The Academy Presents:
In Unison: A Concert Evening
The restoration and re-opening of the Historic Academy of Music Theatre offer a profound opportunity for the Greater Lynchburg community. The Historic Theatre’s history invokes memories of a thriving arts community in the early 1900s, which we plan to bring into the present day. However, we must also remember the theatre’s past as a segregated space during Jim Crow, which relegated black citizens to the second balcony and forced entry into the facility from a side door.
The Historic Academy of Music Theatre’s Opening Week will begin on December 6th, 2018, with In Unison: A Concert Evening, a night celebrating the first integration of the theatre since its closing in 1958 and those that worked to make the Historic Theatre a place for all.
One such community member was Lottie Payne Stratton, who served as the African-American ticket taker during segregation. Lottie helped her community as best she could for black patrons looking for entertainment in a world that viewed them as inferior.
With the theater’s reopening, integration, and in the spirit of Lottie, the Academy will begin In Unison: A Concert Evening by recognizing the contributions of community members who have made invaluable contributions to arts and culture in Lynchburg by presenting three community awards, the Lottie Payne Stratton Award, and two Academy Cultural Impact Awards.
The concert portion of the evening will follow with a performance from musician Devon Gilfillian. Mavis Staples will take the stage to end the night.
The evening will be emceed by Leland Melvin, former NASA astronaut, and community member.
Tickets for this event will be released to members September 5 – 12, 2018. Remaining tickets will be released to the public on September 13, 2018.