BENSON – The Benson Theatre Project (BTP) is preparing to launch an innovative 10-month music residency that’s part entertainment, part advocacy and part community building.
Sounds of Comfort debuts Thursday, March 21, at The B Side of Benson Theatre from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Admission is either $5 at the door or an item of comfort the theatre can use to create free kits for local victims of trauma.
“This residency is made possible by a PayPal grant, and our goal is to create 200 kits by the time it concludes,” said Shelby Audiss, BTP’s program director. Examples of acceptable items of comfort are art supplies, bath products, blankets, CDs, candles, essential oils, gift cards, hoodies, journals, lotions and stuffed animals. All items must be new.
Once compiled, the comfort kits will be available at select locations throughout Omaha via the theatre’s community partner network, which includes more than 70 nonprofits to date. “People will be able to pick them up free of charge for a family member, friend or loved one in need,” Audiss said.
Omaha musician 3gypt McKizia will spearhead the Sounds of Comfort residency. In addition to performing, she’ll be selecting other musicians to share the B Side stage with her each month. Each event will include free comfort food for show goers and a community table featuring a small business that promotes health and wellness.
The Omaha Police Department’s 2017 Annual Report recorded 30 criminal homicides, 410 forcible rapes and 1,843 cases of aggravated assault as occurring that year. “People out there are hurting, and we want to let them know they’re not alone,” Audiss said. “We think this series is a great way of creating community through music.”
Sounds of Comfort will run from March through December on the third Thursday of the month at B Side from 7:00 to 9:00pm. If you’re a small health/wellness business that’s interested in the community table option, email Audiss at firstname.lastname@example.org.