Parallel 45’s Costume Designer Makes Masks for Essential Workers

With the cancellation of their summer season – a member of a local theater company is turning their talents towards helping others.

P45 MasksThe Parallel 45 Theatre in Traverse City cancelled their 2020 Festival last week. Now, the costume designer is taking on a new challenge. She’s making homemade face masks to help address the shortage – and the high demand – for an extra layer of protection during the Coronavirus pandemic. She’s donating the masks to essential workers who might not otherwise have access to masks.

Mica Harrison says, “We’ve got some bankers, some teachers who are still going around delivering materials to students, people who are working in grocery stores, we’ve got someone who works for the state going in to places like nursing homes.

So far, Mica Harrison has donated more than 300 masks throughout the community, and expects to have about 1,000 finished by the end of May. She says the idea came from the need to do something to help, and the Facebook group called “Seamstresses for Safety“, which has made more than 10,000 masks so far.

Harrison says, “The way that it worked out is that we have a lot of essential workers within our community that aren’t directly tied in to places like Munson or nursing homes that might be receiving masks… that’s really where mine have all gone so far. We’ve got some bankers, some teachers who are still going around delivering materials to students, people who are working in grocery stores, we’ve got someone who works for the state going in to places like nursing homes. As a state employee she only got four masks for the whole month but each day she’s going into another place that’s been infected. Those are just the resources available to her.” Mask2

And Harrison says the safety issues go beyond the workplace. “A lot of people are so concerned about not only themselves but also their families. We have people in the community who work at banks and are essential workers there but then they come home and have children and are worried about that exposure.”

Erin Anderson Whiting is the Executive Director at Parallel 45 Theatre, and adds, “I’m so proud that Parallel 45, through Mica, can play a part in reaching out to the community. This is just a small way to feel like we are still connected to all the people in our community who we love, and we want to make sure they’re safe.”

You can get more information on the project here.

Categories: Coronavirus Support