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GOPAR: Artists Help Artists Survive Central Florida’s Pandemic Recession

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GOPAR stands for Greater Orlando Performing Arts Relief. (Image: GOPAR)

Central Florida’s artistic community has been hit hard by the pandemic recession as theater doors stay closed to audiences and theme parks pare down on live entertainment.

Many performing artists have found themselves out of work and struggling to pay bills, hamstrung by a state unemployment system that seems ill-equipped to understand performers’ “gig worker” status. So leaders in Orlando’s artistic community have stepped in to help fill the need with the newly-formed GOPAR, which stands for Greater Orlando Performing Arts Relief.

Dozens of local performers are coming together to launch GOPAR’s efforts with a Labor Day Web-A-Thon this weekend. 90.7’s Nicole Darden Creston spoke with some founding members of GOPAR and web-a-thon performers about this weekend’s event and the group’s long-term goals. Michael Wanzie of Wanzie Productions is one of GOPAR’s organizers – he tells the story of GOPAR’s beginnings.

Click the Play Audio button to listen to the story.

Find more about GOPAR and how to watch the Labor Day Weekend Web-A-Thon here.

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Nicole Darden Creston

About Nicole Darden Creston

All Things Considered Host and Reporter

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined WMFE in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from ... Read Full Bio »