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Milwaukee Arts Groups Unite To Help Frontline Workers

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Lubo Ivanko
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A project by Milwaukee arts organizations is putting masks and face shields in the hands of frontline workers.

Theaters, like other public gathering spaces, are closed. Local companies, like the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, have found creative ways to pay homage to planned productions and keep people engaged with their company.

Still, without any staged shows, the Milwaukee Rep's behind-the-scenes team has been left without any sets to build, props to create, or costumes to design. So they’ve found a way to put their skills to use outside of the theater.

>>Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Milwaukee Rep has teamed up with First Stage and the Milwaukee Ballet to create masks and face shields for frontline workers at Children’s Hospital, Froedtert Hospital, and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Jared Clarkin, the director of production at Milwaukee Rep, is organizing the effort. He says it's been an interesting project for the people who usually work in a professional shop. 

"It's actually a fairly big shift because in our costume shop we have all of this great equipment — big heavy industrial irons, commercial sewing machines, big cutting tables ... And now all of these folks have to turn around and take this operation to their houses," he explains. 

During this pandemic, WUWM's Bubbler Talk is focusing on the coronavirus and its impact on the Milwaukee area. If you have a question, submit it below.

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.