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The BTS Mental Health Initiative Seeks Therapist Recommendations

The BTS Mental Health Initiative Seeks Therapist Recommendations

Last fall, Behind the Scenes conducted an online survey of industry members which received an unprecedented response. This was followed by two focus groups in January to delve deeper into some of the issues and concerns raised in the survey responses. One of the most frequent complaints we heard was how difficult it is to find a therapist who knows anything about the entertainment industry and who is available to see people on nights and weekends or through teletherapy.

As one of the first programs of our mental health and suicide prevention initiative, we are partnering with HelpPro to create an online therapist finder specifically for the entertainment industry. This means that we are seeking therapists who either have personal experience in our industry or who have previously seen clients who work in the industry and learned about the unique pressures and stresses.

In order to make this program a valuable resource for the industry, we need the assistance of everyone in the industry who has seen a therapist they thought was helpful. If you or a family member have experience with a therapist you think should be listed on the finder, please send their contact information to [email protected]. We’ll reach out to them to let them know when the finder is ready for them to sign up.

They’ll be asked about their experience in the industry and will complete an extensive questionnaire that includes their areas of specialty, what insurance they accept and whether they have a sliding scale for those not covered, whether they have weekend and nighttime office hours or will conduct phone or video sessions, and much more. This will allow those seeking counseling to find the best possible matches for their needs.

We are hoping to launch the new finder in late March or early April – contingent upon having enough therapists listed to be useful.

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The Lightpower Collection Supports BTS Through the Work of Neal Preston

The Lightpower Collection Continues to Support BTS
Through the Work of Neal Preston

The Behind the Scenes booth at the recent NAMM Show proved to be a hit once again for fans of Neal Preston’s iconic Rock’n’Roll photography. The exhibit was made possible by the generosity of the Lightpower Collection. Lightpower, founded in 1978 in Germany, is an internationally established distributor for stage and studio lighting equipment. The Lightpower Collection was born out of a company culture with a passion for collecting Rock’n’Roll art. The collection features photography and album cover artwork from many of the world’s greatest photographers and designers. Neal Preston’s Rock’n’Roll photography represents the core of this collection and comprises over seventy large-format original fine art prints. 

At the show, Ralph-Jörg Wezorke, founder of Lightpower and the Collection, continued their ongoing support of Behind the Scenes by presenting a check for $11,800 to BTS Executive Director Lori Rubinstein. Upon presenting the check, Ralph stated “Lightpower and I are very happy to be able to support Behind the Scenes and give back to those who make up this fabulous industry. It’s a real pleasure to bring Neal’s work to such an appreciative audience.”

Lori Rubinstein commented, “We are so grateful to Ralph and the Lightpower Collection for their incredible support of our mission and for the amazing gift of having Neal’s extraordinary work in our booth. We had long lines each day to have Neal sign books and posters and the joy the pictures brought to attendees was absolutely palpable.”

For those who missed the show, Neal’s books and posters are available online from the Behind the Scenes Boutique. Prints, in a variety of sizes, are available from the Lightpower Collection.

Neal Preston is one of the most highly respected photographers in the history of the music business and his legendary images include some of the most memorable ever made of rock’s most iconic stars. Neal’s client list is a virtual who’s-who of rock royalty and his archive is regarded as one of the music industry’s most extensive and significant photo collections.

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The LRLR Raffle and the BTS Boutique at USITT

The LRLR Raffle and the BTS Boutique at USITT

The Long Reach Long Riders and Behind the Scenes will host their annual fundraising raffle at the USITT Conference April 2-4 in Houston, TX. This year’s raffle will celebrate the 17thAnniversary of the Long Reach Long Riders annual charity motorcycle ride. The Riders who have raised over half a million dollars for charity in their years of touring, will be riding June 20-27 on the “A River Runs Through It” tour through 4 states around the upper Midwest with route highlights in and around the area known as “the Driftless.”

The Behind the Scenes Boutique will also be open for business during the show featuring an assortment of great Behind the Scenes swag and the famous Long Reach Long Rider T-shirts and kazoos.

Tickets for the raffle are an affordable $5 each or 5 for $20 and can be purchased at the Behind the Scenes booth #222 throughout the show. Winning tickets for nine regular prizes and one grand prize will be drawn at 1pm on Saturday, the final day of Stage Expo.

The prizes, provided by our generous donors, are:Grand Prize, Spotlight with Renderworks from Vectorworks; Ghostlight from Altman Rentals; SpotFX unit with battery pack and gobos from Apollo Design, American Express Gift Card from Barbizon; Event Safety Summit 2020 Registration from the Event Safety Alliance; Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine with Aeroccino Milk Frother from IA Stage; $250 Gift Certificate to from Musson Theatrical; $250 Gift Certificate from Sapsis Rigging; ProPlus™ Rope Access Harness from Showtech Australia; and a USITT 2021 Full Conference Registration from USITT.

We’ll also be auctioning off handcrafted items created especially for BTS and donated by Shan and Trish Ayers.

All proceeds from the raffle and boutique sales benefit Behind the Scenes, which provides financial assistance to entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured.

 For more information about the Long Reach Long Riders, visit

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BTS Reaches $1 Million in Grants Awarded

Behind the Scenes Reaches $1 Million in Grants Awarded

Behind the Scenes has just reached a major milestone–the charity has now awarded $1,000,000 in grants to our colleagues in need. This is an accomplishment that would not have happened without the support of the entire industry and of which it should be extremely proud.

That $1,000,000 has kept so many from becoming homeless or having their heat and lights turned off. It has ensured others continue to receive needed medical care, medications or physical therapy. And it has helped to bury some with dignity.

Grants have been provided to individuals working in every facet of this industry–from live events to motion picture and television production, broadcast, concert touring, corporate events and much, much more. These industry professionals have come from all across the US and Canada.

None of this would have been possible without the support of our industry. Every person or organization who has made a donation, bought a raffle ticket or a holiday card, organized or participated in a community fundraising event, or become a Pledge-of-Support Partner has made it possible for Behind the Scenes to bring help and hope to our colleagues during some of their most difficult moments. Join those who have made a difference at help us reach the next million in caring.

Behind the Scenes is also helping our colleagues who are seeking financial assistance to enter mental health or addiction counseling and we are working to develop a mental health and suicide prevention initiative that will provide information and resources to those in need or who are concerned about their colleagues.

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BTS is the Winner at Rock Lititz Battle of the Bands

Behind the Scenes is the Winner at Rock Lititz Battle of the Bands

The Members of the Rock Lititz Community Fun Club

The 5th annual Rock Lititz Community Battle of the Bands featured six bands, three stellar judges, two food trucks, and almost 600 attendees. At least fifty percent of each band were members of the Rock Lititz Community and the attendees were community members, their family and friends. Behind the Scenes was the big winner of the evening, receiving the entry fee, half of the 50/50 raffle, donations, and proceeds from swag sales which totaled over $4500 for the charity.

Greg Zittle, Senior Sourcing Manager at TAIT, explains, “The Rock Lititz Community Fun Club gets the opportunity to put on a variety of events for the community to enjoy each other’s company and escape the typical fast paced environment of the live event industry. The Behind the Scenes charity was selected as the beneficiary for the 2019 Battle of the Bands based on the great response from our community members to the recent survey regarding mental health. The event showcased a variety of talents within the Rock Lititz Community, and using those talents to have fun and support organizations we believe in is the main goal of the Fun Club!”

Rock Lititz General Manager Andrea Shirk commented, “The Rock Lititz Community is dedicated to supporting the live event industry, through work, trainings, building relationships, and creating a support structure for one another. The effort Behind the Scenes leads regarding mental health is unparalleled, and we are grateful for the opportunity to donate to such an important cause.”

“We are so grateful to the Rock Lititz Community for selecting Behind the Scenes as their beneficiary and for community members providing such a warm welcome at the event,” said Lori Rubinstein, Executive Director of Behind the Scenes.” We are just beginning our work in developing the mental health and suicide prevention initiative and it means a great deal to us to have the participation and support of the Rock Lititz Community in this endeavor.”

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Mental Health Survey

BTS Requests Industry Participation in Mental Health Survey

To participate in the survey go to

Behind the Scenes, in response to concerns about the rising number of suicides and the prevalence of alcohol/substance misuse within the entertainment industry, is beginning work on a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention initiative and wants to get a sense of how many people in the industry are experiencing anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, problems with alcohol/substance misuse, or reactions to traumatic events.

The goal of the initiative is to provide easily accessible information, tools and resources to members of the entertainment technology industry that will offer:

  • Resources for individuals to make it easier to self-identify issues and seek help in early stage as well as crisis situations
  • Tools and training that will increase industry members’ confidence about how to reach out and provide assistance to individuals in need of support
  • Employers and supervisors with tools and resources to become effective leaders in
    • Changing the culture regarding mental health
    • Identifying and supporting at-risk individuals
    • Responding to a mental health crisis such as suicide or accidental overdose
    • Reintegrating individuals who have been impacted by a mental health or substance misuse crisis back into the workplace

Joining Behind the Scenes in developing this initiative are representatives of major stakeholder groups such as IATSE, The Broadway League, NBCUniversal and MusiCares as well as individuals from around the industry willing to share their unique knowledge of this subject.

The first step in developing the program is to learn from you, the industry, how prevalent you believe these issues are and what tools and resources would be helpful to you personally or in assisting someone you are concerned about.

We seek to reach a wide and diverse group of respondents in the US and Canada with this survey. Please help us reach as many people as possible by forwarding this survey to your co-workers and colleagues.

All information will be reviewed and published only in aggregate and will not include any information that identifies any individual participant. All responses will be kept private and confidential to the extent permitted by law.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

To participate in the survey go to


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The 2020 Long Reach Long Riders – A River Runs Through It

The 2020 Long Reach Long Riders - A River Runs Through It

The Long Reach Long Riders are pleased to announce the route for their 17thannual charity motorcycle ride—A River Runs Through It.

The 2020 ride travels through 4 states around the upper Midwest, with route highlights in and around the area known as “the Driftless,” a unique geological feature not affected by glaciers in the last ice age. The route also features many sweeping roads around hills and bluffs in Wisconsin and Iowa, the wooded forests of Minnesota, and travels along the deep incision of the Mississippi River.

The ride begins in St. Paul on Saturday, June 20 and ends on the 27th. Ride Marshalls this year will be Paul “Rev” and Peggy “Clutch” Sannarud.  “Most folks think the upper Midwest is flat farmland,” noted Paul, “but those who know about the land shaped by the ‘Mighty Miss’ know better.” Peggy added, “This year’s ride is a great opportunity for our Midwest colleagues in the industry to join up with us to raise money for two very worthy charities.

The Long Reach Long Riders have been raising money for Behind the Scenes and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS since 2004.

Bill Sapsis, one of the founding members remarked, “If you were thinking about joining up with the Long Riders, this is the year for you to join the cause.”

For more information on joining the ride please visit

Click here to support a rider with your donation today!

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Evoke Collaborative Visual Presents Pledge-a-Service Donation

Evoke Collaborative Supports BTS with First Pledge-of-Service Donation

Evoke Collaborative’s Jonathan Talley, Herrick Goldman, Kara O’Grady Aves, and Lois Gordon

Members of Evoke Collaborative recently presented the Behind the Scenes charity with a check representing a portion of the firm’s design fees over the last year, representing their first donation as a BTS Pledge-a-Service Partner.

Evoke is a team of skilled designers, creators, managers, and programmers that help their clients tell stories that resonate in the arts and live event community. Evoke Collaborative provides lighting design and content creation, as well as programming and supervision to theater, music, permanent installations, film, and television.

Upon presenting the check, Kara O’Grady stated, “Evoke Collaborative is pleased to make this first of many donations in support of our friends around the industry through Behind the Scenes.”

Upon receiving the check, BTS Foundation Chair Rick Rudolph commented, “We are so pleased that Evoke Collaborative has joined us as a Pledge-a-Service Partner. As their name implies, they clearly understand one of the core tenets of our industry – working collaboratively to create an experience and working collaboratively to care for our colleagues in need.”

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LDI 5K Fun Run Benefits Behind the Scenes

LDI 5K Fun Run Benefits Behind the Scenes

LDI's Marian Sandberg and Ambersphere's Philip Norfolk present a check to Lori Rubinstein from Behind the Scemes

LDI hosted its first 5k Fun Run to benefit the Behind the Scenes charity on the opening morning of the recent LDI Show in Las Vegas. An intrepid group of industry members showed up at 6am to participate and show their support for their colleagues in need.

“We were so thrilled to host the first annual LDI 5K Fun Run to benefit Behind the Scenes,” says Marian Sandberg, content director for LD/LDI and co-chair of the event. “It was a super-success for year one, drawing more than 60 runners. Special thanks to everyone who turned up to run, plus everyone who volunteered, as well as those who just dug deep to donate a little extra something to this incredibly worth cause. Shout out to Philip Norfolk and Ambersphere Solutions, our beer and donuts sponsor, who also ran and wrangled some unsuspecting folks to join in. It turns out people will participate in healthy activities in Las Vegas at 6am!”

The run brought in over $2600 in registration fees and, combined with donations made during the LDI registration process and LDI’s match of those donations, a check was presented to Behind the Scenes for $4,409.

“We were amazed at the number of people who turned up so early to participate,” said Behind the Scenes Executive Director, Lori Rubinstein. “Our thanks to all the runners, the volunteers, Philip Norfolk and Ambersphere Solutions for their sponsorship, and especially to Marian Sandberg and her team for all their hard work organizing the event. We hope to see all of you and many more at the second annual run!”

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Gray Matter Visual Presents Pledge-a-Service Donation

Gray Matter Visual Presents Pledge-a-Service Donation

Gray Matter Visual's Brendan Gray and Charlie Winter with BTS Board Member Tobin Neis

At the recent LDI Show, Gray Matter Visual presented a check to Behind the Scenes representing a percentage of their design fees for the second half of 2019, bringing their contribution for the year to almost $7500. Gray Matter Visual is a lighting and production design firm working on corporate and special events, concerts, television, benefits, and more. Founded in 2010 by Brendan Gray and based in Brooklyn, New York, GMV works with clients all over the US and beyond to realize their visions.

Upon presenting the check, Brendan Gray, Principal Designer and President, stated, “Our designs don’t exist without the dedicated efforts of so many in our industry. We’re proud to continue our support of Behind the Scenes and the important work that they do. I hope that others in our position can be inspired to do the same.”

Tobin Neis, a member of the Behind the Scenes Board of Directors, commented, “We are so excited about the level of commitment that Brendan and his team at Gray Matter Visual have made to Behind the Scenes. They are setting a tremendous example for the design community to follow and a clear message of caring to those that work to bring their designs to life.”