My name is Josh Sosin, and I am grateful and proud to be writing once again on the behalf of The Listening. This post serves as a primer for everything TLI has lined up for the month of March. Since our “journey in identity” last fall, we’ve been busy at work behind the scenes to become so much better at what we do. This year, expect more open mics, more shared meals, more community, less wackness, and obviously, more listening! Check out the details for our upcoming events this month!
March 9th - Open Mic Session: QUEEN
I will never stop being awed by the women in my life. Ever since I was just a wee lad, so many wonderful ladies have blessed me with wisdom, guidance, and friendship, and I’m forever in debt to them. As a man, learning to set aside your pride and insecurity and treat the opposite sex as your friends, your equals and your sisters makes life so much more special. My indebtedness to my dear female friends and mentors makes me even more excited and honored to announce that the theme for this month’s open mic night is QUEEN.
Even in 2018, women are still being beaten down and pushed around. Our culture invites girls to become self-loathing, subservient and insecure. Sometimes, even the boldest and bravest voices can feel muffled and drowned out. The past few months have been marked by the exposure of many male celebrities’ histories of sexual abuse towards women. As this darkness has come into full view, women who have been victims of sexual abuse have been united under the banner of the #metoo movement. The traumatic events of the past several months have left a dark cloud hanging over so many women.
There is a desperate need for encouragement in the midst of these times. However, The Listening has never been a group to stick to the status quo. We refuse to block out the influential, impactful, desperately needed voices of women. We refuse to treat them like anything other than the Queens that they are, as so many do. Instead of ignoring, shaming and degrading, March 9th will be a night to listen.
This event serves to remind all of Lynchburg’s Queens of their infinite worth. Remember, YOU are the talent that will make this night special! This evening will be the perfect time to speak from your heart what you believe Lynchburg needs to hear. Ladies, your stories are powerful and special. They make you who you are, and they can build up others more than you can imagine! If you have something to say to your fellow Queens, March 9th is your night!
The event will be held at the Lynchburg YWCA, located downtown on Church Street. This event will serve as a benefit for the YWCA; the 5 dollar entry fee will go directly to them. Hosting this session will be another Queen, Brittney S. George! Additionally, I’m proud to say that there will be several notable Lynchburg businesses serving as supporting vendors, like The Motherhood Collective, Royal Tehani, and BeatRed MUA & Cosmetics. These and others will have information for anyone interested and items for sale at the event!
A quick disclaimer ― For all of those considering performing in the event, please bear this in mind: QUEEN is an evening meant to honor and uplift the women in our community, so please keep your pieces respectful and positive!
March 18th - Storytelling Event: “The Tipping Point”
“Emotion is contagious.” -Malcolm Gladwell
The tipping point.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book. He describes the tipping point as “that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” Every creative individual dreams of a moment like this, when their ideas come to fruition.
The Roots made an album. With their own spin on the social issues of the time, and unashamed to admit how great they sound, The Roots made a masterpiece with The Tipping Point. Gladwell’s book inspired the album title, and the LP can be seen as the group’s own tipping point, solidifying their place in modern music history.
You have a story. When in your life have you experienced the tipping point? What was it like?
On March 18th, at the White Hart Café, you will have a chance to share it. The Listening’s storytelling events are unique and intimate, and they offer a platform for sharing experiences of all kinds. The event is a perfect fit for The White Hart, a place where so many of us love to come and share stories and conversations with others.
Gladwell and The Roots had their own ideas of what the tipping point is, but it may mean something entirely different to you. The theme of this event leaves much room for interpretation. Lynchburg is full of individuals with big ideas. The stage at Listening events has been graced by trendsetters and change-makers, and this evening of storytelling will undoubtedly be no exception.
Hearing others’ stories about their struggles and triumphs has so often served to remind me to keep on keeping on. This, in part, is what has made The Listening so meaningful to me. Even as a listener, I always walk away feeling heard and understood. You may not see yourself as someone with ideas worth sharing, but I disagree. If you don’t see yourself as impactful, look closer. Maybe your tipping point involves the story you might be waiting to share.
The event will begin at 6 PM.
March 27th - 5th Birthday Chipotle Fundraiser!
The Listening is celebrating its 5th birthday this month, and on the 27th the team is hosting a fundraiser at the premier birthday-celebration spot: Chipotle. We are so grateful for Chipotle’s willingness to host the evening; as you and I both know, there are few things more festive than guacamole. From 4-8 PM, come eat a celebratory burrito and join us in reminiscing about the past half-decade of, as our own Nick George put it, “engaging the community with dopeness.”
As if Chipotle wasn’t enough reason to come, 50% of what you spend on your meal will be donated in support of TLI. All you have to do is mention our name, or show a picture of the fundraiser image, and you’ll be helping us in our pursuit of “engaging, changing, and saving lives with the performing arts!” There are big things coming up not too far down the road, and the team would greatly appreciate your help in getting there!
In five years, The Listening has experienced its own tipping point, perhaps one of many. It’s because of your interest and support that we have been able to continue advancing our vision. TLI is passionate about the arts, but it is also passionate about you, and we are so grateful for your investment in us. March 27th will be a great evening to celebrate The Listening’s past, present and future.
Keep tabs on the Facebook event here.
Stay tuned to the blog and TLI’s social media, as there are more exciting events in the works for the year to come! And remember, The Listening as a community has a place inside it for everyone. TLI deeply values your passions, wherever they may directed. We want to see what your creativity looks like, and to have you as part of our community! Bearing that in mind, I’m hoping to see you at this month’s events!