Arts industry hit hard by Washington state's pause on reopening

The livelihood of the arts and entertainment businesses would largely depend on how Washington state can reopen and move into the next phase in the Safe Start Plan.

With Washington State’s indefinite pause on counties moving forward, there is added concern about theatre companies surviving.

On Wednesday, there were no actors, no storytelling, no rehearsals at Café Nordo.

“It’s so surreal, for the first little bit we kept saying we think we will be in rehearsal by August,” Co-Executive Artistic Director Erin Brindley said.

Brindley is dealing with the brutal disappointment, but also realizes that her live performance venue is better off than other theatre groups.

Café Nordo always wove in a dining experience into their live entertainment, now that food and wine the audience used to get on location are being delivered to homes.

“We are doing wine, cheese deliveries, we are starting to partner with other local businesses, like Intrigue Chocolate, down here in Pioneer Square to deliver their chocolate with our wine to people’s homes,” Brindley said.

Brindley is also teaching the audience how to cook some of their popular dishes online.

It is a way to stay relevant during these brutal times, not knowing when counties can move forward again.

“Knowing that it’s indefinitely paused means we know now that the right thing to do, we aren’t going to have people in, so the right thing to do is to get really creative,” Brindley said.

She hopes it will be enough but also understands the longer things stay this way, the harder it will be for the arts world to rebound.

“I strongly believe most theatres will not going to survive if we have to suck in and suck it up and do what we need to do, so there is another side to this, so it doesn’t get dragged out for two years,” Brindley said.

She worries about the employees she had to let go.

“These are people who are already in the margins, they are artist, piecing their lives together gig by gig,” Brindley said.

But Brindley is staying resilient determined to bring those artists back to the spotlight again.

Café Nordo says if people have the means, consider donating to the arts.