Stages glow red with the hope to sway Congress

September 4, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

BY OLIVIA CAMERON- On Tuesday, Sept. 1, Friends of Boca Grande Community Center joined the nationwide effort, “Red Alert,” to light the outdoor stage red and plead to Congress to make a change. As one of more than 60 performing arts venues of the Florida Professional Presenters Consortium, Friends of Boca Grande has kept the island glowing up until midnight. 
Red Alert was intended to bring decisions to the RESTART Act and the Save Our Stages Act, both offering relief to the live entertainment industry. Red Alert is also an effort to extend pandemic unemployment assistance. 
As stated in last week’s paper, Friends of Boca Grande planned to light the Boca Grande Community Center stage and join the effort. After the stage was lit, the organization took to social media to contribute to the nationwide statement.
Facebook captured the effort from each state, with posts from the Nashville Symphony, Seattle Opera and the Washington National Cathedral, each with their venues clad in red. More than 19,000 people are following the effort behind the platform hashtag, #RedAlertRESTART.
Program Director Debbie Frank was proud to be one of the organizations across the country to bring attention to the live entertainment industry. 
“It was an act of solidarity to bring the industry together and highlight the situation at hand. Support came from a wide variety of venues and organizations,” said Frank. “At this point, the acts will be continually promoted and people are still being encouraged to send a letter to Congress.”
It is too soon to tell whether the stages have captured enough attention to enact the changes and provide relief to those affected, but a glowing nation says otherwise.
“Ultimately, we hope this will impact the entire industry. We are fortunate to have the community support of Boca Grande, but know many in the industry have closed their doors,” Frank said. 
Friends of Boca Grande Community Center has continued to plan the upcoming season and will be launching an updated plan of what’s to come on their website by September 8.
For more information, visit friendsofbocagrande.org.