History of The Listening

Image source (Date of Dunbar Photography)

Image source (Date of Dunbar Photography)

In 2012, a group of friends decided to get together and do something very simple: enjoy intentional art. It wasn't enough to chat about it, but to actually pursue a greater, shared appreciation of the music and poetry they enjoyed individually.

A few months later, in 2013, it was given a name, inspired by the debut album by hip-hop group Little Brother, and this platform was called "The Listening".


The idea was that people could still get together and create art and memories while also engaging with each other and learning about one another.

Throughout that year, a small community began to take form, joining the creative renaissance already taking place within the city of Lynchburg, Virginia. Using the open mic format, they discussed themes like "Confessions" and "Classics".

After a brief hiatus, The Listening returned in 2014 with the theme "Legacy". Since then, the concept of creating art with intentionality and performing with passion and purpose has grown.

In 2016, we became officially incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Later that year, we were awarded our tax-exemption under IRS code 501 c(3).

We also joined the ranks of over 20 local non-profit organizations in being recognized as one of Lynchburg’s top charitable organizations, receiving one of Lynchburg Living’s Giving Back Awards 2017. The Listening has also been identified as one of Lynchburg City School'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.


A far cry from what it looked like in a loft-style living room session, the pursuit is still the same: to engage with people, to change people's perceptions of what performance art can do and look like, and to save lives with our stories.