Within a couple of weeks, Todd McKenney’s new project to assist others in the entertainment industry has become a roaring success. Almost 800 Australian-made face masks have been sold, raising $20,000 for their talented designers and professional theatrical wardrobe teams.
Todd is a passionate and long term member of the Stage and Screen industry and an advocate for Public Health. As a keen supporter of The Grace Centre at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Todd has witnessed first-hand the profound impact of following advice when it comes to protecting the vulnerable with best practice. In response to the current national health crisis, teamed with the impact of the crisis on the economic prospects of his fellow industry family, Todd created a ‘pivot for profit’ platform, TODDMASKS.COM, where Australian costume designers can make and sell masks directly to the public in order to assist these talented individuals to use their exceptional skills to both make Australia more safe and create an income stream for themselves.
“Understanding both the evolving complexities of the health crisis from my view as a keen supporter of The Grace Centre, and the catastrophic impact on the income generation of my peers within the Stage and Screen industry, has driven me to create this online marketplace for Australia’s Costume Designers to sell masks that are made to the current Australian health standards. TODDMASKS.COM is a space where we can buy local and help exceptionally motivated and skilled artists to pivot their talents to suit the current market,” he said.
Australian Costume Designers such as the prolific industry veteran Jennifer Irwin (Bangarra Dance Theatre, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia) and the immensely talented Erin Roche (High Ground, The Pacific, House Husbands) are part of the movement and are creating ranges for sale on the platform, which are then made by professional theatrical wardrobe stitchers.
Todd is profoundly humbled by the response to the platform from his industry colleagues and looks forward to watching them thrive. “We simply cannot sit by as these talented people are forced to leave the industry due to a lack of work. Stage and Screen will thrive again one day, and I am committed to helping my fellow artists anyway that I can. This is all for them, and is made with love and thanks for helping make me look great all these years!“.
Entertainment industry leader Michael Gudinski of Mushroom Group is working with a designer to develop a large order of Mushroom-branded masks that will be sent to all of his artists. “It’s a great initiative to be helping the industry and protecting our people through these unprecedented times and I’m happy to give my support to Todd,” he said.
There are also online auctions of one-of-a-kind masks at TODDMASKS.COM to support the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.