Brooklyn College theater department sews masks for essential workers on campus

New Yorkers continue to step up to the plate to help protect their city during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Costume Shop at the Department of Theater at Brooklyn College may be closed, but staff and students are staying busy sewing masks for essential workers.
A group of six volunteers, led by Deborah Hertzberg, the costume shop supervisor, are spearheading an effort to provide masks for the college’s very own essential workers.
"All of our custodians, our engineers and our food pantry workers have to actually be physically on campus because we have to keep campus safe, and we have to make sure the buildings are still functioning properly so those folks don't have the luxury of working from home, so we have to do our part in keeping them safe,” says Hertzberg.

For Hertzberg and her team, keeping them safe is a show of gratitude and support.
 "As theater artists we have a certain set of very specific skills that are usually only employed for theatrical production, but in this case, we realized that our skills could actually help save lives,” she says.

The team making the masks includes fellow staff from the costume shop, students, a retired professor and an alum. All of whom know how to sew and want to help.

"They do so much for us, we need to do for them,” says Hertzberg.

Hertzberg says in about two weeks, they've sewn over 150 masks to be shipped to their colleagues. She says others will be made for people in their own lives who need them.

"It’s a good thing to know that our skills are valuable even if we are not producing theater,” says Hertzberg.