This local faith group is using their virtual platform and art to bring people together

“9 Little Indians” by Steve Prince. (WYDaily/Courtesy Lisa Green)

Modern technology is a handy tool for bringing people together during a pandemic, and Historic Area Religions Together is doing just that with a new series of virtual events on Zoom.

Although HART only started three years ago, Reverend Lisa Green, associate rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, said she expects the series to have three or four events over a one-year period.

The series is called “Together in Hope: Multifaith Gatherings for Community Transformation,” and the first event, titled “9 Little Indians: Race and Education,” will take place on Monday, October 19 at 7 p.m.

The program is named after its featured artwork, “9 Little Indians” by Steve Prince, Director of Engagement and Emeritus Artist-in-Residence at William & Mary’s Muscarelle Museum of Art.

“We’ve worked with Steve before,” Green said. “Some of our members have experience with Steve’s work.”

Prince also preached in St. Maarten, Green said.

There will also be a performance, “Youngest of Nine”, by Leah Glenn, dance teacher and artistic director of Leah Glenn Dance Theatre.

Both Prince and Glenn’s pieces were inspired by the Little Rock Nine, according to a press release.

But wait, there’s even more art involved.

Memorial artwork will be created and sold to benefit a common project fighting injustice in Greater Williamsburg.

Besides art, there are also discussions. The event includes a conversation with Aaron Butler and Natoya Haskins, as well as Glenn and Prince, about racial inequality in the school system.

The purpose of this first gathering is to bring together “visual art, dance and conversation to address racial inequality in our schools, past and present,” according to the press release.

Other virtual gatherings in the series “will address other deep divisions that fray the fabric of our country and our local community, with participants coming together in diversity and unity, bringing different gifts and faiths to the work of building a fairer and more peaceful world,” according to the press release.

This virtual series is not the only way HART uses its virtual platform.

“Usually we have a Thanksgiving service every year, with 300 to 400 people. But it’s impossible to have this year,” Green said.

Instead, the Thanksgiving service will also be held virtually on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. Registration information has not yet been released, but Green said those interested can check out HART’s Facebook page.

To register for the “Together in Hope: Multifaith Gatherings for Community Transformation” series, visit the event webpage on Eventbrite here. Zoom information will be provided with registration confirmation.

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