The Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene has been lit up red this week in support of a nationwide effort to raise awareness of how the pandemic has affected the live events industry.
It’s been almost six months since Oregon first implemented a Stay at Home order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Because live events thrive on social gathering most venues remain closed and will likely be in the last wave of openings.
Marketing Director Rich Hobby says it’s important to save venues of all sizes because the industry is so interconnected.
“We just need everyone to be ringing the bell as loud as they can. Cause that’s the real tragedy is what happens long term,” said Hobby. “We often hear from patrons that their favorite memories are created in the Hult Center and I imagine that favorite memories are created at venues all over the nation and the world.”
Director of Programming and Booking Vicki Infinito added that while the Hult Center has a unique situation being operated by the City of Eugene, they still rely on smaller venues to develop talent.
“Yeah, no artist starts at a 2,500 seat venue. Everybody has started… usually their home town in a small venue,” Infinito said.
A study by Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 found that in 2015, nonprofit arts generated $62 million and 2,400 jobs in Eugene.
According to We Make Events, the organization coordinating the Red Alert, the goal is to get Congress to pass the Save Our Stages and Restart Acts.