Performances at Walt Disney World and the Orlando Ballet are both on pause due to the current public health emergency, but the two organizations were still able to come together to do some good.
The public health emergency may be scary, but there are some bright spots of small groups and individuals stepping up and applying their skills and equipment to make a difference. Look at the Orlando Ballet’s wardrobe team who have turned their costume creation skills to making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including cloth face coverings, an import accessory to prevent the spread of infection.
With performances put on hold, the team at Orlando Ballet has been lending their talented hands to support the Central Florida community by sewing much-needed non-medical, non-industrial-grade face coverings for local healthcare workers.
Walt Disney World heard that the Orlando Ballet was almost out of material needed to make more masks and stepped up to the plate with a delivery of more than 400 yards of fabric and 2,400 yards of elastic to help the wardrobe team make more face coverings.
“In costuming, we’re all about taking care of each other,” said Fredd Gunzel, costuming strategy and initiatives manager at Walt Disney World. “So being able to donate this fabric and elastic to Orlando Ballet to create these face coverings for our local community is something we are grateful to be a part of.”
With this donation of materials from Walt Disney World Resort, an estimated 3,000 face coverings can be crafted and then shared throughout the community. Orlando Ballet’s goal is to produce a total of 5,000 face coverings.
“When we heard that Orlando Ballet was almost out of needed materials to create more face coverings, we knew we needed to offer support in some way,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director, Walt Disney World External Affairs. “We were so inspired by the important work they are doing for the community, and our costuming cast members quickly found excess fabric to re-purpose in a way that would make a difference for many.”
Walt Disney World Resort has been a long-time supporter of Orlando Ballet through dance programming sponsorship, financial and in-kind support.
“It’s an honor to collaborate with one of Orlando Ballet’s longtime supporters and neighbors — Walt Disney World Resort — on this project,” said Cheryl Collins, interim executive director, Orlando Ballet. “Disney does such inspiring work in our community and we can’t thank them enough for their generosity. Orlando Ballet is extremely proud of our team and volunteers who have come together to create so many face coverings that are vital to people in Central Florida during this time.”
As seen above, Bill Rose, school business manager for Orlando Ballet, has received fabric and elastic donated to Orlando Ballet by Walt Disney World Resort. Orlando Ballet will use the donated materials to create face coverings and protective garments – including non-medical, non-industrial-grade face coverings – for local healthcare workers.
Just a friendly reminder that it’s important to support the arts now more than ever. If you can’t offer support now, do keep them in mind when everything does reopen and audiences are needed to fill seats and museum halls. We look forward to that day.