event rolls across North America. The goal to raise public awareness that the live events industry is on Red Alert for its very survival, and create congressional pressure to act now.
#BeAnArtsHero, a grassroots coalition of arts and cultural workers, reports: “The arts & culture sector employs 5.1 million people and provides $877 billion value added to the U.S. economy. It adds more value to the economy than transportation, agriculture, or tourism. The arts & culture sector is a cornerstone of the larger U.S. economy, making up 4.5% of GDP. Despite their out-sized cultural and economic contribution, the arts & culture sector of the U.S. economy is in grave danger. Due to COVID-19, 62% of arts workers report that they are fully unemployed. 94% of arts workers report income loss; to date, the average arts worker reports $23,500 in lost revenue this year. Due to COVID, 66% of arts workers report they are unable to access the spaces, staff, resources, or supplies needed to perform their work.”
The targeted list of cities for the #WeMakeEvents #RedAlertRESTART #ExtendPUA event this evening across North America includes Washington D.C., Huntsville, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Boston, Baltimore, Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Nashville, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Boulder, Fayetteville, Lexington, Louisville, and Canadian neighbors including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
The North American event comes on the heels of the August 11 event #WeMakeEvents Red Alert Day Of Action when over 700 buildings were lit in red across the UK, calling attention to the same plight facing the live events industry there.
As theatres, concert tours, festivals, opera houses, trade shows, and other live events as well as film and television production remain closed, or open on a very limited basis, the entire industry is impacted, from designers, technicians, programmers, and stagehands to rental shops, manufacturers, and distributors of entertainment technology. The first industry to close last March, live events could be the last sector to re-open due to the COVID-19 crisis.