Because their business is rooted in large group gatherings, entertainment venues were one of the first industries to be completely shut down in early March and will be one of the last to return. Hundreds of thousands of businesses employing millions of people are at risk, warn entertainment industry unions including IATSE Local 22 here in Washington. “If we do not receive government assistance the live events industry will literally collapse,” said Local 22 president David McIntyre. Two events this Tuesday (see Calendar) will highlight – one literally -- efforts to push the RESTART Act, which would extend unemployment benefits to workers displaced by COVID-19. “We Make Events #RedAlertRESTART” will rally from 6-10p on the Mall and then from 9p-midnight, downtown buildings will be lit up with red lights, both to highlight the urgency of the crisis and to showcase the lighting skills of IATSE members.
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