Curtain Up On Communities is developing community arts and social justice events during Covid 19 while The Lyric is unable to host audiences
by The Lyric in Bridport, England, United Kingdom
(Photo: The Trans Scripts team from around the world, in residence at The Lyric Theatre in summer 2014 to present their world premiere, pictured with Bridport residents)
The Lyric Theatre cannot raise its curtain in a proscenium arch on Barrack Street in Bridport, Dorset because it is currently closed as a theatre due to Covid 19.
So instead, The Lyric Theatre's curtain is being raised on events in our community.
The Bridport Black Lives Matter Banner was the pilot project of The Lyric Theatre’s Curtain Up On Communities initiative. The Lyric wanted to help be a voice and a place that could contribute.
The Lyric Theatre, always a dynamic and community-rooted enterprise, donated the stage curtains to make the backdrop for the banner. The banner was hand stitched together by local people (observing social distancing) who discussed issues of race and privilege as they sewed and were reminded that it is possible to have friendly and enlightening conversations about these vital issues.
The banner was then carried through the village of Symondsbury in a cortege style procession and unfurled on iconic Colmer's Hill, where it was filmed by a drone cameraman.
The images were posted on social media and were shared widely, and over £1000 was raised via Crowdfunder by partnering Bridport with Bronx Defenders, who are protecting black lives in New York during the protests against the killing of black man George Floyd by 3 police officers who knelt on him until he died.
The banner is now being hosted by other villages and rural sites, and can be draped in the landscape to be filmed by a drone camera. In this way small rural communities can show solidarity with their urban counterparts without breaking pandemic restrictions.
The Lyric Theatre is currently talking to members of the local community about other projects like this one, with arts or social justice themes, and the money raised on this Crowdfunder campaign will be used to organise and facilitate such events.
The Lyric Theatre's next Curtain Up On Communities project is The Portrait Challenge. A project in July and August, in partnership with Bridport Rights Respecting Town, to populate the town with the faces of people who live and work here. Culminating in an exhibition of all our portraits around the town, in windows, shops and on buildings this project enables everyone to become and artists and encourages us to see each other and celebrate our community. The Lyric Theatre may not have events indoors but this will put the art everywhere! A small team of artists is ready to launch this, and funds from this Crowdfunder will help make it happen.
Please donate to this Crowdfunder campaign to enable the Curtain Up On Communities initiative to grow and thrive for this and future projects.
Friends of the Lyric Theatre is a Community Interest Company.