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Lula Washington Dance Theatre Creates Outdoor Class and Performance Space
By Sentinel News Service
Published September 24, 2020

The Lula Washington Dance Theatre, (LWDT) is proud to announce a $150,000.00 grant from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to create an outdoor class and performance space during these times of COVID-19 and enable us to provide classes and performances year-round.

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, 9:30 am – 4 pm, LWDT will Re-Open/Dedicate, their parking

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For LWDT COMMUNITY MOVES PROGRAMS which includes on-going FREE classes, workshops, and community showcases, (donations are greatly appreciated). All activities require pre-registration to reserve a space for in-person classes outside. For the full listing of classes and events, or links to live-streamed activities email: [email protected]

When the organization first moved to its Crenshaw home, (in 2001) they held classes in their parking lot while the space was being remodeled. The dance company has since used its parking lot for its Dance All Day Festival that takes place during the Taste of Soul each year for 15 years. They have also hosted the annual Caribbean Festival, Black Arts Symposium for Western Arts Alliance, and even held a rally for Maxine Waters, luncheons, and a range of different events. In order to host these events, LWDT had to raise funds to rent major equipment in order for the event to go well.

Now with the support of our Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the dance organization will be able to purchase critical equipment items needed for outdoor programming.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas: “We cannot underestimate the power of the arts to not only connect us during these times, but also to heal ourselves and communities. Equitable access to safe outdoor space and activities help communities express themselves and promote healthy activities when our individual and collective health is of utmost concern, as well as nurtures a sense of community. With the help of this grant, the Lula Washington Dance Theater can lead by example for finding innovative ways to continue safe programming during this pandemic.”

 The request was made by LWDT Associate Director, Tamica Washington-Miller. “We were just understanding COVID and then the world erupted into protests over the killing of George Floyd. I wanted LWDT to be able to do something to help our community heal and express themselves safely. We knew that because of COVID we would have to do everything outside.” This would mean permits and big-ticket rentals that they could not afford. This grant enables LWDT to purchase and own an outdoor stage and canopies, allowing us to program our parking lot for classes and performances year-round and into the future – using COVID metrics for physical distance, wearing masks, and requiring folks to sign up and RSVP because space will still be limited. “No one knows when we will be out of the COVID era. Being able to present and program in our parking lot is a life-line opportunity for us. This allows us to continue to provide access to the art of dance and a space for life-affirming, creative expression and cultural arts to our community,” said Co-Founder/Artistic Director Lula Washington.

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