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First Coast

Live Entertainment Venues Across Florida And Nation Declare ‘Red Alert’

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The Florida Theatre is among the live venues that will be lit in red on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Tuesday, Sept. 1, entertainment and arts venues across the country, including several on the First Coast, will be lighting up the night in red to call attention to their financial plight and advocate for economic relief from damage caused by the pandemic.

The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and the Florida Theatre in Downtown Jacksonville, along with the Thrasher Horne Center in Orange Park, will be lit in red from 9 p.m. to midnight as part of a nationwide effort being called a Red Alert, to encourage Congress to provide economic relief to the live entertainment industry.

The Florida Professional Presenters Consortium, a statewide group of over 60 performing arts venues, wants Congress to pass a pair of stimulus packages: the RESTART Act and the Save Our Stages Act. The industry also wants temporary federal unemployment aid extended.

The consortium estimates 12 million show workers including designers, technicians and stagehands have been left unemployed by the pandemic.

“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. We were the first to close and will be the last to open. We’re happy to do it, but we are without income, and need help,” said Florida Theatre President Numa Saisselin in an email to WJCT News.

The consortium is asking the public to show support by visiting saveourstages.com to send a letter to local representatives. They are also encouraging supporters to use the hashtags #SAVEOURSTAGES and #RedAlertRESTART on social media and lighting their own homes or business red in a show of solidarity, or using a red filter on a social media image.