Outside of our events, we also see that there is much work to be done to engage our community. We seek to provide workshops and trainings that equip people with skills that allow them to creative tools to navigate through life.
There are parts of life that don’t always need a stage as much as it requires a group of people willing to listen. We hope to also provide support groups for young creatives who are experiencing battles with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation, identity crises, and more.
We also aim to be a part of our young people's experience in the school setting through assemblies and after-school and summer programming, using empirically based curriculum that places the power of the art of literature and spoken word poetry front and center.
Since the beginning, the bedrock of The Listening has been in facilitating a platform that allows the community to come together, artist and audience alike. Using the performing arts as our primary model of impact, we have been hosting open mic sessions since 2013, where people from all around the city have experienced something worth listening to. In addition to these open mic sessions, The Listening has also hosted various movie screenings, featuring films and documentaries that display the impact that the arts have had on our culture and that speak directly to the human experience.
Through developing strategic relationships with creative volunteers, local businesses, national organizations, The Listening has a bold vision to see our community changed by socially minded artists who have a burden to use their talent, time, and passion to change the world around them, as well as the world inside of them. We believe that the road towards a better tomorrow is best accomplished together.
The Listening has introduced the local community to the intersection of performing arts and social impact by hosting over 40 events contributing to local creative culture. We engage through open mic sessions, film screenings with moderated discussions, and potlucks with facilitated table conversations around topics relevant to the common good. Our foundational events are themed open-mic sessions that invite artists from the local community and curated signature events including local and national artists. We’ve brought more than 75 artists before more than 750 audience members. We’ve collaborated with many local and national organizations to display the power of the performing arts.
We mark our progress by reflecting on our mission:
Engaging Lives: We want to see our community become more interactive across lines of political affiliation, gender identity, sexual orientation, generational gaps, or religious denomination, informing how individuals see the world around them.
Changing Lives: We want to contribute to a shift in the perception of the performing arts, and participate in its function as a transformative resource, informing how individuals view themselves within varied social and cultural systems.
Saving Lives: We want to be a part of the (performing) arts being utilized in a cathartic, compassionate, and therapeutic capacity, informing how individuals see themselves.
The Listening has recently been listed as one of Lynchburg's outstanding nonprofit organizations for Lynchburg Living Magazine's 2017 Giving Back Awards.
The Listening has been identified as one of Lynchburg's Partners in Education, a mutually beneficial program that provides an important way for all who have a stake in Lynchburg City Schools to make a contribution.
The Listening continues to champion the cause for lives who have been changed by the performing arts, building a growing base of supporters and volunteers who believe in its mission and contribute to its vision by advocating and participating the ever-evolving local creative community.