WAUSAU, WI – It is a sad, ugly side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdown orders in effect everywhere, there has been a spike in domestic violence. Like so many such centers, The Women’s Community, Inc of Wausau has remained open as an essential service during this period to aid victims of this crime.
On Saturday March 28, the group received a much-needed boost to its morale, not to mention added funds and raised public awareness, thanks to a 90-minute livestreamed concert broadcast from JEM Productions’ warehouse-turned-makeshift studio.
With Substyle, an energetic funk band, providing the entertainment and JEM taking care of the streaming and production equipment, the show garnered some 14,000 views online and raised over $2,000. Joe Ellis, the owner of the lighting and sound company, sees this show, along with others being streamed from his facility, as a way of giving back to his community.
“We’re all in this together,” he said. “Like everyone in the event and entertainment industry, we’ve been severely impacted by recent events, but we’re determined to prevail. We’re going to livestream shows every Saturday from our warehouse to raise money for local community groups, while at the same time keeping ourselves and local bands busy.”
The JEM Productions team provided some upbeat looks that wrapped themselves neatly around the band’s ebullient sound with help from a collection of CHAUVET Professional fixtures that included the Rogue R1 Beam, Rogue R2X Spot, Rogue R1 Wash, Rogue R2 Wash, STRIKE 4 and COLORado I-Quad Zoom Tour.
“We felt it was important to give the band genuine production looks,” said Ellis. “They deserved this support — plus the energy level the visuals created on camera helped to convey a spirit of hope and determination.”
Ellis did more than ensure that the band was supported by compelling looks. He also took care to enhance the safety of everyone involved in the livestream show, disinfecting all gear as well as the studio, while securing a pledge from the band and crew that they would observe all social distancing rules.
Looking ahead, Ellis has scheduled a livestream show by the Sara Rifleman Trio to aid the non-profit Wausau River District. After that, he says he is “playing it by ear,” hoping to continue his string of benefit livestreamed shows. Given his resilience and determination, it’s safe to assume he will.