Things to do today: Combine healthy walk with history lesson along Bethlehem Greenway ArtsWalk exhibit
BETHLEHEM, PA – The newly minted Lehigh Valley Song Project, an initiative bringing together musical artists from across the Lehigh Valley, premieres an original, collaboratively-created video performance. This music video will be available online following a release party and premiere at Touchstone Theatre, at an outdoor musical performance and socially distanced celebration entitled Songs of Hope and Resistance on July 23.
In a time of global pandemic and important discussions about racial justice and inequality, the Lehigh Valley Song Project was created in an effort to celebrate the connectedness and freedoms that benefit our communities. Top Lehigh Valley musical performers from across genres signed on to create a diverse, honest, hopeful look at the future – through song. Due to the necessary restrictions of COVID-19, performers are recording separately, for a music video that will premiere on July 23. Touchstone Theatre plans an outdoor release party/concert to celebrate the launch of the video with an accompanying livestream of the event.
“This is an artistic response to this unique moment in history,” says Michael Duck, project director of the Lehigh Valley Song Project. “And we are choosing to respond by breaking down barriers, celebrating the ways we all help each other, and plainly stating that everybody deserves and needs freedom from disease, freedom from violence, and freedom from hatred.”
The event Songs of Hope and Resistance will be held outdoors in Touchstone’s parking lot, with performers posted on the theatre’s back porch areas. Audience will be invited to sit at four-top and two-top tables, spaced at least six feet apart, where they’ll be able to enjoy live music performed by a selection of diverse local artists who have participated in the Lehigh Valley Song Project. These artists include favorites like Camille Armstrong, Daniel Class, Liliana Cunha, Dave Fry, GR3YS0N, Neil Grover, and Jeremy Joseph, performing a selection of works about standing up against adversity, fighting for justice, and visioning a better future. Artists from Basement Poets serve as MCs for the evening; Molly’s Irish Grille and Sports Pub will provide food and drink for purchase; and Lehigh Valley Stands Up will be onsite and ready to register people to vote.
To maximize safe distancing, seating will be limited and available by pre-sale only. All patrons will be required to wear masks for check-in and for any time when they are up from their tables. Touchstone also notes that if Northampton County, currently in the “green” phase, should shift in the coming weeks, the details of the performance will be modified to comply with regulations and keep patrons safe. For guests not ready yet to join in person, a free livestream of the event will be broadcast simultaneously with the option to donate to Touchstone’s ongoing community building initiatives at bit.ly/LVsongdonate.
The Lehigh Valley Song Project’s original music video will premiere at Songs of Hope and Resistance and will be available the next day on Touchstone’s website. Songs of Hope and Resistance performs Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 7pm (Rain dates: July 24th at 7pm, then July 25th at 7pm). Tickets are by table, with $40 for a four-top and $30 for a two-top. All tickets will be presold and are available at 610.867.1689 or online at www.touchstone.org. A link to the livestream can be found at www.touchstone.org/events/songs-of-hope-and-resistance/ on the evening of the event. Donations to support this and future events accepted at bit.ly/LVsongdonate.
Touchstone’s season is sponsored locally by season sponsor RCN. WDIY provides media sponsorship and Working Dog Press provides print sponsorship. Touchstone Theatre receives funding from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Founded in 1981, Touchstone Theatre produces and presents both original and classic productions, with a dedication to the renewal of theatre as a vital art form. Touchstone works to foster collaboration on a local and national level through educational and youth empowerment programs, using theatre as a community-building tool. Visit us on the web at www.touchstone.org