The from March 14 to April 4th, Lancaster soared to new heights for theatrical performance, community engagement, and pride in our County!
The Community Foundation was proud to support the Fulton Theatre’s production of Lin Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights”, a multi-award winning musical about the importance of community, family, diversity. However, with this show the Community Foundation sought to break the Fourth Wall: to take the themes that make “In The Heights” so extraordinary and bring them to life by gathering members of our community together both in person and online to share their thoughts and ideas about what their community means to them.
For the entirety of the run of “In The Heights”, the Community Foundation invited members of our community to answer the question “What does your community mean to you?” in the form of a picture or tweet using the hashtag #InTheHeightsLanc. Posts came in from all across the community reflecting a wide range of perspectives, passions, and interests. In addition to the digital campaign, the Community Foundation partnered with local businesses and organizations by dropping off disposable cameras, asking representatives from each location to document what their community means to them. From the storefront at Champ’s Barber School, to the studio at WLCH, to the timelines of Twitter and Instagram, our community shared its voice and stitched a rich tapestry of community pride and belonging.
For visitors and patrons of the Fulton Theatre during the “In The Heights” run, the Community Foundation partnered with local artist and community organizer Salina Almanzar to develop the “Community Scrapbook”, an interactive display in the lobby of the Theatre that invited visitors to craft, draw, or paint their vision for what the community of Lancaster means to them. Throughout the three weeks of performances, audience members glued, glittered, and collaged a colorful and engaging scrapbook of hopes and reflections about our community!
On April 4th, the Community Foundation invited 150 members of our community to attend the concluding performance of “In The Heights”, the culmination of its historic, record-breaking run. Before the show kicked off, we hosted a gathering featuring local music and Puerto Rican-inspired food, inviting members from all across our community and county to interact, engage and learn more about the Community Foundation’s work and how they can contribute to a more engaged, inclusive Lancaster County.
Among the performers for the event was Issa Rosario, a young spoken word poet from Lincoln Middle School, who recited a riveting and powerful piece:
We were then surprised by a spur the moment visit from four cast members who reflected on their experience in Lancaster and what bringing the show to this community meant to them:
Finally, it was time for the show! President and CEO Sam Bressi and Program Officer Fran Rodriguez delivered the curtain speech in English and Spanish, and introduced the themes and ideas that motivated the Community Foundation to support the production:
“In The Heights” was a vitally important production for our community: not only was it a theatrical masterclass in set design, musical arrangement, and staging, but it was a show that brought our County together under the umbrella of pride, relationships with our neighbors, and our proud history as a diverse community. The Community Foundation was honored, humbled, and proud to help bring the production to Lancaster, as well as to help create opportunities for members of our community to share their voice and build their pride. In the words of Usnavi: “with patience and faith, we remain unafraid, I’m home!”