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Happy September!!

We are returning after have taken a couple of months off to regroup and chart a new course in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are happy to be back in touch with you! 

In the past 3 months we have frozen our fundraising efforts through Patreon in order to give our donors a break and to assess how Honest Pint will move forward. And while we won’t be returning to live theatre any time soon, we have begun a couple of new initiatives that will keep us engaged in the business of telling stories and with our audiences.


In August we held our first online event, TAP ROOM, where we read a play with our Pintrons (WATER BY THE SPOONFUL by Quiara Alegria Hudes) and had a lively discussion about it via Zoom. It was really fun and so we’re doing it again this month! 

Mark your calendars for September 23, 7:00 pm and plan to join us as we discuss THE NICETIES by Eleanor Burgess. This time we are opening up the TAP ROOM to anyone who wants to join. If you are interested in reading the play at your own leisure and hanging out with us to talk about its themes, characters, and social relevance, then email us at info@honestpinttheatre.org for information and instructions. 

The play is a powder keg and speaks to the recent social unrest and issues of racial justice we have been witnessing.

“A barnburner of a play. One of the best plays I’ve seen about who gets to tell the story of America, and how.” — The Washington Post


We also plan to bring back HOME BREW, our every-now-and-then series featuring local artists/creatives. Of course it will be virtual for now.



Details on HOME BREW coming soon…



Friends, this month we want to shine a light on something you probably already have presumed but perhaps you don’t know the real numbers -- the COVID-19 pandemic is obliterating arts organizations and careers each day that it drags on. We want to share with you some VERY SOBERING statistics from beanartshero.com.

The Arts & Culture sector is a BIG BUSINESS, employing 5.1 million people nationally and providing $877 billion value added to the U.S. economy.

Arts & Culture adds:

  • 5 times more value to the GDP than agriculture

  • $87 Billion more than construction

  • $265 Billion more than transportation

The Arts & Culture sector is a cornerstone of the larger U.S. economy, making up 4.5% of GDP.  Despite their out-sized cultural and economic contribution, the Arts & Culture sector of the U.S. economy is in grave danger. It is NOT getting the government funding other sectors have in this time of economic crisis.

  • Nationally, financial losses to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are an estimated $9.1 Billion as of July 2020. 

  • 96% of organizations have cancelled events, some as far out as Summer 2021, resulting in a loss of $10.4 Billion in event-related spending by arts audiences at local businesses (restaurants, hotels, retail)

According to the Brookings Institute economic report Lost Art: Measuring COVID-19’s devastating impact on America’s creative economy,  they estimate a loss of 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 Billion in sales of goods and services for creative industries nationwide, representing nearly a third of all jobs in those industries.

The fine and performing arts industries will be hit hardest, suffering estimated losses of almost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 Billion in sales. These estimated losses represent 50% of all jobs in those industries and more than a quarter of all lost sales nationwide.

Arts/creatives are among the most severely affected workers by the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • 62% have become fully unemployed.

  • Nationally, they expect to lose $50.6 Billion in lost income in 2020. 


  • 94% report income loss.

  • 66% are unable to access supplies, resources, spaces, or people they need to do their work.

  • 75% use their art to create morale and community cohesion.

  • 47% of shuttered arts organizations have no target date for re-opening.

  • 29% have laid off their staff.

  • Of those that have reduced staff, just 39% expect to return to pre-COVID levels in 2021.


COVID-19 is spiking nationally, meaning Arts & Culture institutions will remain shuttered for the foreseeable future. In fact, 41% of Arts & Cultural Institutions report they are “not confident” that they will survive the pandemic

Furthermore, the common “survival jobs” for Arts workers are in the hospitality and service sectors, which have been almost equally devastated by this crisis. With over 20 million unemployed, the competition for “survival jobs” is fierce; millions will remain unemployed for the foreseeable future

We heard one story of a 52 year-old artist who had to sublet her apartment in New York City for the remainder of the lease and move back home to the Midwest with her elderly parents who are in their 80s. Careers have been decimated. People’s lives are at stake because they suddenly have no health insurance and no way to cover medical costs.

It's not just Art & Culture workers, unions, and organizations who are in trouble: administrators, management, hospitality staff, custodians, and countless others depend on Arts & Culture institutions for income are currently relying on the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program to pay their bills. When FPUC ended on August 1st, millions of Arts workers now face instant financial catastrophe, including eviction, which disproportionately impacts the Black community An estimated 40 Million Americans face eviction by October 1st.

Without immediate relief, institutions themselves will permanently close; causing systemic economic collapse in a vibrant ecosystem of mutually beneficial businesses that all rely on Arts & Culture institutions for their success. 

Compounding the tragedy is that millions of arts workers are losing (or have lost) their health insurance during a deadly pandemic; a pandemic that also disproportionately impacts those who are BIPOC.   

The situation is nothing less than a full-on socioeconomic and humanitarian catastrophe in the making, exacerbating pre-existing inequalities to a desperate and deadly limit.




LET’S PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE:

10 U.S. airlines received $50 billion in CARES act relief.

While no one questions the necessity of keeping those 10 airlines solvent, Arts & Culture contribute a value-added of $265 Billion more to the U.S. GDP than the whole of U.S. Transportation. 

These industries deserve a proportionate level of relief for a sector of the economy that contributes 4.5% to U.S. GDP and provides over 5 million jobs.

Proportionate relief to The Arts & Culture sector is not only just, it is integral to stave off the collapse of a cornerstone of our economy and all the other sectors that rely on it.  

Without an Arts & Culture recovery, there will be no full American economic recovery. 




WHAT CAN YOU DO?

BE AN ARTS HERO! CALL YOUR SENATORS.

That’s the absolute most effective way to help.  Emailing, signing petitions, and tagging your Senators are all other great ways, but calling your Senator remains the MOST impactful. 

Here is a Google doc with U.S. senators contact info:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tcgBmC_fRrNq-dKRb3uyocE9VnfOkbKKWJxqfHguNQs/edit#gid=1389224050

Here’s a script you can use if you don’t know what to say: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xqJeEJxsKH3VK0trgf2pxnDbuTUu0XL0nvvx4rY9aKI/edit

And please visit https://beanartshero.com to learn more about ways American workers are losing their livelihoods and how you can help in the recovery of the Arts & Culture sector. It is a 100% volunteer-run organization dedicated to helping individuals and institutions affected by the COVID-19 crisis. You can learn more about their mission to obtain relief funding administration and disbursal.

BE AN ARTS HERO!




How does this affect Honest Pint, you may ask? Well, the theatre community is an eco-system. Without Broadway and Off-Broadway, there is no regional theatre (like Playmakers Rep). Without regional theatre, there is no local, professional theatre (like Theatre Raleigh or us) or community theatre (like Raleigh Little Theatre or Theatre in the Park or NRACT). We are all interconnected, especially on a local level here in the Triangle. We rely on each other to share resources, ideas, audiences, and workers. When one of us falls, the loss is felt throughout the entire community. It hurts all of us.

And none of us is immune to the wrath of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please continue to support your local Arts & Culture sector, especially theatre companies like us. 

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you on September 23 for THE NICETIES. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and FaceBook for updates.

Stay well and safe.

Until we meet again, DRINK DEEP!

— Susannah and David 




A final thought...

The national election is just 61days away (as of Wednesday). 


The ONLY way we have the power to affect change is to VOTE.


Please visit https://www.whenweallvote.org to register, to double-check that you are registered (don’t presume ANYTHING), to request a ballot and find mail-in ballot FAQs, to learn your voting rights, and to encourage others to do the same.


When We All Vote is a non-partisan organization dedicated to increase participation in every election and to close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting. 




  • Honest Pint



Dear Friends,

We hope June has brought you good health as we enter into the fourth month of the COVID-19 pandemic and that you are staying safe. 


June brought our nation, our state, and our local area a literal ground-shift. The response to the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and so many more at the hands of police, along with the unconscionable systemic racism that has diseased our country since it was founded, has been immense and overwhelming in a good way. We are, at last, waking up.


In the past few days we have written and rewritten this letter more times than we can count. How does one even go about addressing such a complex situation? Are we witnessing a revolution? If so, what is our role in it?


We know many of you reading this letter are feeling the same thing. Like many people, we are listening and learning from Black leaders who we are lucky enough to call friends, as well as national leaders, and we are reading books by BIPOC authors in order to educate ourselves. We are also trying our best to use our place of privilege to fight for change and by being vocal to our community, our families, our children, and by donating to organizations that are leading the way towards righting the social injustices that have been plaguing American society for centuries.


And yet… it doesn’t feel like enough.


As a company, we have paused over the past few weeks to deeply consider how best to engage on issues of racism. Acts of racism and injustice have no place in our country or our company. To our Black brothers and sisters who are grieving, suffering, and pleading, unequivocally, your life matters.



The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has presented Honest Pint with obvious challenges. As of today we have no idea when we will be able to produce a show live and in-person. There is no end in sight to the pandemic; gathering in crowds is not feasible, advised, or lawful. Theatrical venues remain closed. 


We had planned to bring a special live-streamed event to you this month. It was a really good one, too, about how our country decides who to vote for in a presidential election and why we just can’t seem to put a woman in the Oval Office.


A streaming performance of HILLARY AND CLINTON by Lucas Hnath will hopefully happen in the fall (or maybe in person in January, just in time for the inauguration of whomever gets elected in November!).


We also have moved SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS twice on the calendar. We had hoped to bring it to you at Pure Life Theater in August, but we will not be able to do that as of today. 





That’s the long and short of it. We are pressing “pause” for three months, regrouping, hoping for change and a cure for COVID-19, listening, learning, and un-learning, understanding our own part in racism, and dreaming of a day when we can all be together sharing our stories. 


Let’s commit to ensuring that Black voices are not silenced. Educating ourselves is the first step if we hope to make any progress in bringing an end to racism. Social, political, and economic discrimination against Black communities continues to exist. There is deep pain that needs to be healed. Let’s work together to make it happen.


Thank you for your steadfast support and belief in our work. We appreciate your ongoing financial help, and we appreciate your understanding of our decision to pause it for a little while. 


We WILL be back when it is safe for us to come back. Safe for our artists as well as our audiences, whether that is in 3 months, 6 months, or maybe even longer. 

Honest Pint is NOT going away. There are too many important stories to share and we think theatre has the power to change minds and help shape the cultural landscape.


Please take good care of yourselves in this unprecedented and unstable time. We can’t wait to see you in person one day soon!

DRINK DEEP!

— Susannah and David

  • Honest Pint

"Patience is not sitting and waiting. It is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full." —Rumi


Patience is a virtue, so they say. But lately, it seems like one we are trying very hard to hang on to. As we enter our third month of stay-at-home self-quarantine in this time of COVID-19, we feel our patience slipping away and wanting more than ever to be back into the “real world.”


It is an unprecedented time for our country. Like you, we are doing our part to help make this pandemic go away. We are staying indoors, limiting trips out, wearing masks when we do, socially distancing ourselves from our friends, loved ones, neighbors, and colleagues. And dreaming of a better day when we can all convene again in the theater.

During this time we have distracted ourselves from the horrific realities of this pandemic by watching TV shows, movies, live steams, reading articles, books and plays, and listening to new music. We’ve shared some of these with you in the last two newsletters in the hope that it helps distract and entertain you while we ride out the pandemic together. But this is all content that has been created by others, not by us.


In the past week, it has become evident that going back to live theater probably won’t happen for at least a few months. We continue to watch the news and heed the orders and recommendations set forth by Gov. Cooper. Meanwhile, we are making adjustments to our production calendar and figuring out how we can make the best of it under these circumstances.


As Rumi says in the above quote, patience is not waiting around, it is forseeing. It is seeing the rose, not the thorn; the day, not the night. For the past two months we have practiced thoughtful patience. We have had many conversations and asked ourselves, “What makes live theater matter?” The answer is simple to us: theater is communion. It is people coming together in a shared space sharing an experience. Sitting down at the table for “the feast of life,” if you will, and walking away satiated, full of joy, hope, and reflection.


If that is what live theatre is, then how do we practice it when all we have is virtual communion? How do we honor the shared energy that happens between performers and audiences that occurs in a theatre via the internet? How do we ensure that if we produce a virtual performance that it will impact an audience the way seeing a live performance does?


The answer to that is one we are still trying to figure out. We have watched our fair share of live streamed plays in the past two months. Some are more successful than others, of course, and, as viewers, none of them have had the impact that a live performance has. Nothing can ever replace the immediate excitement and energy a live performance brings.


However, the sad reality is that large groups will not be convening in theaters any time soon. Technology and the internet is what we’ve got for the time being. As legendary fashion consultant Tim Gunn says, “Make it work!”



Honest Pint Theatre prides itself on giving audiences exactly what they pay for (an honest pint). We have spent countless hours thoughtfully discussing how we can bring something worth watching now while at the same time positioning ourselves to be ready to produce live performances when the time is right. Here’s what we know:


• Honest Pint will not produce content just for the sake of producing content. It must have value to you, our audiences.

• We want what we share to be meaningful and have an impact.

• We must work with the publishing company to secure the licensing for streaming rights. This is all new to them, so who knows how long this could take?

• Anything we create must adhere to the same standard of quality we have had for these past seven years. We must cast a show well and rehearse it via a virtual platform. We must produce it in a way that allows for the actors and the playwright to shine (that is, the technical elements must be as good as possible).

• Virtual content is going to be around for awhile.

• We miss you!



We have no timeline right now for when we will all be in the same room together sharing space and breath. We miss seeing you in the lobby before and after our shows. We miss your laughter and we miss your tears. We really miss your hugs and handshakes.


So, today we write to let you know that we will produce something on a virtual platform in the near future. We are working with the publisher of a favorite script of ours to figure out how we can bring a play to a screen near you! Once we have details finalized we will let you know when and how to tune in.


“The moon needs time to become full…” We appreciate your patience as we adjust to the new normal. We will be full again soon… and the only way to ensure that is to DRINK DEEP. We are not going anywhere, and with you by our side, we will continue to make theater for thirsty minds!


Stay well and safe. “See” you soon!


— David and Susannah


And now for something completely different...


Here is a bittersweet Instagram account that you might want to check out. Farley is a dog practicing social distancing in NYC. It is hard to see this fur baby sitting in front of these once crowded landmarks. 


https://www.instagram.com/farley_nyc/


Here are a couple of images from Farley's insta...enjoy!








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