Mask Wearing

Local Artists Get Creative to Stop the Spread of COVID

San Diego's performing arts community is coming together for a new campaign to help stop the spread of COVID-19

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Out of work due to the pandemic and in need of a creative outlet, local artists are coming together to send an important message.

"You can be creative, you can do things, just wear your mask," said photographer Ken Jacques. "Stop the spread."

Jacques works with more than a dozen theaters across San Diego, all of which have been closed since the shutdown in March.

"All the spring shows were getting ready to open, Jacques said. "All the shows we’d been working on to get prepped – gone."

The closures left numerous actors, dancers, singers, musicians and other artists like Jacques without jobs.

“Our jobs are just not there for us to go back to,” costume designer Janet Pitcher said.

With the theatres closed, Pitcher turned her talents to making masks for medical workers.

“After donating hundreds of them, people wanted to buy them. So, that’s where this started,” Pitcher said.

Jacques and Pitcher have teamed up for a campaign to encourage people to wear their masks.

San Diego Artists Helping to Stop the Spread features photos of local performing artists wearing Pitcher's masks in iconic locations around America's Finest City.

"It’s really lifted everybody’s spirits," Jacques said. "Because, as creatives, you either keep creating or you, you dry up."

The San Diego Musical Theatre has also been a big part of the campaign. Pitcher designed a special mask to benefit SDMT, featuring custom fabric with the Playbills from all of their productions.

"Everybody has a memory of some show that they saw," Pitcher said. "And so we thought, if we have all the shows we created on a mask, this would be a great way to have people remember those times and help get us back there, by wearing a mask. It’s a simple kind thing that we can do to help everyone get back to work."

San Diego Musical Theatre is also streaming its Stars Under the Stars benefit concert this weekend. For a $25 minimum donation, you can watch SDMT alumni perform Broadway hits from the comfort of your own home.

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