topic_interest is exactly #dvawarenessmonth
2020-10-20For the last few years, I have coordinated an event called, Dancing for a Brand New Me. It is a fundraiser event that is designed to not only bring about awareness to domestic violence in Lassen County, but it is a fundraiser to help pay for the the mortgage of the shelter for victims. Last year was the 7th year that local "Susanville Stars" were partnered with local professional choreographers to dance three dances before judges similar to NBC's Dancing with the Stars. Our local stars are usually very active community members who spend about 5-6 months learning the dances, but they also fundraiser to get sponsors. It becomes a fun, healthy competition to see who can out dance and out raise funds with each other. Most of the choreographers have participated in the event for many years. It has become a community favorite, selling out tickets both nights the third weekend in October. In 2020, we had to come up with four different plans on how we would perform, because of the pandemic. Our plans included only performing a livestreamed show to relocating our event outdoors. Normally, the event is performed in the local Veterans Hall that is equipped with stage, lights, and sound. In September 2020, I wrote a proposal to public health outlining in detail how we would manage the event. It took weeks for public health to get back to us. But what they approved was that our event could be held at the local High School football stadium, we had to mark off 6-foot distance, require mask, and have screenings at the gate. We had hand sanitizer stations and we were instructed two things: limited seats (200 people) and whatever we did, when we live streamed to not show the audience. The article that I attached talks more about the event than the obstacle it took to put on the event. It is incredibly difficult to move sound equipment in and out of a football stadium every day for a week. It is hard to do a staged performance when you are surrounded by a dirt track. It is hard to have your dressing room be the football locker room. It was very difficult to make all of the modifications and changes that we did. But we did it. And it was an amazing event. Even though we weren't supposed to, we have about 400 people in the audience each night. Most did not wear mask and most were sitting very close to each other. Even one of the public health officials sat in the audience not following the "rules". The event raised over $25,000! Just two weeks after our event, many of the Halloweeen events led to a Covid-19 outbreak in our community and the cases rose rapidly. Prior to Dancing for a Brand New Me 2020, we had zero cases. After Halloween 2020 our cases skyrocketed for a small town. I saw that we happened to just squeeze in one performing arts event just in time before things got bad. I feel like we were lucky and it was probably why the event was so well attended. I have the newspaper article and my proposal attached.