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Lied Loves Lawrence provides socially distanced performances to the community

Lied Loves Lawrence Performance at LMH

The aerial performance group Quixotic performs at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

A local artist, some neighbors, a street corner, a handful of lawn chairs and a Lied Center flag are the makeup for what has been dubbed as “Lied Loves Lawrence."

Although COVID-19 robbed the world of most concerts, the Lied Center is hosting a series of socially distant pop-up performances in Lawrence. 

The ongoing event series features concerts by local artists in Lawrence-area neighborhoods. The performances began virtually on Facebook Live in March but moved to in-person in August.

Plexiglass often separates the artist from the crowd, and every event is outdoors and socially distanced, allowing a maximum of 45 audience members. In an effort to keep crowds small, the live events are never advertised beforehand, and details of the performances are kept on a need-to-know basis, says Derek Kwan, the executive director of the Lied Center.

In addition to neighborhood shows, the Lied Center has also put on performances in other community spaces. To honor their bravery and hard work during the pandemic, the performance center put on a show for healthcare providers at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in early September. Willy the Wizard, a Kansas City magician, also performed last month for preschoolers at The Ballard Center. 

“We decided to start this series of performances in the community because of the restrictions on gatherings that is in place right now for the county and university,” Kwan says. “We felt it is still extremely important for the Lied Center to serve the community through the power of performing arts.” 

Ashley Davis, a Celtic singer-songwriter and native Kansan, was featured at Lied Loves Lawrence events for several performances both virtually and in-person. Davis performed her first in-person Lied concert in the neighborhood she grew up in. 

Lied Loves Lawrence

Artist Ashley Davis performs at a Lied Loves Lawrence pop-up performance.

As an international artist with eight albums, Davis is usually booked with tour dates but has stayed in Kansas since the coronavirus outbreak. Her last event was over six months ago in Gainesville, Florida. 

“I think that the Lied Center putting on these concerts for the community is such an amazing gesture of good-will and towards supporting the artist at the same time,” Davis says. “It’s a double-prong gesture that the Lied center is doing.”

Other notable performers on the lineup have been Quixotic, a contemporary aerial and circus arts group, and symphony artist and singer Vanessa Thomas.

There have been nine pop-up shows so far, and at least five more are planned to happen as colder temperatures approach in Kansas. Kwan says they plan to continue the event virtually during the winter months as well. 

“It is human nature to gather,” Kwan says. “The pop-up concerts bring a great amount of joy to the community during a time where we can’t gather.”

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad