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With local arts center closed, residents take to performing at home

What do you do when you have a group of performers and your performance space is closed?

You take to people’s porches.

As Leeds Center for the Arts has been closed for the coronavirus pandemic, the theater has been hosting “porch performances” every other week on its social media platforms.

“As creatives, it’s very difficult to pivot and reinvent how we perform art out there,” Leeds Director Tracey Miller said. “It’s an important part of who we are.”

The porch performances, she said, are an opportunity for anyone to post a video of themselves or someone else in an artistic pursuit.

“Every two weeks, there’s a window of time where we ask people to submit a video of them performing on Facebook,” Miller said. “We’ve had everything from poems to songs to dances. It’s been really great.”

It truly is open to anyone, she said.

“It’s not just Leeds people,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of community people participating as well. Last weekend, (Winchester City Commissioner) Ramsey Flynn played banjo.”

The next window opens Friday, she said.

“It is really fun,” she said. “There are kids of all ages.”

The Leeds performers are tackling another project in the coming days.

“We are getting ready to start writing letters to people in the community who may not have a lot of support in the community,” she said.

She said they will be writing about 470 letters of support and hope, which will be included in food boxes distributed by Clark County Community Services.

“It’s not the same, but it’s OK,” she said. “As with everyone else, we don’t have any income. We just want to continue being who we are: a community venue that makes a difference.”

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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