The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown measures have had far-reaching effects on several industries throughout South Africa. But one of the hardest hit is the entertainment business.
For professional entertainers, many of whom belong to the LGBT community, livelihoods have been suddenly shattered, and hunger has become frighteningly real. But this stark reality has prompted decisive action from one of the entertainment industry’s own, and a glimmer of hope has emerged for embattled entertainers, even as the spotlight continues to grow dimmer.
Spearheaded by Hayley Bennett-Freidin Director, Producer and Creative Director from the Tailormade Group, and her husband Warren, MD of AV and Beyond together with their business partner, head choreographer Liam Anthony, the Hope Project SA aims to keep South Africa entertained while safely creating job opportunities for performers who have found themselves “cancelled” or “postponed” and without any source of income.
“The Hope Project SA will run a number of initiatives of support, including online streaming of productions, as well as projects such as the newly launched facemask initiative. These programmes will provide work for those in our embattled industry and provide relief funds, that out of work entertainers and events people can apply for,” says Hayley.
In the meantime, the public can provide support for our hardworking entertainers in need by buying facemasks from the Hope Project SA’s website.
All proceeds generated through the sale of these masks will be donated to the Hope Project SA, helping provide relief for freelance performers and technical crew in need. These reusable, triple-layer, cotton face masks are unisex, come a variety of sizes from children to adult, are machine washable and tumble dryer-friendly. They are also fitted with interchangeable D15 filters, which last for up to five washes. They are also certified.
“To allow for the masks to be manufactured, our premises have been converted to a workshop, which is providing continued work for industry seamstresses. These highly skilled people have made stunning costumes for years, and are now making high-quality masks, while entertainers are being employed to pack and deliver them. Besides providing much-needed work for entertainers and crew, the project also provides a platform via the website that allows artists and technical people to apply for relief in the form of vouchers redeemable at reputable stores for food, electricity and data,” says Hayley.
Most of us have, at some stage in our lives been thoroughly entertained by the thrill of a live performance. These are memories that will stay with us for years to come. Now, as entertainers try to pick up the pieces and bounce back from the crisis they face, perhaps you could spare a thought with those fond memories in mind, and provide a moment of relief for some of the entertainers who have made us smile.
To order your mask and to find out more about the Hope Project SA, visit www.thehopeprojectsa.co.za.