May 14, 2020
20-54

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

IN THE NEWS: VSU Theatre and Dance Faculty, Students Use Sewing to Help Protect First Responders and Others

When COVID-19 forced Valdosta State University Theatre and Dance to cancel their scheduled performances of “How I Became a Pirate” and “Cats,” as well as their Emerging Artists Series, that left plenty of time for a faculty-student team from the campus-based Costume Shop to start thinking about how they could use their skills and abilities to serve others. They called themselves The Mask Force, and they started by making protective masks for a cancer center in Kansas, where a family member worked. They continued by making masks for their family, friends, people they met while shopping for essentials, and anyone who contacted them for assistance, including the Valdosta Police Department and businesses across South Georgia. Journalists from regional news organizations were invited to talk to them about these efforts.

Visit the following news sites to learn more about The Mask Force’s efforts to spread love and promote safety during the global health crisis.

• Desiree Carver with The Valdosta Daily Times shared “Masked Crusaders: VSU Theatre Gives Back Through Sewing” on April 14. This story also appeared in Daily Citizen-News, Suwannee Democrat, Thomasville Times-Enterprise, The Moultrie Observer, and The Tifton Gazette.

 On the Web: https://www.valdostadailytimes.com/news/local_news/masked-crusaders-vsu-theatre-gives-back-through-sewing/article_fc3f17ea-dffd-5d03-9164-f4b226cea614.html 

VSU Experts: Chalise Ludlow, costume designer and assistant professor for Theatre and Dance; Joi Pitts, a Valdosta, Georgia, resident studying theatre production; and Kathalina Thorpe, a Valdosta, Georgia, resident and mom of two studying theatre production  

• Damon Arnold with WALB shared “VSU Students, Faculty Making Face Masks for Those in Need” on April 10. This story also appeared on MSN and News Break App.

On the Web: https://www.walb.com/2020/04/10/vsu-students-faculty-making-face-masks-those-need/

VSU Experts: Chalise Ludlow, costume designer and assistant professor for Theatre and Dance; Joi Pitts, a Valdosta, Georgia, resident studying theatre production; and Kathalina Thorpe, a Valdosta, Georgia, resident and mom of two studying theatre production  

• Channing Frampton with WTXL ABC 27 shared “Valdosta State Theatre Group Uses Creativity to Save Lives” on April 10.

On the Web: https://www.wtxl.com/news/local-news/valdosta-state-theatre-group-uses-creativity-to-save-lives

VSU Experts: Chalise Ludlow, costume designer and assistant professor for Theatre and Dance; Joi Pitts, a Valdosta, Georgia, resident studying theatre production; and Kathalina Thorpe, a Valdosta, Georgia, resident and mom of two studying theatre production  

• Lenah Allen with The Spectator shared “Over 60 Masks Donated to VPD During the Highest Peak of Pandemic” on April 13.

On the Web: http://www.vsuspectator.com/2020/04/13/over-60-masks-donated-to-vdp-during-the-highest-peak-of-pandemic/

VSU Experts: Chalise Ludlow, costume designer and assistant professor for Theatre and Dance; Joi Pitts, a Valdosta, Georgia, resident studying theatre production; and Kathalina Thorpe, a Valdosta, Georgia, resident and mom of two studying theatre production  

More Information: The Mask Force is the perfect example of VSU’s Blazer Creed in action. The efforts of this faculty-student team demonstrate the university’s commitment to practice the core principle of citizenship, which encourages every Blazer to take an interest in the well-being of their community, to make positive contributions, and to offer support to those who need help.

Through its Facebook page at https://bit.ly/3cznN3V, The Mask Force is able to maintain communication with people who need masks and people who want to donate funds and supplies to support their efforts. The masks are made free of charge as long as the group has the supplies to make them.   

VSU is committed to creating a campus culture focused on individual student success, providing students with expanded transformational and experiential learning opportunities, and increasing regional impact by serving as a resource and innovative leader for South Georgia.

The health of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority, and VSU continues to monitor this global situation. Updates are posted at https://www.valdosta.edu/health-advisory/.

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