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Broadway costumers, volunteers sew masks for NYC shelters

Photos courtesy of NYC Sewing Company

BY GRANT LANCASTER

Out-of-work Broadway costumers and dozens of volunteers, including a former Radio City Rockette, have begun sewing facemasks to donate to New York domestic violence and homeless shelters.

Union members from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees have dedicated to sewing at least 1,200 masks in a partnership with the Urban Resource Institute, New York City’s largest provider for domestic violence shelters.

The combination of the union and URI spreading the word led volunteers like Beverly Law, a costume designer and textile artist, to make masks. Beverly has made and given out about 375 masks in two weeks, sharing her journey on her Instagram account.

Another volunteer, Karyn Tomczak, had made a living as a dancer touring with the Radio City Rockettes and a Broadway performer for 15 years before returning to New York City to find that her job was stopped by the outbreak. In new-found free time, she has begun sewing masks to donate.

Volunteer Ashley Cannon taught herself how to sew the masks using tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest, finding URI’s call to action on their Instagram account. Cannon sees her work making masks as a way to take care of her community.

“I think when the world looks like it does, the only thing we can do is be kind to each other and support one another any way we can,” Cannon said.

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