Live Event-Related Businesses Going Red Across the Country on Sept. 1

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020Walton Arts Center and the Walmart AMP are joining with live event-related businesses across the country and going red on Sept. 1.

Event-related businesses are lighting their buildings red from 9 pm until midnight to raise public awareness about the economic plight of the live events industry; to show support for the RESTART Act, a bipartisan bill that helps some of these hardest-hit businesses; and to encourage the extension of unemployment help for workers displaced because of the pandemic.

The Fayetteville Town Center, George’s Majestic Lounge, the University of Arkansas Faulkner Performing Arts Center, TheatreSquared and the Momentary are just a few of the local organizations participating on Sept. 1. Regional venues participating include Simmons Bank Arena and the Little Rock Amphitheater, BOK Center in Tulsa and the Fort Smith Convention Center.

According to event organizers, wemakeevents.org, since the shutdown in March thousands of events have been canceled across the country, impacting venues, artists and event contractors such as local crew, bartenders, ushers, security and catering. 96% of companies within this segment have cut staff.

Because live events are rooted in large group gatherings, the industry was one of the first to be completely shut down and will be one of the last to return to full operations. Due to health and safety concerns around the spread of COVID-19, live events are not expected to return at full scale until sometime in 2021, which makes the RESTART Act a critical piece of legislation for the survival of the industry.

The live event industry in North America directly employs more than 12 million people and includes hundreds of thousands of businesses with a combined economic impact of over $1 trillion.

Support for Walton Arts Center is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 215,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 300 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 35,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 250 volunteers donate 28,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to enjoy world-class performances at a great price. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.

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