By CELINE NGUYEN
Wednesday, May 20 marked the sixth opening of Open Mic Night. Artivism, a club that focuses on creativity and art for activism, holds the show twice a year. Open Mic Night is a safe and fun environment that is open for all to showcase their talents and passions. As Alana Porat (Sr.), one of Artivism’s founders, said, “Creativity creates community, and community creates creativity.”
Hosted in the Little Theatre, Open Mic Night showcased a wide diversity of performers, some with recognized names like Jake Wigal (Sr.) from Scavengers, Footnotes, Shiva Verma (Jr.) of Wirebox and Ian Kiyoshi (Sr.). Each performer found bravery under the bright stage lights, met with deafening applause. From a hilarious standup comedy routine by Gopal Vashishtha (Sr.) to a haunting prose recitation from Anjani Iman (Sr.), Open Mic Night had something for everyone. Corinne Alsop (So.) said, “I think Open Mic is a terrific event for Uni. The laid-back, welcoming atmosphere is a great environment for artists who are shy or unsure of their work and want to share it. This show was particularly successful because each performer really has a lot to say about the world and with every Open Mic night, they find new ways to express it – whether they are singing, reciting poetry or playing an instrument. I felt that my performances were successful because they were all songs I felt passionate about, songs that I have loved for years.”
Porat, the figurehead of Open Mic for the last three years, said, “I felt the night went super well, and followed a nice routine. The performers and audience all enjoyed the show, and were able to connect with others and themselves. I’m really happy about where this program has gone. Saying goodbye to Open Mic and Artivism is bittersweet because they’ve meant so much to me, but if I’ve learned anything from the two it’s not to be afraid of moving on and expanding in new ways.”
Though the program would be losing spectacular talents after this year’s graduation, Artivism and Open Mic Night are in good hands. Aishee Das (Jr.), a current board member of Artivism, said, “Open Mic and Artivism have inspired me to express my voice boldly and be heard. Even though tonight was bittersweet because it would be the last Open Mic for the seniors, I can’t wait to carry the torch and continue having Open Mic nights at Uni next year.” Das, along with fellow board members Nika Zarazvand (Jr.) and Kathy Flores (Jr.), thanked Connie Chang (Sr.) and Porat for their work in the program, and promised to keep Artivism and Open Mic running in their stead.
The warm and inviting atmosphere of Artivism and Open Mic Night extended to everyone – from the performers, to the audience and even to the diligent tech crew that made sure everything ran smoothly. If you are interested in learning more about Open Mic or Artivism, there are club meetings held every Tuesday in room 220.