Published on January 28th, 2021 | by TLV News


Coming to The Powerhouse this February: Flash Factory + Flights & Bites Valentine’s Dinner

Yoknapatawpha Arts Council Teams Up with Local Creatives to Create Opportunities for Romance Despite COVID-19

The impact of COVID can be felt in all parts of our lives: how we work or relax, and how we find romance. Social distancing does not provide the optimum formula for sparking romance. Research details how the isolation of social distancing, even for couples, impacts our moods and health. How can we kindle romance, or at the least, retain a sense of connection during a pandemic? Bridgerton will only get one so far.

Wayne Andrews, director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, has partnered with Oxford’s Favorite Chef, Erika Lipe of SoLa, and Chloe Sumrall of Flash Factory Interactive Art, to try to tackle this question by launching a pop-up business inside the Powerhouse Community Art Center this February. Limited social engagement during COVID has led to increased feelings of isolation for some, created intense new relationships for others, and steered some established relationships to rediscover connections.

Andrews, Lipe, and Sumrall discussed how these challenges influence and impact the spaces where couples traditionally explore their relationships, and brainstormed ways to create a shared communal experience without the need for a large gathering. During the month of February, the art gallery of the Powerhouse will transform into an interactive art experience through the creative vision of Chloe Sumrall. This interactive art experience offers photography experiences for couples and limited small groups, providing an opportunity to interact and engage socially. Taking cues from theatre arts, large scale interactive sets transform the gallery into different settings. Couples can snap photos in the Infinite Mirror Room, interact with oversized objects on display, and find an escape from their routine.

On Valentine’s Day evening, Erika Lipe and the SoLa team will transform the Powerhouse Theatre into a limited-seating restaurant featuring a special prix-fixe Flights and Bites menu. True to the SoLa vibe, Lipe’s crew will provide a flavorful, adventurous meal fit for any date night. The menu consists of four savory small plates: Bacon-Wrapped Oysters, Shrimp Bisque, Makrut Lime Fried Chicken, and Charsiu Pork; followed by a blueberry and cream cheese Brioche King Cake for dessert. Dinner costs $100 per couple, and accompanies a bar service that will include beer, wine, fresh cocktails, and whiskey flights. This event allows SoLa to offer a restaurant experience that mixes trusted cuisine with a fresh location.

Flash Factory photo booths give attendees creative settings for photo ops.

A partnership with the Arts Council and the Powerhouse provides a home for the Flash Factory concept, bringing a fun new experience to Oxford. The pop-up event allows the interactive art exhibit to occur over time, with attendees scheduling private appointments to experience the event. Local artists have created a show featuring small, one-of-a-kind items from jewelry to painting as part of the experience. The interactive and immersive sets offer the community a creative diversion with a communal aspect, as people share the pictures they create in the space.

The Flash Factory photo booth experience opens at the Powerhouse Community Art Center Monday, February 1. Reservations ensure limited access to provide a socially distant experience, plus options for small groups. Drop ins are available between 10 am–4 pm, but reservations are required for the evening hours, 5–8 pm. Tickets are $5 a person and will be limited to 20 occupants an hour. Reservations for the Valentine’s Day Dinner by SoLa on Sunday, February 14 are for two people. Individual seating and group seating (more than two people) is not available for this event. Tickets and reservations are available at

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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