After COVID put the kibosh on the spring and summer entertainment season, members of the board of Mansfield’s The LOT Downtown have been working diligently with local performers to return musical artistry – and revive enthusiasm among local residents – through the “A LOT to Love” Streaming Series available on the venue’s website, thelotdowntown.com.
“The name, of course, is a play on our name but also an ode to Mansfield because we feel like there is a lot to love in our community and we want people to show it with #ALOTtoLoveMansfield,” says an official statement from The LOT’s board prepared especially for Arlington Today. Here are other highlights from the statement:
As schools and businesses and restaurants and bars start to open back up, we still take our guidance from Tarrant County health officials in regards to attendance at these large events, protocol, etc. For this reason, the streaming events were the best way to follow the guidance and finally to provide music and entertainment for the community without prolonging a hiatus. We were designed to be a Live Outdoor Theatre for the community, and we’re doing our best to continue our mission to not only give our community a quality show, but also to provide a safe environment for EVERYONE.”
As always our venue is available to be rented by other organizations and entities for their own private events, but during this unique time, being a large, open, outdoor area equipped with a stage in the middle of the community is an asset. In addition to rentals, we are also co-hosting smaller events to provide an opportunity for our community to come together during these difficult times. Since September we’ve partnered with the local YMCA branch at Cooper Street (who was suffering from a large decrease in membership) to provide a free workout weekly called, “A Lot to Love Wellness Series, presented by Baylor Scott and White Orthopedic – Arlington.” Participants sign up for a “spot” to get an outdoor workout from a trained professional and a free membership to the YMCA …
We, like so many businesses and people throughout our nation have been financially impacted from the COVID pandemic. As a non-profit organization, we run a very streamlined operation with so much of our operational budget funded through grants, sponsorships and tips from people gathering at our venue … With so many small businesses impacted by the pandemic shut down, as well as the City hotel occupancy tax funds being cut, we simply do not have the budget to provide any live entertainment events in 2020 …
As the economy begins to open back up and we look forward to 2021, we hope that we can deliver on our mission and the community will join us in supporting to continue to provide arts and entertainment to Mansfield at The LOT. Our goal has always been to provide free events for the whole community – with no tickets or assigned seating in place – we accommodated everyone. With our current conditions of limited group events, we have devised a way to provide limited free ticketing with sectioned lawn space to provide ample social distance as well as other precautions such as sanitizing stations throughout the venue. With these new safety precautions in place and with several rental events already hosted at The LOT with other organizations, we’ve created a future model for successful operations of the venue.
“The LOT to Love Streaming Series” has been our immediate way to pivot to supporting musical arts working with local artists to help promote their music and even our other local neighbors by featuring their businesses. Additionally through rentals, we’ve been able to support musical acts of all types including recitals from local dance companies, full-scale theatrical productions from local high schools like The Oakridge School and other community partners like the Kiwanis Club. By providing them a centralized location that’s outdoor with proper social distancing and safety measures in place, we’re still continuing to act on our mission to continue to provide arts in the community that The LOT was founded on. And of course, with hopes for 2021, we’re hoping to give promise to local performers, up and coming and established, a place to play very soon.