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Arts groups try to rally together for help through holidays

Posted at 4:37 PM, Dec 01, 2020

DENVER — Empty chairs stare at an empty stage at the Lone Tree Arts Center.

“We had a number of shows lined up for the holidays,” Center Executive Director Lisa Rigsby Peterson said.

So instead of red and green, the only red is on the state's COVID-19 dial.

“Holy cow, it has been a roller coaster really. It’s been probably the most challenging time I’ve ever experience as an arts professional,” Rigsby Peterson said.

This year has brought challenges and changes and to help keep some staff employed they made a big one.

“Our crew taught themselves to be video producers and we purchased some equipment and we start live streaming from our stage,” she said.

They expect to lose 65-75% of their revenue this year, but obviously those supposed to be performing are hurt worse.

“It’s been an incredibly hard year. I’ve lost jobs because of the pandemic has so many people have,” actor/director Betty Hart said.

Some actors like Betty Hart are relying elsewhere for income.

“That’s where it’s really great to have a day job as an artist. And I’m one of the really blessed ones,” Hart said.

And with a murky future ahead, arts groups are trying to get help in the form of a new website

In a year like this, can it help?

“It can because if people give in theaters can sustain during this time of darkness and this time and they’re not able to produce and that means jobs will be available when the vaccine is freely distributed,” Hart said.

In hopes that if the lights can be kept on and the show can once again go on.

“There’s going to be a time when everyone of these 500 seats are going to be filled again and we can’t wait for that moment. We wish we didn’t have to wait as long as we’re going to,” Rigsby Peterson said.

But as all in the arts know, great performances are worth waiting for.