Prepare to get poetry slammed in your PJs with the help of Columbus’ Lincoln Theatre.
The Lincoln Theatre is hosting its “Lincoln Living Room Concert Series” starting Friday at 7 p.m. The show stars Youngstown, Ohio, native and poet Barbara Fant and is one of three to be featured in the theater’s pre-recorded shows set to broadcast each Friday over the next three weeks.
Fant said the concert will include works that cover processing, grief, women’s rights and finding joy in the low points in life. Her 30-minute set was recorded outside over an original piece played and sung by Renee Dion, a Columbus singer and songwriter.
Fant’s passion for poetry became especially important to her when she was 15 years old after her mother passed away, according to her website.
“Poetry became my way of communication, my way of processing, and my way to pray,” Fant said on her website.
Fant is an awarded poet who has competed in both national and global poetry slams. According to her website, Fant placed 8th out of 96 poets in the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam.
Fant said her work aims to “bring light to dark places.” Her first job was teaching poetry in a juvenile correctional facility, according to Fant’s website. Since then, she has had local fellowships with churches — her art being a form of ministry for her.
“I believe that God saved my life through art, and all I want to do is tour the world helping others by using my gift. I know that art has the power to heal. It saved my life and I want to live a life poured out, serving God, and using this gift to save others,” Fant said on her website.
The Lincoln Theatre Association is hosting the event to provide performers such as Fant with an opportunity to earn income while venues are closed due to the pandemic, according to a Lincoln Theatre Association press release. In addition to paying each performer, it will provide links for viewers to tip artists directly.
Rich Corsi, vice president of programming at the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, said the program aims to help artists who might be struggling due to the pandemic.
“We are trying to help artists in a time of need. They have nowhere to perform,” Corsi said.
He said CAPA has launched similar projects in the past, including the “ApART Together” series — a Facebook series that featured a variety of local artists to help provide income for them as venues closed in the spring.
Corsi said he is looking to the future with optimism and that CAPA has sent out surveys to its fan base asking their opinions on a potential in-person concert in the future.
“The Lincoln has a great following. We obviously want to open, but we have to do it responsibly,” Corsi said.
The event can be livestreamed from the Lincoln Theatre Facebook page starting at 7 p.m. Friday. The show is free, but viewers may tip artists at the link provided at the livestream.