Saturday, September 30, 2023

This local religious group is using their virtual platform and art to bring people closer together

“9 Little Indians” by Steve Prince. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Lisa Green)

Modern technology is a handy tool to bring people together during a pandemic, and Historic Area Religions Together is doing just that with a new virtual event series on Zoom.

Although HART began only three years ago, Rev. Lisa Green, associate rector at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church said they plan on the series having three or four events over the span of a year.

The series is called “Together in Hope: Multifaith Gatherings for Community Transformation,” and the first event, titled “9 Little Indians: Race and Education,” is on Monday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.

The program is named after its featured artwork, “9 Little Indians” by Steve Prince, director of engagement and Distinguished Artist in Residence at William & Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art.

“We’ve worked with Steve before,” Green said. “Some of our members have experience with Steve’s work.”

Prince has also preached at St. Martin’s, Green said.

There will also be a performance, “Youngest of Nine,” from Leah Glenn, professor of Dance and artistic director of the Leah Glenn Dance Theatre.

Both Prince’s and Glenn’s pieces were inspired by the Little Rock Nine, according to a news release.

But wait, there’s even more art involved.

A commemorative work of art will be created and sold to benefit a shared project addressing injustice in greater Williamsburg.

Aside from art, there is talk as well. The event features a conversation with Aaron Butler and Natoya Haskins, along with Glenn and Prince, on racial inequity in the school system.

The purpose of this first gathering is to bring “together visual art, dance, and conversation to grapple with racial inequity in our schools, past and present,” according to the news release.

Other virtual gatherings in the series will “address other deep divisions fraying the fabric of our country and local community, with participants coming together in diversity and unity, bringing different gifts and different faiths to the work of building a more just and peaceful world,” according to the news release.

This virtual series isn’t the only way HART is using their virtual platform.

“Usually, we have a Thanksgiving service every year, with 300 to 400 people. But that’s impossible to have this year,” Green said.

Instead, the Thanksgiving service will also be done virtually on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. Registration info has still yet to go out, but Green said those interested can view HART’s Facebook page.

To register for the “Together in Hope: Multifaith Gatherings for Community Transformation” series, visit the event’s webpage on Eventbrite here. Zoom information will be provided with registration confirmation.


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