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InCord’s Safety Netting Supports Industry Workers

InCord’s Safety Netting Supports Industry Workers

InCord made their 2022 donation to Behind the Scenes on the show floor at USITT reflecting a percentage of profits from sales of their Theatrical Safety Netting Systems. The systems (https://incord.com/theatre-division/) are hand-crafted in the USA by skilled artisans, safety tested to exceed all applicable industry standards, and are custom designed by professional engineers to perfectly fit your orchestra pit and/or protect your stage and house operations according to your technical and aesthetic requirements.

Joe Menhart, InCord’s Theatre Division Sales Manager, commented, “We are delighted to provide this needed support to BTS especially when so many more are still in need due to the ongoing global pandemic that is now stretching over two years. Our hearts go out to all those who benefit from the grants and resources provided by BTS.”

Todd Spencer accepted the check along with other members of the Behind the Scenes Board of Directors. Todd commented, “We are so appreciative of InCord’s donation. Their concern for the safety of industry workers is built in to their product and their commitment to Behind the Scenes. Our Pledge-of-Support Program is the perfect vehicle for InCord and their customers to demonstrate that concern.”

For more information about joining the Pledge-of-Support Program by naming a product or service to support the charity, please visit https://wp.behindthescenescharity.org/pledge-of-support-program/ or email [email protected].

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Toolbox Talks One-Sheets

It's Ok To Not Be Ok 400

The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative announces a key addition to its Toolbox Talks program: One-Sheets on a range of topics designed to delve deeper into common issues currently impacting entertainment industry workers as they navigate fluctuating work situations and frequently changing Covid protocols.

As the industry continues to transition and re-open, industry leadership and supervisors are observing significant anxiety in the workplace and are requesting tools to help their crews better navigate and manage the return to work. One-Sheetsbriefly describe general mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and substance use, and offer basic information and resources around these prevalent issues within the industry. 

We must continue raising awareness and normalizing the conversation around mental health and emotional wellness in the workplace and these flyers are designed to be posted in break rooms or be handed out with schedules or during toolbox talks. The  goal is to convey the message that psychological safety is as important as physical safety.

The Toolbox Talks program was created to assist with language around mental health and wellness in order to facilitate respect in the workplace. Sample language is provided to incorporate mental health into daily safety briefings, and Toolbox Talks can be tailored to fit specific individual and group needs. 

The Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative, and programs such as Toolbox Talks and One-Sheets, are committed to creating and sustaining psychologically safe workplaces for the entertainment industry. 

Behind the Scenes has collaborated with other concerned organizations and individuals to create the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative. A series of tools and resources has been developed to not only help you but also assist you in helping your colleagues, friends and family. Find links to additional tools and resources and information about the initiative at btshelp.org/mentalhealth.

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Stop Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation

StopBullyingLogo500

Last year the Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative conducted a survey that revealed that bullying, harassment and intimidation are a common experience in our industry. Respondents told us, “Emotional abuse is part of the culture,” and “Harassment, discrimination, and retaliation are rampant.”

The Mental Health Steering Committee has launched a campaign (btshelp.org/stopbullying) to help workers and employers alike understand the signs and consequences of this behavior. Our aim is to raise awareness and encourage all who experience or witness bullying, harassment or intimidation to speak up.

The resources provided include a set of posters to raise awareness of words, actions and behaviors that constitute bullying, harassment or intimidation; information to empower individuals to Be Informed, Be Aware, Show Support, and Take Action; and a sample policy and procedures to identify, investigate and resolve instances of bullying, harassment or intimidation and to provide support to those who experience these behaviors.

One survey respondent wrote, “My workplaces are decades behind in helping people with emotional wellness. That starts with the  aggressive behavior, belittling behavior, yelling, throwing objects, etc. that I see on the jobsite constantly. Most folks feel that they have to just have a tough skin and take the abusive behavior in stride. That’s a perfect breeding place for all kinds of mental and emotional illness.”

Together we can help curb this behavior in the workplace. We can improve both psychological and physical safety and encourage a more respectful and supportive workplace. 

Behind the Scenes has collaborated with other concerned organizations and individuals to create the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative. A series of tools and resources has been developed to not only help you but also assist you in helping your colleagues, friends and family. Find links to additional tools and resources and information about the initiative at btshelp.org/mentalhealth.

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NATEAC Supports Behind the Scenes

NATEAC Support Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes announces that NATEAC, the North American Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference, has made a $10,000 donation to support the work of the charity. NATEAC is a quadrennial conference which had been scheduled to take place in New York City last summer and was turned into a highly successful virtual conference held July 20-22, 2021.

On presenting the check, NATEAC Founder, Bill Sapsis, commented, “All of us at NATEAC are very happy to provide this donation in support of the terrific work the Behind the Scenes Foundation offers through its grants program and mental health initiative.” In 2016 NATEAC donated the proceeds from its conference dinner at Sardi’s to the charity.  In 2021 the pandemic forced NATEAC to cancel the dinner but the conference organizers were determined to continue the support for BTS.

NATEAC’s mission is to promote communication between the architects, engineers, consultants, and manufacturers responsible for designing and building new theaters and renovating existing facilities in North America. It is also their goal to promote a higher level of interaction between these professionals and the end users of their facilities.

Lori Rubinstein, Executive Director of the Behind the Scenes Foundation, gratefully accepted the check, saying “NATEC represents a coming together of individuals from across our industry to share their expertise to create even better performance spaces that benefit those who work in and attend them. That ethos is kin to what Behind the Scenes represents–a coming together of individuals to share their expertise to care for their colleagues who are ill or injured or coping with mental health challenges. NATEAC’s donation is a welcome affirmation of that work at a much-needed time.”

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Long Reach Long Riders Complete 18th Ride

The 2021 Long Reach Long Riders Complete Their 18th Ride

Donations Still Being Accepted

The Long Reach Long Riders (LRLR) are very happy to announce the successful completion of their 18th annual charity motorcycle ride, A River Runs Through It.  The annual ride, which benefits the Behind the Scenes charity and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, began in Woodbury, MN, on June 20th and returned to Woodbury on June 26th.  The group, which consisted of 30 people, 21 bikes and 2 chase cars, has raised over $50,500.00 to date, bringing the total raised by the LRLR since the rides began in 2004, to more than $800,000.00

The ride this year included visits to the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, the National Bald Eagle Center in Wabasha and the Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox statues in Bemidji. “It’s very gratifying,” noted Ride Marshals Paul & Peggy Sannerud, “to see all the work that gets put into one of these rides reflected in the happy smiles of the riders as we travel the route.”  Greg Williams, one of the founding members of the LRLR, commented, “We had a terrific time despite having more rain than on any other ride.” 

The route, which covered over 1,700 miles, took the riders along a number of rivers and through the Driftless Region on Minnesota.  Here are a few of the things the riders experienced during this year’s ride

  • Crossed over 96 rivers, large and small.
  • Crossed the Mississippi River 18 times.
  • Endured over 3.5 inches of rain.
  • Enjoyed 17 different varieties of Cheese Curds

The Long Reach Long Riders would like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s ride a success. Donations will be accepted until August 1.  Please visit http://lrlr.org/ for more information.

The 19th annual Long Reach Long Rider charity motorcycle ride will take place in the southeast section of the country in 2022.   Dates have not yet been set.  Please check the website, http://lrlr.org/ in the coming months for updates on route, registration and donation information.

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Toolbox Talks

The Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative wants language about mental health and respectful workplaces to become a part of every toolbox talk or safety briefing because psychological safety is as important as physical safety.

It’s not always an easy subject to talk about though, so to make it easier for those delivering these talks we are suggesting topics and providing sample language that can be used as is or tailored to fit individual needs. Find out more at btshelp.org/toolboxtalks.

It is important to acknowledge the mental and physical stressors and challenges faced by all of us in the entertainment industry and offer your team tools to help them better manage and respond to these challenges. We know that the last months in particular have been very stressful and returning to work is bringing a new set of concerns for everyone. Many people are struggling with anxiety, grief, feeling overwhelmed, inability to concentrate, changes in appetite or sleep, changes in drinking or substance use patterns, or others issues affecting daily functioning.

In addition to the sample language provided under each topic, we also offer a selection of brief pre-scripted talks. This information is meant to be incorporated into existing safety or toolbox talks and is not meant to replace other safety briefings.

For those needing to gain management approval to incorporate language about mental health into their talks, we offer some key reasons why it is important to talk about mental health and psychological safety in the workplace.

Behind the Scenes has collaborated with other concerned organizations and individuals to create the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative. A series of tools and resources has been developed to not only help you but also assist you in helping your colleagues, friends and family. Find links to additional tools and resources and information about the initiative at btshelp.org/mentalhealth.

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The 2021 Long Reach Long Riders – A River Runs Through It

The 2021 Long Reach Long Riders - A River Runs Through It

Rider registration for the Long Reach Long Riders 18th annual charity motorcycle ride—A River Runs Through It—is now open.

The 2021 ride begins in St Paul, Minnesota on June 19th and ends back in St Paul on June 27th.  The ride will feature visits to Lake Superior and Lake Itasca State Park, which is the headwaters of the Mississippi River.  There will also be stops at National Bald Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN and in Bemidji, MN; home of Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox. We will be riding the Great River Road and portions of Highway 61 (for you Dylan fans).

The 2021 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 during 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 follows along the deep incision of the Mississippi River.

Ride Co-Marshall Peggy ‘Clutch’ Sannerud noted,  “This is the perfect ride for those who might have held back in previous years.  The route has great roads and scenery, but it’s not as technically challenging as some of our previous rides.”  Fellow Ride Co-Marshall Paul ‘Rev’ Sannerud noted, “It’s mud season in the upper Midwest right now, but Spring is just around the corner and with it comes fantastic riding weather.”   

For more information on joining the ride please visit www.lrlr.org.

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InCord Supports Their Colleagues in Need

InCord Supports Their Colleagues In Need

InCord has made their 2021 donation to the Behind the Scenes Pledge-of-Support Program reflecting a percentage of profits from sales of their Theatrical Safety Netting Systems. The systems (https://incord.com/theatre-division/) are hand-crafted in the USA by skilled artisans, safety tested to exceed all applicable industry standards, and are custom designed by professional engineers to perfectly fit your orchestra pit and/or protect your stage and house operations according to your technical and aesthetic requirements.

Joe Menhart, InCord’s Theatre Division Sales Manager, commented “We are forever grateful to BTS for all they do, especially when so many have been in need for so long due to the global pandemic. We are very proud of our support for BTS. Our hearts go out to all those who benefit from the grants and resources provided by BTS.”

Rick Rudolph, the Chair of Behind the Scenes, commented, “InCord’s steadfast commitment to our Pledge-of-Support Program is so heartening. It lets our industry know that no matter how tough times are it’s important to continue to care for those who are less fortunate.”

For more information about joining the Pledge-of-Support Program by naming a product or service to support the charity, please visit https://wp.behindthescenescharity.org/pledge-of-support-program/ or email [email protected].

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Token of Gratitude

TOKEN OF GRATITUDE Initiative Announced

Will Blend AI, the Power Of NFTs, and Musical Communality to Reinvent the Art of Giving Back

A committee of music industry pioneers have announced the creation of TOKEN OF GRATITUDE, an initiative that is melding together the organic inspirations of musical minds with the power of modern day AI & the undeniable momentum behind NFTs to give back to an industry that has been pummeled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The brainchild of Mike “Parkside” Renaud (owner of Hidden Pony Records & Management) along with Lenny Levine (LL Artists) and Gleb Divov (FAYR Ecosystem / www.fayr.org), the idea was born when the trio found themselves discussing the hot button topics of NFTs and AI through Clubhouse, and how they could be used to not only make a difference charity-wise, but also remind the world of the ways music can bridge people from all over the world together. Imagine a sort of digital “We Are The World” for the 2021 musical landscape that will benefit a trio of charities (Behind The ScenesMusiCountsUnison Fund) and reestablish the boundaries of how music is created, collaborated on, and then used to give back in a very real way.
 
The process began on March 6th of this year when the psychology-based AI composer Musical Blockchain had been fed visuals of famous empty venues from around the world and then using its AI has created musical stems inspired by technical “feelings” of said images. Like a sort of creative musical version of the classic childhood game “Telephone”, the initial stems created will be passed to a first pod of musicians who will use them to create a track. After several days, the track will be passed to a second pod of musicians, and then a third to adapt, reinvent and bring to life as they see creatively inspired to. 
 
The final track will be mixed & mastered before being sent to Belgian techno pioneer Kris Vanderheyden aka Insider to be remixed. Live via Clubhouse on May 15th, the process of the songs’ creation will be revealed from AI compilation, to musical evolvement, to remixing, hammering home not only the magic and diversity in musical interpretation but also the communal way in which music brings us all together. 
 
Once completed, the original track, remixes, and fractal art created by the AI will be minted as NFTs, with 100% proceeds going to the aforementioned charities. A physical lathe cut vinyl of each phase will also be included in the NFT offering. 
 
Artists included in each TOKEN OF GRATITUDE pod are as follows:
POD 1 – Sulene, Austin Nops (from the band The Effens), Dave Brownsound (from the band Sum 41) 
POD 2 – Isaac Carpenter (from the band awolnation), Tal Vaisman/Jimmy Chaveau (From the band Kadeema), DANKE 
POD 3 – Adam Bentley (from the band Allegories), Terra Lightfoot, Luke Bentham (from the band The Dirty Nil), Brett Detar (from the band The Juliana Theory)
 
“I’m excited about this initiative in that it’s bringing together revolutionary creative ideas and pushing boundaries while benefiting and helping some amazing charities enter the crypto donation space, which is maturing,” said Parkside. “I think there’s a lot of fear around A.I. replacing human creativity and what we’re hoping to achieve with the Token Of Gratitude is to show how it can be complementary and even potentially inspirational.”
 
“Learning that Gleb and his brother’s A.I. is based on humans and technology working together makes me feel as if we’re entering the next step in musical possibility. When I saw the plan, artists and charities Parkside has put together, I couldn’t say yes fast enough,” added Dave Brownsound.
 
“Behind the Scenes, MusiCounts, and Unison Fund are thrilled and honoured to benefit from the Tokens of Gratitude initiative. As charitable organizations, we strive to make innovative and meaningful contributions to the communities we serve. This groundbreaking musical and technological endeavour will help us broaden our impact,” says MusiCounts on behalf of the three charities.
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Virtual Showlight 2021

Attend Virtual Showlight 2021

Showlight announces Virtual Showlight, a new, one-day, online event that takes the place of Showlight 2021 following its postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 Showlight will be held live online on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 between the hours of 10:00am – 6:00pm EDT.

Tickets for Virtual Showlight will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Announcements will appear in the press and via the Showlight mailing list as soon as the ticket desk opens. In the current climate, Showlight has chosen not to charge for tickets but to leave it to the discretion of the delegates to add voluntary donations, with all proceeds going directly to selected industry charities, including Behind the Scenes.

Virtual Showlight will host an online presentation of papers, each up to 30 minutes in length, from international keynote speakers, plus a live panel discussion. Q&A sessions will follow each paper with delegates able to message their questions via the chairperson. A ‘tapas session’ will give a taster of what to expect once the full Showlight returns.

Staying true to the spirit of Showlight, the day also includes scheduled breaks between sessions when delegates, speakers and sponsors can network in ‘breakout rooms’ and finish with an evening ‘social’ online.

Showlight is issuing a fresh Call for Speakers to enrich the Virtual Showlight program and make the most of the opportunities presented by the virtual format. Organizers envisage this will be especially appealing for those speakers whose commitments usually prevent them from speaking at a full Showlight event. Send an outline of your talk to [email protected] and simply specify if you are applying to speak at Virtual Showlight or Full Showlight.

The organizers are grateful to those sponsors who have already signed up early in support of Virtual Showlight: Robert Juliat as headline sponsor, ACT Lighting, Inc., Altman, Ayrton, ETC, and Robe. Virtual Showlight is also kindly supported by our media partners, LSi, and by Lighting&Sound America.

Virtual Showlight has been planned as an enjoyable day to touch base with colleagues and celebrate the lighting industry that everyone loves. However, Showlight also confirms, Virtual Showlight is a temporary solution only, and the full Showlight event will return as soon as possible.

“While a virtual event cannot match the magic of the original gathering planned for Fontainebleau, we are determined to maintain the spirit of this unique colloquium until that happy time when we can gather together safely in person,” says Showlight chairman, John Allen. “Virtual Showlight is a temporary, yet ingenious and enjoyable, solution to the restrictions caused by the COVID pandemic which also gives us the opportunity to raise money for our industry charities. Be assured Showlight will return as a live event in its full and wonderful form once it is safe and practical to do so. Until then, we look forward to seeing you online on May 25, 2021.”

Sign up to the Showlight Mailing List (www.showlight.org), Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with developments and be the first to hear when speakers are announced and tickets become available.