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Utah News

Mask Making Helps Keep SLC Pioneer Theater Company Staff Employed

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The artistic team for Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Theater Company has been using their costuming talents to make masks. Throughout the pandemic, they have donated masks to various places and are now selling them to keep staff employed.

“You know, be lovely if we all got grants from the government and from different organizations, but there's not enough money in the globe to fund every artist and every theater across the country. So I kind of have started taking our fate into our own hands and we need masks. People really, really need to be wearing them to keep our community safe, to stop the spread of this horrible virus. And it's a service we can provide while helping to put some really talented and wonderful people back to work,” said Karen Azenberg, the Artistic Director of the Salt Lake City Pioneer Theater company. 

She said selling masks has allowed them to bring one person back to work at full salary. The goal is to be able to bring more of her staff back by August, when many of them normally return to work after summer break.

 

Masks are in high demand. Over the weekend, Azenberg said the company received just over 300 orders. 

 

Masks are sold via the company’s website and multiple styles are available. There is a pleated style with a pocket for a filter. Another mask has a pocket where a wire can be inserted for a tighter fit. 

Beyond offering protection, Azenberg said masks have also become fashion statements.

“We're hoping that we're going to be able to expand our mask market and sell specialty masks that are for Halloween," she said "We're going to hopefully be able to offer you know, one of a kind designed so if, you're going to a very special event and you want a mask that has crystals or sequences around the edges where we're going to do some very special masks by the crafts, artisans from our costume shop."