The Hawaii Theater Center hopes crypto donations can help keep its doors open as COVID rules change

The Hawaii Theater Center hopes crypto donations can help keep its doors open as COVID rules change

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaiian theater center has adopted a “digital first” strategy and hopes that cryptocurrency will help boost financial support from the community, as the pandemic continues to put pressure on places awaiting unexpected rule changes.

From Monday, January 10, new restrictions will apply to indoor gatherings for at least three weeks. Large indoor events on Oahu that expect to have 1,000 or more attendees will be required to reduce capacity to only 50% of the venue. The change, albeit temporary, is a setback for a theater that has already had three events rescheduled.

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The stage It reopened its doors in November 2021 After being closed for 20 months due to the pandemic. The decision to return to in-person shows followed an announcement by Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi Phased reopening plan That lifted collection constraints for both internal and external managed events. Then announced the stage A set of offers for the coming months, which included several that have been rescheduled from their original dates in 2020.

However, the pandemic continues to temporarily maintain the schedule. At the request of artists and performers, the theater had to reschedule three events in January, including performances by Tom Segura, Ron Artis II, and The Na Makk O Pu’uwai Aloha halau.

“To put this in perspective, these three events, which represented seven different shows, would have generated more than $500,000 in revenue for the theater and affected more than 7,000 ticket buyers, more than 150 different employees and members of the production crew who were going to work,” said Gregory Dunn. CEO of Hawaii Theater Center.

The Jefferson Starship party that was expected to be complete at the end of January has been postponed following the mayor’s announcement last week.

Dan worries that with big events shutting down again, it could take months for the theater to return to the full capacity they safely enjoyed in November and December. Dunn adds that the theater was able to operate from November 4, 2021 through New Year’s Day (about 60 days) safely with no reports of the spread of COVID-19 associated with their events due to their robust safety protocols.

“We feel strongly that by requiring 100% of the masses to be vaccinated in conjunction with testing, we have shown that large events that follow and enforce Safe Oahu rules are possible,” Dunn said. “We hope that instead of taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach, our track record of providing safe and trouble-free entertainment to our community will be taken into account and will allow us to continue operating the way we have for the past 60 days.”

By following their “digital first” strategy, Dunn hopes the cryptocurrency can offset the drop in donations from those still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. The theater began accepting crypto donations last year, as one of the first nonprofit organizations in the state to do so.

“It’s certainly not a ‘get-rich-quick’ kind of opportunity, but it does give us the opportunity to tell our story to our younger donors, providing them with a means to support the arts locally while leveraging their newly found crypto holdings to do so,” he said.

So far, the theater has received donations in the form of Bitcoin, Etherium, Doge Coin, and Kyber Network, to name a few. Although most people are familiar with Bitcoin, it has been the least known of all donations. Dan says that the largest was in Ethereum, where they received 0.5 ETH from a single donor.

“We received one gift from a Hawaiian, and all the others were off-island donations,” Dunn said. “Through our social media campaigns, email marketing and word of mouth campaigns, we hope to see an increase in giving from the crypto and NFT community.”

Since the theater began accepting crypto donations, it has brought in hundreds of dollars in donations. The Theater is also participating in an international crypto campaign with non-profit partner The Giving Block, which has resulted in donations of millions of dollars that will be split between partners in various donation funds. Dunn says The Giving Block matches the first $100,000 in crypto donations to Culture and Arts FundThe theater is one of 29 beneficiaries.

“We will each receive an equal share of donations to the fund over the next year, so with the first $200,000 in gifts given to the cause fund as of December 2021, we expect to see at least $7,000 in donations for the award,” Dunn said. January” .

According to Dunn, the Hawaii Community Foundation recently reported that less than 3% of all charitable donations in the state of Hawaii go to support the arts.

“Given the growth of cryptocurrencies globally, our goal is to expand the pool of potential donors willing to support the iconic theater from afar,” he said.

Find out more COVID-19 news: cases and vaccinations on the Corona Virus News page

The theater currently only accepts cryptocurrency as donations, but is exploring ways to improve its ticketing program to allow for ticket payments and concessions in the future.

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