2019: On Our State of Things

It’s happening.

When The Listening started (five years ago, in case you didn’t know), only the immediate thrill of sharing the stage with fellow artists was on my dashboard. This whole thing began in hopes of finding others who wanted to hear something genuine from people who may/may not look like me. Little did I know how things would begin to change as the vision began to grow.

As we begin 2019, it continues to become clearer how the state of things have changed. As we said in an interview with News and Advance in 2017, “our appetites have grown” and we have been itching to actually put application to our mission of “engaging, changing and saving lives”.

When we announced that we were starting our journey of bringing a Freedom School to Lynchburg last January, the initial response was encouraging. The following feedback was inspiring. The support was motivating.

Truth be told, this whole process has matured our organization greatly. We are in the midst of graduating from a start-up organization to our development stage, where we focus on getting better at what we do. We’ve got your ears, but we’re aiming for your hearts. Everything is changing, but we’re still the same.

This is just a friendly reminder, but allow us to reintroduce ourselves.

This is The Listening.

We believe in:


Charles Mingus is quoted as saying that “creativity is more than being different”. We want to take those things that make us different and create more dope experiences for all who witness it.


After all the links, likes and shares, what’s left? We savor the real and pursue our truths. Everyone might not get there with us, but those who LISTEN will still be around. Daps and hugs for everyone (if that’s your thing).


The essence of a renaissance is found in doing things in different ways. With respect to tradition, we seek creative new approaches to understanding and experiencing the world around and inside us.


Simply put, we are driven by the notion that there’s got to be something more…


…because in the words of the late great Maya Angelou, “nobody, but nobody, can make it out here alone”.


We believe that our role in creating a society that better than the one we currently inhabit is to make sure that we are better about being a safe, brave space for anyone that comes across our platform. No disclaimer; we want to hear from you all. Check out our Manifesto here.

We can talk about art all day long. If you have been to any of our events, you know that’s how we get down. At this point in the game, however, we know now that the game has changed. Let’s use our art to do more, to say more, to be about more. If the stage is open, we want to hear more from you, more about the things that matter, the things that you feel people aren’t talking about enough. We want to empower you to use your music and your poetry to make a difference; for yourself and the world around you.

This is our platform and our opportunity to change things. So let’s be about it. We’re looking for modern-day revolutionaries and leaders who can redefine freedom. We’re looking for the artists who have something burning deep inside to say, and the will to perform with passion and purpose. We’re looking for writers who are able to show why the pen is mightier than the sword. We’re looking for our tribe.

Our state of things has been changing, but trust. We’re still here.

We’re still listening.

Nicholas GeorgeComment