|PROVIDENCE, RI (February 8, 2021) – The Wilbury Theatre Group has proudly been commissioned by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities to participate in Culture is Key, an initiative to “understand, test, and evaluate the role of cultural participation on our state’s civic health.” Working in collaboration with journalist Ana González of The Public’s Radio and with support from ONE Neighborhood Builders, The Wilbury Theatre Group has solicited stories from neighbors willing to share their experiences of loss and resiliency in the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will culminate in Capture the Block: Stories from Ward 15, which will be livestreamed for free, on The Wilbury Group’s Facebook and YouTube channels on Sunday, February 21 at 6pm.
“When we started this project almost six months ago, the world was in a different place,” says Ana González. “We were hopeful that the pandemic would be over and done with by 2021 and we would be able to have an awesome in-person event with popcorn and hot chocolate, celebrating the streets of Olneyville in the streets of Olneyville. Obviously, we were wrong. This pandemic has taken so much from us. So, Josh and I decided to change the direction of our event to help our communities begin to heal by remembering all that we’ve lost and celebrating all that we’ve gained.”
Josh Short, Artistic Director of The Wilbury Group, adds “The very real and human impact that COVID-19 has had on our neighborhood this year is heartbreaking. As one of the neighborhoods hit hardest our friends and neighbors have seen their lives change drastically over the last 12 months. It’s our hope that Capture the Block provides a forum for remembrance and mourning through storytelling that both helps our community in its healing, while amplifying the Humanities’ Council call for the urgent need for increased civic engagement from all of us.”
About the ‘Culture is Key’ initiative by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities As part of the Culture is Key initiative, five Rhode Island cultural organizations will undertake pilot projects where they will collaborate with local journalists to test and evaluate ways to further integrate civic engagement into cultural programming. These organizations span diverse disciplines including museums, libraries, theaters, festivals, and youth programming. Each has a strong track record of delivering quality cultural experiences for diverse audiences across the Ocean State. The organizations are listed below and more details about their projects is forthcoming.