Author of ‘The Lynchings in Duluth’ broke silence on city’s dark history – Duluth News Tribune

Author of ‘The Lynchings in Duluth’ broke silence on city’s dark history – Duluth News Tribune

His main character, Fedo decided, would be a witness to the murders by mob.

But when the novelist tried to find the reference book that surely, years ago, must have been written about it, he found it didn’t exist.

“Not only did I learn there was no book, but the librarians that I talked to — there must have been four of five of them in the Duluth area and in the Twin Cities — these librarians had never heard of the incident,” Fedo said.

So he wrote that book instead.

Two versions of Michael Fedo's book sit side-by-side. Three versions have been published since 1979. The latest version, published in 2000, includes new information about key players involved in the event. (Tyler Schank / tschank@duluthnews.com)

Two versions of Michael Fedo’s book sit side-by-side. Three versions have been published since 1979. The latest version, published in 2000, includes new information about key players involved in the event. (Tyler Schank / [email protected])

Nearly 40 years after Fedo’s story of Duluth’s dark history was first published, it’s gone through three publishing houses, multiple title changes, a shift in some readers’ mentality and has included new information — including the late addition of the names of some of the principal players.

One thing remains unchanged: “The Lynchings in Duluth,” as it’s now named, is credited with being the first all-encompassing resource about the June 15, 1920, murders of circus workers Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie.

The lynchings

On June 14, 1920, West Duluth teens Irene Tusken and Jimmy Sullivan went to see the John Robinson Circus, a traveling troupe that had set up its one-day parade and performance at what is now Wheeler Field. The two reportedly went behind the circus tent, where workers were shutting down the show — and where they claimed violent crimes were committed against them.

Later that night, Sullivan told his father that they had been robbed and that Tusken was raped by a gang of men. Law enforcement officials caught the circus train on its way out of town, and rounded up a crew of black men who seemed roughly the size or shape of the men Tusken and Sullivan alleged had attacked them. The men were sent to the jail in downtown Duluth.

Word spread quickly — helped along by gossip and a grassroots call to join the “necktie party,” issued from a green Ford pickup truck outfitted with a noose.

According to Heidi Bakk-Hansen, who has spent more than 20 years researching the lynchings, the headline in the local newspaper didn’t help.

“West Duluth girl victim of six Negroes,” was published in the next day’s Daily Herald.

“(They) basically printed an invitation to a lynching by printing the big letters,” she said.

A crowd stormed the understaffed police station, where the officers had been told to not use their guns, and dragged the three men up the street, where they were hanged in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people.

Fedo’s work

Rather than finding historical reference books about the incident, Fedo found a thin manila folder with a few newspaper clippings and a pamphlet, misinformation about destroyed files, and an anecdote about a former employee at the St. Louis County Historical Society who had expunged all records of the lynchings because too many students were writing reports about it.

“She thought they should choose more edifying subjects, so she had them dumped,” Fedo said.

Books about Minnesota’s state history from that period had no mention of the lynchings at all. This silence was common, he found.

“It was all just gone,” Fedo said.

The novelist-turned-journalist collected what he could find — including interviews with then-70- to 90-year-old lifelong Duluthians — to create the first longform account of the event. Some spoke on the condition that he not use the names of Tusken or Sullivan in his work, which he agreed to until the most recent edition.

His book, which is considered creative nonfiction, tells the story chronologically from the morning of the circus’ arrival, to the court cases, to the aftermath. It opens with unrest within the Duluth police department, the slow boil of post-World War I race relations, and the morning news that Babe Ruth had hit his 17th home run of the season the previous day.

The night of the circus unfolds. Tusken and Sullivan meet up; the former returns home, checks in with her mother and goes to bed.

Police Chief John Murphy gets the call at 2 a.m. and hears Sullivan’s report: The teens were attacked and robbed at gunpoint. Tusken was led to a clump of bushes near the railroad tracks and ultimately fainted during the assault.

Fedo writes about the unruly mob, bent on hanging the accused and not deterred when law enforcement officials turned hoses on them. He writes about the man who found a better vantage point by climbing a light pole — and was then recruited to assist with looping a rope. He writes about Jackson, in his final moments, tossing a pair of dice to the pavement.

“I won’t need these anymore in this world,” he reportedly said.

Publishing problems

Fedo spent at least three years boxing up his typewritten pages and sending the completed work to publishers for consideration. In that time, he received upward of 20 rejections — one from a publishing house that claimed it didn’t want to be responsible for starting a riot.

Twice he found a publisher, and had the book printed, only to have something go amiss.

Brasch and Brasch Publishing, located in California, filed for bankruptcy soon after publishing the book in 1979. Fedo’s take: a box of books with the hard-to-display title “They Was Just N——,” a $260 check and a review from the Minneapolis Star Tribune that described the author of rubbing “our noses once again in the awful events that proved that North as well as South is capable of the violence of racial bigotry.”

Enter theater aficionado Harlin Quist — a native of Virginia, Minnesota, who moved to New York City and started a publishing company. He returned to northern Minnesota with plans to restore the NorShor Theatre and present high-art. While here, he republished Fedo’s book, but with the more palatable title, “Trial By Mob.”

Quist promised a run of 1,000-1,500 books in 1983, then skipped town without addressing a stack of unpaid bills — including the one to the printer.

“He was a prominent person who didn’t pay anybody in Duluth,” Fedo said. “I never got any money at all from that second printing.”

Finally, a home

In the late 1990s, the Minnesota Historical Society Press had a series dedicated to bringing back out-of-print books it believed still had an audience, recalled Ann Regan, who is now editor-in-chief.

Fedo’s book was a match.

“It’s a really good and important telling of an important Minnesota history story,” she said.

Since it was published in May 2000, the press has had requests from academics who want references and footnotes added to the book. But academia isn’t Fedo’s target market.

“I wrote this book for ordinary audiences to read,” he said.

In 2016, a second edition was printed — updated with the names of Sullivan and Tusken and a foreword by William D. Green that vouches for Fedo’s work. Green, a history professor at Augsburg University in Minneapolis and award-winning author, writes that he is impressed with Fedo’s account, which is fact-driven and without melodrama.

“I was impressed with the care he took in recounting the small but telling stories of individual participants and observers in a manner that cast them as ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary moment,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the work did not include footnotes, and this concerned me. But as a result of my own study into the legal and social consequences of the lynchings on the city, I have found myself able to vouch for the accuracy of Fedo’s research.

“It is an account on which the reader can rely and a story that needs to be told.”

According to the Minnesota Historical Society Press, “The Lynchings in Duluth” is used in high school and college courses and sells an average of 15-20 copies per month.

The most recent edition has gotten more favorable reviews. James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine is quoted on the cover blurb: “A genuinely startling and illuminating contribution to our understanding of racial justice in the United States.”

The gateway

Fedo’s book has been, for many people, the gateway into information about the murders. Bakk-Hansen acquired, from a bartender at the NorShor Theatre, a box of Fedo’s books that Quist left behind. She conducted more research, then wrote an article in 2000 for The Ripsaw, a now-defunct alternative weekly newspaper, that brought the topic to the forefront, leading to the forming of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial.

Jordon Moses talks about events planned to remember Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie in 2019. (File / News Tribune)

Jordon Moses talks about events planned to remember Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie in 2019. (File / News Tribune)

Jordan Moses, who moved to Duluth to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2009, read “The Lynchings in Duluth” for a class on race, crime and justice and was moved to action.

“Then I sort of felt, as someone who was living in this city — whether it was going to be temporary or an extended period of time — I felt I had an obligation to do some work,” he said.

He applied to be on the board of directors for the memorial when he was 20 years old.

Henry Banks, an original member of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, said elders told him the story of the lynchings when he moved from Kansas City to Duluth.

He owns every version of the book, he said.

“It’s a very important book for me, and it’s important Michael Fedo signed every one of those books,” said Banks, who credits the author and Bakk-Hansen with getting the story out.

Fedo has published 10 books, including “The Lynchings in Duluth,” and in September he will add to the collection with a series of short humorous stories. It’s his first book, though, that captured the attention of Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer of “PBS NewsHour,” the Los Angeles Times and the French newspaper Le Monde. It’s the one he continues to give speeches about — 40 years after it was published.

The book’s cover photo is a portrait of some of the men who were on the scene, some pitched forward to be included in the shot, a man in the back row seemingly on his tiptoes. In its uncropped version, the photo shows the dead bodies of Clayton, Jackson and McGhie.

“This is like a trophy shot,” Fedo said, looking at the cover. “You’ve seen pictures of guys who’ve been out hunting and they’re carrying a bear on a pole and there are big grins on their faces. ‘We got one.’ It’s kind of that. No one is ashamed to be here.”

Note

In the months leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Duluth lynchings on June 15, the News Tribune will have in-depth coverage of the murders of circus workers Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Isaac McGhie in front of a mob of an estimated 10,000 people in downtown Duluth.

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/community/history/5017510-Author-of-The-Lynchings-in-Duluth-broke-silence-on-citys-dark-history

Review: Barn Theatre’s ‘Henry V’ – Palatinate

Review: Barn Theatre’s ‘Henry V’ – Palatinate

By

Earlier this year, Cirencester’s Barn Theatre celebrated its second birthday, with a string of acclaimed productions already under its belt. Yet thanks to a little-known virus, it has been forced to temporarily close its doors, which, as an unsubsidised charity, could prove catastrophic.

Out of this uncertainty rose the #SAVEOURBARN campaign, an attempt to expand the Barn’s reach through the power of the internet and, in the process, hopefully secure enough donations to keep it running.

The crowning jewel of this campaign is their critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Henry V, first performed in May 2019 and now available online in archive footage, which can be found for free on all the Barn’s social media channels. 

For those new to the play, Henry V tells the story of Harry, King of England, after the untimely death of his father finds him thrown into the spotlight. Following an insult from the French Dauphin (Jonathan Woolf) over his less-than-kingly past, he elects to go to war with France in an attempt to prove himself and restore England’s glory (it’s a miracle the production’s Brexit references are kept so mercifully vague).  

Takes the time to establish each detail in a modern setting

What immediately strikes you is how modern this staging of Shakespeare’s history play feels. Modern dress productions of Shakespeare tend to fall into two camps: those that slap a suit and tie on their actors and call it a day, and those that actually take the time to establish each detail in a modern setting. Thankfully, this production comfortably sits in the latter category. 

Every single scene has its modern setting established and solidified via Benjamin Collins’ outstanding projections: Pistol and his gang meet in a bookies, while Henry’s threats to the French Ambassador take place during what appears to be an EU summit. And while at times the production does try too hard to ‘Make Shakespeare Cool Again’, the care and attention put into the staging more than makes up for any slight missteps. 

His performances is electric, changed with energy

No production of Henry V can survive without its charismatic lead actor, and luckily Aaron Sidwell is more than up to the task. His performance is electric, charged with energy that is both joyous and destructive, and yet in his one moment alone we see just how much this Hal is winging it: his insecurity finds itself expressed through frustration, as he confides that he knows he’ll be criticised no matter what he does. 

Other bold choices yield dividends. The swapping of dialogue means that the Dauphin and Princess Katherine (Lauren Samuels) are finally given a scene together as brother and sister, adding a tenderness to the otherwise churlish French prince. Adam Sopp also imbues Pistol with a surprising vulnerability, exposing the fear and resentment that lies beneath his swaggering masculinity.

Samuels is likewise excellent, encapsulating both the playfulness and pain of Katherine’s predicament during the ‘wooing scene’, which is played with just enough Hugh Grant – esque bumbling from Sidwell to make it remotely believable.

The production’s use of sound, led by Harry Smith and Chris Cleal, manages to create plenty of atmosphere without overshadowing the actors. While I can’t say I’ll be tuning into the soundtrack any time soon (which, along with the programme, is available online for free), it is nonetheless highly effective in what it sets out to do. 

That is not to say that everything goes off without a hitch. There are a few noticeable technical issues during the livestream, such as shots being played over each other, leading to key bits of dialogue being missed. I also could have done without the jarring moments of ‘shaky cam’, which are awkwardly interspersed during the mostly static video.

These did little to spoil my viewing, however, and I would still thoroughly recommend giving Henry V a watch to any Shakespeare fan who finds themselves with time on their hands in the coming months.

If you do wish to donate to the Barn Theatre, or learn more about the #SAVEOURBARN campaign, you can find them at: barntheatre.org.uk/sob

Image: Taken for Barn Theatre by Eve Dunlop

Review: Barn Theatre’s ‘Henry V’

Cruise night set for Sunday in Russell Posted Mar 28, 2020 – hays Post

Cruise night set for Sunday in Russell Posted Mar 28, 2020 – hays Post

Please call (785)-301-2211 to add your cancellation. Leave a voicemail if no one answers. You may also email your cancellation to [email protected]. We will add your cancellation as soon as possible.

Click here for Kansas road conditions.

*March 18 to End of Spring Semesters*

*All Kansas public and private schools, Kindergarten through Grade 12, are closed through their respective spring semesters by order of the Kansas governor.*

Doerflers’ Harley-Davidson closed until further notice. We will offer curbside service along with motorcycle pickup and drop-off by appointment.

Hays Chamber canceling/postponing all public events until April 30

Hays Recreation Commission including the Fitness Center closed through April 30, 2020

Center for Health Improvement at Hays Med closed until further notice.

All Hays Center for Life Experience meetings canceled until March 30

FHSU Tiger Wellness Center closed

Big Creek Crossing stores closed – click here to see most recent updates

Fort Hays State Active Aging Aquacise classes canceled until further notice

Fort Hays State Active Aging Neuromuscular classes canceled until further notice

Community Assistance Center in Hays will have no shopping available until further notice.

Hays Public Library closed until further notice

Russell Public Library closed 

Hays Christian Church services and events through March 29

Hays Municipal Court appearances suspended through April 6

Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County ReStore closed until further notice; not accepting donations

Hays VFW Fish Fries have been canceled though Lent

Hays Trinity Lutheran Church Activities and services canceled until March 31

No bingo at the Heritage Eatery and Bingo in Hays

Fort Hays State Historic Site closed through March 31

Eagle Media Center offices closed through April 5th

The Hays Senior center meal site is closed, but will still be offering to go meals and home deliveries to current home delivered customers. To arrange for food call 785-628-8824.

Hays North Oak Community Church Activities and services canceled until March 31; Online Sunday services at www.northoak.net

City of Hays offices closed to public until further notice; airport remains open

Victoria City Hall closed to public until further notice

Hays Messiah Lutheran Church canceled all church services and activities through April 1

Hays United Methodist Church online services and broadcast on KAYS 94.3 FM and 1400 AM only

Trego County Courthouse closed to public until further notice

Ellis City Hall closed to the public until further notice. City employees will still be available on premises during regular office hours and will be available by phone or email. Citizens should utilize the outside drop box, mail, or phone in utility payments.

Group meetings for DREAM, Inc. canceled. Clients should call 628-6655 to schedule telephone sessions  

The ARC Thrist Store closed starting Saturday 3/28.

March 27-28

Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home & Museum in Ellis closed until further notice

Hays Community Theatre’s performance of Miss Buchanan’s Deadly Inheritance has been postponed

March 28

St. Mary’s 26th annual Parish Auction in Ellis postponed

March 29

Smoky Valley Antique Tractor pull in Schoenchen postponed

March 30

Ellis County Strategic Doing postponed

March 31

Rooks County Strategic Doing postponed

April 2

FHSU Alumni Social at the Paisley Pear canceled

Power of the Purse Fundraiser postponed

Ellis Co. Health Dept. Community Blood Pressure Screening in Ellis canceled

HPL Spring Cleaning Book Sale canceled April 2-5

April 3

DHDC Cottontails and Cupcakes – refunds will be issued

The Munjor Knights of Columbus fish fry for April 3rd has been canceled

April 4

Hays Chamber Legislative Coffee canceled

Brookdale-Hays Easter egg hunt canceled

High Plains Barbershop performance cancelled-tickets will be honored at next year’s show

The Hays After 5 Christian women’s group has canceled its spring fashion show and brunch

April 5
Charity basketball game for Mitch Beran with “Your Voice Through Cancer” has been canceled

April 11

Hays Toy Show postponed

April 15

Hays VFW Stag & Stagette

April 16

Hays Job Fair canceled

May 1

FHSU Half-Century Club Spring Luncheon canceled

Annual Chamber Golf Tournament rescheduled for September 18

May 2

Hays Symphony Concert has been canceled

May 3

Hays VFW Stars and Stripes Breakfast canceled

May 11

Hays After 5 dinner meeting canceled

https://hayspost.com/posts/5e7fd150afae0f4d5f5e6c01

16 things that aren’t in Llanelli anymore but we wish they were – Wales Online

16 things that aren’t in Llanelli anymore but we wish they were – Wales Online

For families who have grown up in Llanelli, the golden age of the town is open to interpretation.

Some may say that during the 1990s, when Station Road was the crown jewel of nightlife in south Wales, was when the town really prospered.

Others would argue that it was decades before when the town was known as the manufacturing capital of Wales.

But despite differing throughout the years, there are many familiar sights that we can all argue we would love to see back in the town.

Here are a list of our favourites:

The old outdoor market

The old Llanelli market on Market Street
(Image: Llanelli Star Archives)

For decades, open market stalls filled the town centre streets with rolls of carpets, materials, crockery and china dolls. Shoppers flocked to the market every day to hunt for bargains. But luckily an open air market still takes place in the middle of the town centre twice a week.

Siop y Werin

The old shop fell into disrepair and was demolished in 2018

It was a dark day when we were made to say goodbye to the ‘soul of the old town’ and the traditional Welsh book shop was demolished.

The old shop on Market Street was demolished in 2018 after being boarded up for years but older generations still have fond memories from the beautifully unique and characterful building.

Alice’s Antiques

Alice ran a treasure trove in Park Street, Llanelli
(Image: Gayle Marsh)

Often known as the Aladdin Cave of Llanelli, Alice’s antiques felt somewhat of a mystery to people who visited it as children – you never knew what kind of treasure would be unearthed.

Even today, many families in the area still treasure old, one of a kind antiques they once bought from the shop. And some more than others as Llanelli folklore says that once a rich American entered the shop and loved all of its contents so much he decided to buy everything.


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Elli Theatre

The children’s cinema club at Theatre Elli in 1994

 

Luckily there are plans in place to restore the theatre to its former glory

During its heyday, the Elli theatre, formerly known as the Odeon was the beating heart of the community.

Built in 1938 the art-deco building hosted theatre shows and film screenings until it closed and was boarded up in 2012. Luckily, the theatre is currently undergoing redevelopment by group Calon Ltd who are hoping to restore it to its former glory.

Falcon Music

The original Falcon Music around 1950
Pontyberem born singer Dorothy Squires visits the Falcon record shop for a record signing
(Image: John Trow)

Credited with teaching generations of Llanelli residents all about music, teenagers would spend whole Saturday’s perusing through old records or practising on guitars at Falcon Music.

During its 50-year lifespan the store saw music evolve from disco to rock and roll and beyond until it ultimately closed in 2006.

Parc y Strade

It was a sad day for residents of Llanelli who felt like the stadium was an important part of the town

While the new Parc y Scarlets stadium does provide a lovely home for Welsh region Scarlets, nothing can really match the history and nostalgia of Llanelli rugby’s first home – Parc y Strade.

After being the epicentre of ‘the day the pubs run dry,’ the venue has gone down in Welsh folklore and we all shed a tear when it was demolished in 2010.

Pugh Brothers

“The largest furnishing store in Wales” – an advert for the Llanelli store
(Image: Pugh Family)

For 112 years the family-run department store stood proudly in Cowell Street, Llanelli providing shoppers with four storeys of high quality household items, many still remain in people’s homes today.

The family business also became one of the biggest employers in the area, with hundreds of workers in the store, warehouse and workroom.

The store closed its doors one final time in 2005 but the sign still remains on the building as a nod to the store’s history in the town.

All the pubs and clubs we’ve bid farewell to

We’ve been made to say a fond goodbye to some of our favourite pubs

Once a bustling hub of nightlife, we’ve been made to say goodbye to a number of our favourite watering holes in Llanelli over the years.

Long gone are the days when Station Road was closed off to traffic because of the crowds of revellers flocking to haunts like Baileys, Barnums, Le Caprice, Kavanagh’s and the Waterloo.

Curry Gardens

Llanelli’s much loved Curry Gardens was located on Park Street
(Image: Google Maps)

And after a night out in Station Road or the Moonraker, where else was there to go but Curry Gardens for a late night boozy onion bhaji?

Party-goers descended on the small Indian eatery after a night of drinking too much and sometimes the small business had a better party atmosphere than Llanelli’s biggest clubs.

Beach Break Live

20,000 people attended Beach Break Live in Pembrey in 2011
(Image: Peter Bolter/ Mirrorpix)

Its lifespan was short but sweet and the festival was steeped in controversy with many citing anti-social behaviour and littering as the reason the event was only held in Pembrey Country Park for three summers before moving to Cornwall.

But from 2010-2012 local businesses boomed and little-old music names like Ed Sheeran headlined the festival which was once hailed as ‘the most exciting thing to ever be held in west Wales.’

The festival put Pembrey on the map with crowds visiting from all over the world, but the best thing for locals in Llanelli and Carmarthen – it was right on our doorstep.

Generation

Generation’s carrier bags were always saved for a rainy day

If you were a millennial girl, chances are Generation was your one stop shop for luminous tutus, beaded necklaces and ballet pumps.

The pink carrier bag you got at the till was a treasured prize in itself and was usually used to hold your school P.E kit for the foreseeable future.

The Old Tesco

The old Tesco has been taken over by the Tinopolis studio

Many say it was the beginning of the end for the town centre when the old Tesco, located where Tinopolis stands today, upped sticks and moved to the new developing Parc Trostre site.

Tesco opened its new store in 1989 and catalysed a domino effect for big chain companies relocating to the new retail park from the town centre such as McDonald’s and Marks and Spencers.

AJ’s chip shop

AJ’s fish and chip shop in Stepney Street, Llanelli

A rivalry unlike any other – were you team Savoy’s or AJ’s chip shop?

Only a stone’s throw away from each other both were hailed the best fish and chips in Llanelli. But it seemed like there was enough room for the two as both were usually filled to the brim with kids chatting over rissoles, sometimes for whole Saturdays.

AJ’s closed nearly a decade ago, but thankfully Savoy’s is still happily serving customers on Cowell Street everyday.

D2

D2 Jeans closed in 2011 after the company collapsed. The unit has never been reoccupied.
(Image: Robert Melen)

Step aside Levi, as one of only 19 stores in the world, D2 Jeans had a huge foothold in Llanelli.

The company’s store on Vaughan Street often seemed busy and traded for around a decade in the town until the company went into administration in 2011.

The unit has remained empty since and even the company’s logo at the front of the store has worn away but we won’t forget you D2.

The Party Place

The Party Place, Llanelli
(Image: Google Maps)

Before you turned 18 and started going to Met Bar, Bar Luna and the like, there was one place that taught you how to let loose – The Party Place.

Each weekend, another friend was having a birthday party at the venue opposite the Llanelli train station and guests were treated to discos, magic shows, puppet shows and old classics like musical statues and musical bumps.

The venue was a fixture in social callender’s from when it opened in 1997 to when it closed around 2009.

Blue Orchid Restaurant

The Blue Orchid restaurant on Stepney Street

The Blue Orchid cafe located in Stepney Street was a chameleon.

The venue which was previously known as Allegris hosted wedding receptions, afternoon tea and was a hotspot for 18th birthday parties.

Throughout the ’70s their Chelsea Buns were a real treat on a Saturday afternoon and their knickerbocker glories were legendary throughout the town.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/16-things-arent-llanelli-anymore-17997101

‘Stressed, sick and skint’: how coronavirus is hitting arts workers – The Guardian

This week we asked arts workers to share how their livelihoods were being affected by the coronavirus. Since then, the UK government’s measures to give financial aid to the self-employed will help the sector – but many are still deeply concerned about the lack of work available in the coming months. Here are some of the nearly 150 stories we received. Thanks to everyone who got in touch.

Stephen Laughton, 38, playwright and TV writer
My play, One Jewish Boy, opened in the West End on 10 March – a huge step up for me. I had TV deals lined up, a movie deal on the cards, another play about to start in New York. The play managed to stay open for one week. It got us to press night, and much like its original fringe run, was a critical success – four and five stars, and that first week was packed out. It was the moment I’d been waiting for. But I knew what was coming – a moment I hoped I would cherish for ever was tinged with crushing defeat. It felt as if everything we had worked for – all the abuse (my play is about antisemitism and I was on the receiving end of a lot of it), all the hard work, the blood, joy, sweat and tears – just faded away. The next day it got worse: I didn’t quite take in the monumental loss of having every gig I had lined up, cancelled. In the short term, I’m pretty screwed, the financial loss from the cancellation of two plays, a TV and a film gig has hit the tens of thousands. That makes it sound as if I always earn at this level – I don’t and I haven’t. I’ve been working hand to mouth and now, when it looked as if I might finally be able to breathe, I don’t know when I’ll get paid again. I just need to find a way to keep my head above water.

Near-empty scenes in front of Tate Modern this week.

The near-empty scene in front of Tate Modern in London this week. Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

Michael Heggett, 59, lighting engineer
My entire work calendar for 2020 went away in the three days from 16 March. I lost the Pet Shop Boys world tour and the Olympic Games, which amounts to nine months of solid work and around £60,000 gross turnover. I have no other work on my books until November, which is a UK tour with Tim Minchin – if it goes ahead. As venues are closed and also gatherings of people banned and film sets closed, I will not be able to earn a living for the foreseeable time. My business and livelihood are completely destroyed.

Matthew Reed, 40, comedian
I had a full diary of gigs, a full summer of festivals and various clubs around the country, then overnight nothing, wiping out every penny for the foreseeable. My agents, Getcomedy, have been brilliant, but there’s no work, so they, too, are in a terrible situation. I’m a compere and in demand – I play every major club on the circuit and have done for years. So to go from every weekend full and plenty of midweek gigs to zero has been terrifying. The fragility of my situation has y crept up on me, and it’s also shown how little people really care. At a comedy night, if you do well you’re told: “Well done”, back slapped, thanked for a good night. “Couldn’t do what you do mate. It takes balls.” Now my entire income has gone I’ve been told, “Well, you’re just a comedian!” and, “Get a proper job.” I’ve had “proper” jobs – I’ve worked very hard to be where I am and comedy is a job. I’ve travelled miles for 20-minute sets, and the pay has been the same since I started – our wages haven’t gone up with inflation. People assume we are on a fortune, which just isn’t true. I absolutely love being a comedian, and this has been the worst thing that’s ever happened to me professionally. But apparently it’s not as valid as an office worker losing their “proper job”.

Anonymous, actor for 37 years
After a good five months in theatre and television and feeling as if I was turning a corner after a difficult period, I found the rug pulled from under my feet. Future work cancelled. Income owed not likely to be received. No hope of working in my career for many, many months to come. I am already writing this year off. My industry has been decimated and the aftermath will be catastrophic. I do not know how I will survive this with no savings behind me. I love my job, but I feel totally broken and my mental health is very, very fragile.

Denise Francis, 55, director of theatre education company Firehorse Productions
I had three actors on contract for a five-week tour in June and July – this has now been cancelled, as schools are shut. There may be a slight chance we can scramble a three-week tour for November, but it is the two autumn tours that sustain us throughout the year, and not being able to produce them jeopardises the future of Firehorse. Two years ago, I also established the charity Afan Arts, giving the opportunity to pupils from surrounding schools to work alongside professional actors and film crews. Our third project Same But Different, two years in the planning, was due to begin at the end of July, but this has had to be cancelled. The year 11 pupils were devastated, another thing they have missed out on. We invest in our actors, love to see them grow and flourish – now we will not see that this year. It has been like watching your world crumble.

Anonymous, 37, actor
On 16 March, a couple of hours before our cast were due on stage, we were told our show was cancelled that evening with immediate effect. Since then, it has become apparent that the production will not reopen anytime soon, and as yet we have no clarity on whether we will continue to be paid. My biggest fear is that our producer may be forced to use the force majeure clause in our contracts, allowing them to terminate our employment with immediate effect. Were that to happen, I would be left £40,000 out of pocket, that figure representing what I would have earned during the remainder of the show’s run.

An empty Shaftesbury Avenue in London.

An empty Shaftesbury Avenue in the heart of West End theatreland, London. Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP

Colette Meacher, writer, editor and lecturer
I’ve had mild symptoms of Covid-19, but as I effectively work on zero-hours contracts I’m not eligible for statutory sick pay. And, as it’s now the Easter break, my teaching hours are finished and my freelance editing and writing work has dried up, meaning that I don’t have a single commission or job on my desk. I’m stressed, sick and skint – but I’d still be working if I could as I urgently and desperately need some money for the mortgage, bills and, heck, even just to be able to go out and buy some food. It’s been nearly four weeks since I last got paid, and that was a grand total of £600 – pretty good by most months’ standards.

Mike Nichamin, 56, live audio systems engineer
All touring is off as venues have closed and large gatherings banned. I was on tour in Europe at the time with the show An Evening with Whitney Houston, a hologram tour. I have now applied to Tesco as a delivery driver for £9 an hour, which won’t even cover my expenses.

Bethany, 20, dancer
I’m supposed to be moving to Greece at the end of March for a seven-month contract, but obviously with no flights this has been postponed for the foreseeable. This is extremely distressing as for dancers a summer season can sometimes be their only income for the year. With so much uncertainty, I’m not sure if I will ever get there to complete the season, and in the meantime I’m stuck in the UK with no income.

Anonymous, 30, artist
As a self-employed artist, my work is piecemeal and precarious. I don’t have a fixed income and my earnings fluctuate month to month. I’m still in receipt of the ghostly working tax credits, which has been a lifeline in more difficult times but at £54 a week are not enough to live on. Occasionally I sell a work, pick up some teaching hours or am successful with a funding application. While the financial impact of Covid-19 is massive on those working in the arts, the impact of coronavirus goes beyond the loss of wages – it affects our visibility. Projects which have been in the pipeline for many months are put on hold, or no longer possible. Perhaps they lose their relevance as this global crisis escalates as it has. Galleries and cultural spaces rearrange their programmes, pushing an already competitive workforce into greater competition for places. This situation is complicated for us all, but without support, we risk a whole generation of artists slipping away.

David, 32, artist and gallery worker
Many artists work freelance as either an assistant to a more established artist, or as a technician/handler for museums and galleries. I fall in this latter group. I love the work – we do anything from packing up prints to building gallery walls or making bespoke elements of the exhibition. With museums and galleries closed until further notice, the workforce who build and hang the exhibitions are simply not required. The work is always seasonal, and so we have large chunks of work booked months ahead, knowing that we have a two- to three-month gap in work while the exhibition is open to the public. I’ve had a mixed response to coronavirus closures. One gallery has said that it will honour booked work and pay freelancers regardless of whether we are physically able to complete the job. This is absolutely wonderful and will help hugely. It is, however, an exception rather than the norm. Most galleries and museums have cancelled work – I’ve lost work equivalent to two and a half months’ pay, and from talking to friends, that seems quite light.

Jonny Byers, 39, cellist
I had a full diary of work, and every single concert until at least July has been cancelled or, at best, postponed. An entire tour of a Handel opera; a week of Beethoven symphonies; concerts at smaller venues such as the Wigmore Hall. A completely empty diary, which means £0 coming in. Many of the groups I perform for won’t have a large amount of financial reserves so are now walking an even thinner tightrope attempting to ride out this storm. I have bills, instrument insurance, not to mention food buying, and many other outgoings to attempt to cover with no idea how it’s all going to pan out. Sadly, everyone is in the same boat right now, but once orchestras are gone, they’re gone, and we’ll need music more than ever after this.

French opera tenor Stephane Senechal performs from his window in a locked-down Paris.

French opera tenor Stephane Senechal performs from his window in a locked-down Paris. Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images

Dan, 37, stage manager
One show was cancelled mid-run and we were told not to come in the next day. The following job, which was supposed to take me to July, was postponed until 2021. All income has stopped and with no help from the government so far, we have had to contact our landlords and bill providers to plead for a payment break. We will get to a point where we have to choose between paying bills and eating. There is no safety net. I am also in the unfortunate situation that I have a very sick relative in hospital which, added to the worry about no income and possible eviction, is having a huge detrimental effect on my mental health.

Anonymous, 30, freelance stage manager
So far, I have lost out on thousands. Last week, the tour that I was working on was cancelled after the government urged people not to go out. There were no compensation measures as all insurances were void when the WHO declared the virus a pandemic. The promoter took their fee back, tickets were refunded and the artist made a huge loss. All future bookings have been postponed too. A two-month project that I was meant to start on 1 April has been pushed back, but we don’t know when that will be rescheduled. Festivals have been cancelled. My next working day is currently 1 July, but that could also be postponed. That’s three and a half months of loss of earnings – and to add salt to my wounds, I’m due to get married overseas in September.

Clare, 51, self-employed art tutor
As a result of the current situation I closed the studio last week. Many of the artists who attend are over 70, and although the classes are small I can’t guarantee safety. I have set up a WhatsApp group to keep us all in touch with each other – we share experiences, jokes and thoughts as well as art-related articles. Today, I launched an online art class to which nearly 40 of the group have signed up. So far, it seems to be working despite my lack of techie knowledge – think Acorn Antiques level of production. I hope this will provide some income to tide me over until I can reopen the studio, and will keep the social element of the group together.

Anonymous, 45, community artist
I work full time in the community and all my work is on freelance contracts. In two days, every project I have got cancelled as they are all people-based. I have no income, no sick pay, and my work diary is a black hole. I am used to uncertainty and flexibility in my work, but now I feel totally baffled as to how I will get an income. I don’t know when or if these projects will ever be rescheduled, and I worry about some of the people I work with who depend on the social aspect of these arts projects – one project I worked on involves making artworks for a recovery garden, for people with addictions, and I worry about how they are coping alone. We will be needed to help restore community spirit when this crisis is over – arts are never valued by the government, yet people are surviving these hard times through creativity and resourcefulness.

Outside the National Gallery this week.

Deserted … Outside the National Gallery this week. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

Peter, 44, freelance opera singer
The theatres are shut. I’m fortunate enough to have current extra chorus contracts honoured, but future ones are undecided. With schools, each one has its own safeguarding policy and setting up teaching from home is problematic – hours are down already. All of the concerts I’ve had lined up are postponed or cancelled, auditionstoo. Regular chorister work in synagogue has stopped and the church that I regularly sing at are paying up to June. My private teaching has stopped – even though it’s a few students, over time you really start to feel it. I’m losing more than half of my income, with projected expectations that the industry will suffer longer and there will be less work in the future. I will need to adapt and find other sources.

Gillian Garrity, 48, theatre producer
My business partner, Margaret-Anne O’Donnell, and I started our own producing company, Raw Material Arts, two years ago. We have worked in the theatre industry for more than 20 years each, touring theatre within the UK and across the world. A UK/Australian co-production that was due to tour to 12 venues across Scotland beginning next month has been cancelled; a tour to an arts festival in Egypt has been cancelled; an artist residency due to take place in Nepal has been cancelled; we have three mid/large scale co-productions with three Scottish venues now on hold; a New York transfer of a current production on hold. Our potential to earn income has frozen. We work with and employ directors, lighting designers, sound designers, actors, stage managers, costume designers and many more freelance artists. We have received support from Creative Scotland to pay our team for projects that have taken place and/or are already funded, but we cannot deliver. We have no means to rehearse or present any work, meaning we have no potential to earn income.

Anonymous, 39, stage manager
I don’t know anyone who’s still working, the entire industry has gone. The theatres all shut once Boris Johnson advised people not to go – there was no more work to do. I went to help clear the rehearsal room we had been using and that was that. I’ve worked since I was 17, I’ve never not had a job. I’ve always paid my taxes and I’ve used the benefits system once to cover a gap of five weeks between contracts back when I first moved to London in 2009. Now I don’t know what to do. My partner is in the same position and has lost a year’s work, as has my sister, as have most of my friends. We have a little bit of a buffer, probably enough to survive the next month or two, but beyond that things are pretty scary. I’m happy to do whatever I need – I’ve handed out CVs in supermarkets, filled out forms online, but so far no replies. I just think people see theatre on a CV and don’t know what to do with it, or assume you’ll be some kind of luvvie who moans about breaking a nail. The reality is we’re used to 16-hour days, 50-plus hour weeks, hard physical work, problem solving and team working, not to mention working under pressure to a deadline. After all, the show must go on.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/mar/27/coronavirus-lockdown-affects-arts-workers

High-speed chase on I-70 in Ellis County leads to arrest – hays Post

High-speed chase on I-70 in Ellis County leads to arrest – hays Post

Please call (785)-301-2211 to add your cancellation. Leave a voicemail if no one answers. You may also email your cancellation to [email protected]. We will add your cancellation as soon as possible.

Click here for Kansas road conditions.

*March 18 to End of Spring Semesters*

*All Kansas public and private schools, Kindergarten through Grade 12, are closed through their respective spring semesters by order of the Kansas governor.*

Doerflers’ Harley-Davidson closed until further notice. We will offer curbside service along with motorcycle pickup and drop-off by appointment.

Hays Chamber canceling/postponing all public events until April 30

Hays Recreation Commission including the Fitness Center closed through April 30, 2020

Center for Health Improvement at Hays Med closed until further notice.

All Hays Center for Life Experience meetings canceled until March 30

FHSU Tiger Wellness Center closed

Big Creek Crossing stores closed – click here to see most recent updates

Fort Hays State Active Aging Aquacise classes canceled until further notice

Fort Hays State Active Aging Neuromuscular classes canceled until further notice

Community Assistance Center in Hays will have no shopping available until further notice.

Hays Public Library closed until further notice

Russell Public Library closed 

Hays Christian Church services and events through March 29

Hays Municipal Court appearances suspended through April 6

Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County ReStore closed until further notice; not accepting donations

Hays VFW Fish Fries have been canceled though Lent

Hays Trinity Lutheran Church Activities and services canceled until March 31

No bingo at the Heritage Eatery and Bingo in Hays

Fort Hays State Historic Site closed through March 31

Eagle Media Center offices closed through April 5th

The Hays Senior center meal site is closed, but will still be offering to go meals and home deliveries to current home delivered customers. To arrange for food call 785-628-8824.

Hays North Oak Community Church Activities and services canceled until March 31; Online Sunday services at www.northoak.net

City of Hays offices closed to public until further notice; airport remains open

Victoria City Hall closed to public until further notice

Hays Messiah Lutheran Church canceled all church services and activities through April 1

Hays United Methodist Church online services and broadcast on KAYS 94.3 FM and 1400 AM only

Trego County Courthouse closed to public until further notice

Ellis City Hall closed to the public until further notice. City employees will still be available on premises during regular office hours and will be available by phone or email. Citizens should utilize the outside drop box, mail, or phone in utility payments.

Group meetings for DREAM, Inc. canceled. Clients should call 628-6655 to schedule telephone sessions  

The ARC Thrist Store closed starting Saturday 3/28.

March 27-28

Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home & Museum in Ellis closed until further notice

Hays Community Theatre’s performance of Miss Buchanan’s Deadly Inheritance has been postponed

March 28

St. Mary’s 26th annual Parish Auction in Ellis postponed

March 29

Smoky Valley Antique Tractor pull in Schoenchen postponed

March 30

Ellis County Strategic Doing postponed

March 31

Rooks County Strategic Doing postponed

April 2

FHSU Alumni Social at the Paisley Pear canceled

Power of the Purse Fundraiser postponed

Ellis Co. Health Dept. Community Blood Pressure Screening in Ellis canceled

HPL Spring Cleaning Book Sale canceled April 2-5

April 3

DHDC Cottontails and Cupcakes – refunds will be issued

The Munjor Knights of Columbus fish fry for April 3rd has been canceled

April 4

Hays Chamber Legislative Coffee canceled

Brookdale-Hays Easter egg hunt canceled

High Plains Barbershop performance cancelled-tickets will be honored at next year’s show

The Hays After 5 Christian women’s group has canceled its spring fashion show and brunch

April 5
Charity basketball game for Mitch Beran with “Your Voice Through Cancer” has been canceled

April 11

Hays Toy Show postponed

April 15

Hays VFW Stag & Stagette

April 16

Hays Job Fair canceled

May 1

FHSU Half-Century Club Spring Luncheon canceled

Annual Chamber Golf Tournament rescheduled for September 18

May 2

Hays Symphony Concert has been canceled

May 3

Hays VFW Stars and Stripes Breakfast canceled

May 11

Hays After 5 dinner meeting canceled

https://hayspost.com/posts/5e7e5afcafae0f4d5f5e5748

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