Youth theatre group promotes mask wearing for young people

FLINT — Shop Floor Theatre Company, a non-profit youth theatre group based in Flint, is promoting the importance of mask-wearing for young people, while encouraging creative expression.

Shop Floor Theatre Company’s goal this year is to give young leaders the ability to connect their artistic expression and the desire to keep their community safe. One of the initiatives has been to partner up with mAsk The People, so that they can take the lead and encourage those around them to “Mask their Face, Not their Style.” mAsk The People, is a maker-to-market initiative, where artists, designers and community activists are engaged to help put their unique designs on reusable multi-layered filtration masks to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Masks are a critical part of keeping our community safe during this pandemic, and being able to provide proper PPE for our youth programs is vital for the safety of our participants, staff and the greater community we serve,” said Kendrick Jones, Executive Director at Shop Floor Theatre Company. “Being able to team up with an organization such as mAsk The People, not only will help encourage our youth to be a part of the collective fight against the virus, but will also ensure they can continue to express their individuality and creativity in a new way especially as young people are re-entering clubs and schools.

“In partnering with us, mAsk the People is providing critical masks in a fun and artistic way that allows our youth to continue to express themselves, while going back into society safely,” Jones added. “Our young leaders will be role models in creating the change in our community.”

Garvey Chui, co-founder of mAsk the People, said that the real challenge of the project is to change peoples’ behavior and attitudes towards wearing masks, while promoting mask-wearing as a creative activity.

“This is why we wanted to help make wearing masks fun and a way to express one’s identity through unique designs,” he said. “Hence, Mask Your Face, Not Your Style.”

Financial support for mAsk the People and donations of masks to community in Flint was provided by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

More information on mAsk the People is available at m-AskThePeople.com. To learn more about Shop Floor Community Theatre, visit sftco.org. — B.G.