Brandi Gaspard Mans ’10 uses sewing skills for mask production

Using stitching skills she learned as a theatre major at Ripon College, Brandi Gaspard Mans ’10 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been joining her colleagues at the Minnesota Opera to make face masks to contribute toward the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mans says that after COVID-19 forced the opera to close their last two shows of the season, organizers looked for ways to utilize workers and help give back to the community. “It was the best way to keep us all working,” Mans says.

She also noted that each person has a specific role. As a stitcher, Mans works on production of the masks while others focus on distribution.

Mans and her team have produced between 5,000 and 6,000 masks so far and plan to continue until May 1 when many of the Minnesota Opera’s seasonal contracts expire. However, production will continue on a volunteer basis thereafter.

Mans also majored in anthropology at Ripon. She says her time here helped foster a sense of community within her, which became a driving force behind her current project.

“It’s become a great way to support our community during this time,” Mans says.

Haley Stowell ’20
Eau Claire, Wisconsin


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