“Illuminate Our Heroes” was produced by Empire Entertainment. It is a mobile, live multimedia show that has been making rounds to brighten up the days of health care workers in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, as well as Yonkers, Long Island and New Jersey.
“The live event and entertainment industry is at a complete standstill because of COVID, and many of our vendors, colleagues and friends have been furloughed or laid off during the pandemic,” said Empire Entertainment senior vice president and director of Production Matt Stevenson.
“We all know that we will eventually get back to work because of what these frontline workers are doing right now,” he added.
With this in mind, Stevenson asked himself what would be the best way to repurpose the well of resources possessed by Empire Entertainment and its collaborators in a way that gives back to those making sacrifices to fight COVID-19.
“I thought, there is no better way than to show appreciation and give thanks to those that are dealing with this virus daily and give them an uplifting few moments,” Stevenson said.
So he contacted partners at Aggreko, 4 Wall, Boum Creative, AVS and AVTrucking to put together a mobile show built on a 48-foot-long flatbed truck. The trailer is equipped with a 20-foot-long, six-foot-high LED video wall, a concert-grade audio system and a variety of colorful moving lights.
The mood-boosting production includes roughly 12 minutes of screen content thanking nurses, doctors, EMTs, police officers and firefighters, synced to the sounds of “Thank You” by Sly & The Family Stone, “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and, of course, Frank Sinatra’s iconic “New York, New York.”
Last week, “Illuminate Our Heroes” made appearances at NYU Langone Sunset Park and SUNY Downstate’s University Hospital of Brooklyn, which was designated by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a hospital to serve only COVID-19 patients.
The next day, the show rolled to the hard-hit Elmhurst Hospital just in time for the 7 p.m. call to “make noise” for healthcare workers and first responders.
After visits to hospitals in Yonkers, New Jersey and Manhattan, the tour will make its last stop in Long Island at the end of the week.