Lyric Theater hosting festival: Diversity Festival celebrates arts

By Brenton Ward | @KyKernel

For the third consecutive year, the historic Lyric Theater in downtown Lexington will become home to the UK Diversity Festival this Friday.

The event is part of a month-long Cultural Diversity Festival celebrating diversity in arts and culture across the university.

The event on Friday will bring together acts from the university and local community, and promises to host a wide variety of performance arts, including bluegrass music, spoken-word poetry, and “stunning vocal performances,” according to the Lyric’s website.

The newly renovated Lyric Theater boasts a long performance art history in Lexington.

Opening in 1948, the theater became an entertainment establishment for a segregated black community living in Lexington.

Originally built as a movie house, the Lyric would go on to host music legends like Ray Charles and B.B. King throughout the ’50s and ’60s.

The Lyric was forced to close its doors in 1963 before reopening in late October 2010, and is now owned and operated by the city.

The committee responsible for the performances partnered with UK catering to hold their annual “Taste of Our World” food tasting last month, providing students an opportunity to sample cuisine from around the world.

“Taste of Our World this year was one of the most well attended in previous years,” Michael Haag, a representative for the festival, said.

A Facebook page, “UK Diversity Festival at the Lyric,” has been set up for students to RSVP and find directions to the theater.

The event is free of charge, will run from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.