Arts, cultural and live events were some of the first industries shut down by the pandemic and most remain closed or extremely limited, meaning hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are unemployed or underemployed.
Buildings throughout Downtown will light up red Tuesday night to encourage economic support for the live events industry. Cincinnati Arts Association Vice President Todd Duesing says they're calling on Congress to pass the RESTART act. The #RedAlert campaign is a nationwide effort to promote public awareness and encourage people to ask their congressional leaders to pass the RESTART act. Buildings across the U.S. and several Canadian cities will be lit red from 9 p.m. to midnight.
"What we're hoping for is that the employment parts of that continue on to support our workers," Duesing says. "The payroll protections and the payroll and employment act, all that is moved forward so that the funding is available for the workers."
Nationwide, 62% of arts workers report being fully unemployed. In Ohio, the arts are a $41 billion industry, Duesing points out, and would normally employ nearly 300,000 people. That means hundreds of thousands of Ohioans from lighting technicians to musicians, actors, directors, costumers and back- and front-of-house employees remain unemployed or underemployed.
While many industries are finding ways to get people back to work, with congregate setting limits remaining capped to limit the spread of COVID-19, arts and culture and live events are sidelined.
"It could be as early as January potentially once we have ways to bring people together safely," Duesing says. "It could be as far off as June when the vaccine has been administered throughout our country to 60%-plus of the population, so we have some folks who are going to be in some real dire need and we really want to make sure that our workforce folks have some support as needed."
Here's a partial list of participating venues:
- Aronoff Center for the Arts
- The Carnegie
- Cincinnati Museum Center
- Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
- Covedale Center for the Performing Arts
- Duke Energy Convention Center
- Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
- Great American Ball Park
- Heritage Bank Center
- Know Theatre
- Music Hall
- Northern Kentucky Convention Center
- Playhouse in the Park
- PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center
- Riverbend Music Center
- Taft Theater
- Warsaw Federal Incline Theater
- Washington Park Stage
- Woodward Theater