Amarillo’s art industry reacts to mask mandate being lifted

Amarillo’s art industry reacts to mask mandate being lifted
Amarillo's art industry reacts to end of mask mandate (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Hilary Marie started in the music business two years ago and says business was booming.

“In the first year, I think I booked 150 gigs in Amarillo,” said Marie.

Once the pandemic hit, she went from booking around 15 gigs a month to only four or five.

“The opportunities were just gone or very limited,” said Marie.

Marie, who is also a booking manager, says the governor’s withdrawal of his executive order made her feel hopeful and excited.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but I think we can definitely look forward to, you know, a little bit more normalcy,” said Marie.

Since the announcement, she says to have started receiving calls from venues getting ready to open.

Others who also feel excited but nervous about the governor’s announcement include the Lone Star Ballet.

“I’m happy, but then it’s also, ’Are we ready for this?’” said Anthony Femath, ballet master at Lone Star Ballet. “I think we’re just, tiny step, little steps at the time and here we go.”

The ballet has its Time Steps performance next month and says it will keep wearing masks until the city says otherwise.

“Safety concerns for our staff, students and families, we just feel like it’s in their best interest to continue,” said Roxann Seaton, administrative manager at Lone Star Ballet.

The visual arts are also having a similar reaction.

Greyhound Gallery, says it will keep encouraging social distancing and face masks. However, it won’t mandate them.

“We’ll leave it up to them if they feel comfortable or no,” said Jesse Melson, gallery manager at Greyhound Gallery.

Amarillo’s art industry is hanging on to the hope that soon fear won’t be an obstacle for an industry that depends on contact and gatherings.

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