Reflections & Reviews
Our first encounter with The Living Arts Collective triggered a flashback to the musical Passing Strange by Stew. In it, there’s a beautiful number the protagonist sings about arriving in a new city and being offered a place to stay by someone he’s only just met. That’s The Living Arts Collective in a word, the Durham-based creative brethren we didn’t know we had until we reached out to ask for assistance and they responded by throwing the door open and ushering us inside. The Collective provided space for us to hold a rehearsed reading of a new play-in-progress presented in association with Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration 2019 (#BlackCom2019).
It was extremely important to us to share the work in a space where our woman-centric, multiracial, intergenerational company would feel welcomed and supported. To our great amazement, we found in the Collective a long-standing commitment to building community and cultivating radical inclusivity. Their enthusiasm for artistic exploration and respect for the need for safe spaces, both in the creative realm and people-to-people, made us feel, quite simply, that we had landed in a kind of wonderland. Creative practice starts with relationships, and relationships start with people, with all our complexity and contradictions. The Living Arts Collective demonstrated that when we encounter one another with curiosity, generosity, and genuine openness, the potential is enormous. It’s an ethos we feel privileged to share, and the project we brought into The Living Arts Collective’s space — or perhaps sanctuary is a better descriptor — is all the stronger for it.
– Amy Evans, playwright and Steven Wilson, director – NYC
The community and space at Living Arts Collective created the ideal setting for me, as an independent instructor just starting out, to begin and grow my dream of teaching joyful dance-fitness classes. I always felt supported in exploring new ideas, and was given absolute freedom to make the space my own during my time leading classes. And besides my own classes, the breadth of other offerings at LAC is astounding; I’m constantly in awe of the amazing things that other movers in our community are up to, and grateful for the space that brings us all together!
Thank you again for everything!
Lara Goodrich Ezor, 2020
We are very glad to have built and maintained a relationship with the LAC since its opening and watched it grow and develop as we also grow and develop. The space is beautiful, with excellent floors and plenty of attentive care put into the small details that make it a pleasant place to be. Aubrey and her team have brought in a wide array of dance and other projects to use the studios, making it truly feel like a vibrant community space.
– Lydie, Director of Triangle Zouk, 2020
We have thoroughly enjoyed offering classes and building a relationship with the folks at the LAC! The space is beautiful and rich in healing energy, and it’s a wonderful base for a community building and professional networking. Aubrey, Bruce, and the LAC team are creating a hub of eclectic and joyful offerings, and we are so fortunate to collaborate with them. It’s a dynamic and welcoming opportunity to bring your passion and skills for movement and healing practices to a great space in downtown Durham!
– Paul, Lorraine and the Wellness Station team, 2020
“Living Arts Collective has been very supportive of all of my wacky ideas. It helps to generate revenue for myself and for the community as well… help keep this space going!”
– Atiba Rorie / Musician / Africa Unplugged
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