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Industry Pro Newsletter: AEA Issues New Safety Guidelines, Anti-Racism Work in Seattle, and Save Our Stages Included in the Stimulus

New Safety Guidelines Developed with Producers Means Big Steps Forward for 2021

December 28, 2020 -

With only a few more days left in 2020, we can all look forward to a few big things in 2021: the continued deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the return to live performance with full audiences at some point in the year. While there is still a long road between here and there, many of the lessons learned in 2020 about finding new ways to reach audiences should have us all excited about the possibilities when the need for social distancing is no longer an operating condition. Meanwhile, as the rubber hits the road and theatre companies return to full operational strength, it will be time to see if many of the necessary changes to bring equity into our institutions are being successfully implemented. The road to growth, healing, and solutions there is yet another long road for us to get down as an industry, but this year, as highlighted in an article below about artistic leadership in Seattle, the groundwork has been laid, and with the right focus, 2021 can be an important turning point year in the anti-racism work both inside and out of our industry.

AEA Releases Covid-19 Safety Guidelines

Focusing in on the four main types of live performance happening - indoor with or without an audience and outdoor with or without an audience - these guidelines were developed in conjunction between the Union, producers, and former head of OSHA Dr. David Michael's. AEA is proud to report that none of the productions undertaken as pilots of these guidelines had issues with spread of the virus.

Congress Passes Stimulus Which Includes Save Our Stages Legislation

At the time of the writing of this newsletter, Congress had passed a new round of economic stimulus and financial rescue for struggling industries - including the Save Our Stages Act designed to support venues across the country that have been deeply affected by the COVD-19 pandemic. As the bill went to President Trump's desk, however, there was some last minute political wrangling that may affect the ultimately implementation of this act - however, that it was included in the bill passed by Congress is a sign of hope that there is some recognition of the economic engine that is the performing arts industry.

Charles McNulty Dreams Up a New Business Model for Theatre

Writing in The Los Angeles Times, Charles McNulty writes about his hopes that as theatres emerge from the pandemic in 2021, they'll find a way to build new models of how business is done - models that not only provide more flexibility for artists and companies, but return theatre to a must-see cultural experience.

How Leaders of Seattle Theatres Are Coming Together to Fight Racism

In response to this summer's protests and the continual presence of police brutality, leaders of Seattle's arts institutions got together (via zoom) to discuss how to respond - both within their community and within their institutions.

A Year of Pivots in Review

The Boston Globe offered a roundup of the ways Boston area theatre companies (and beyond) innovated during 2020 to offer live productions, audio productions, streaming productions, and more. The New York Times' European critics asked themselves the same questions and to reflect on what these closures and pivots meant across Europe.

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