Artivism’s 5th Annual Open Mic Night


Catalina Fernandez (Jr.)’s “Nearness of You” moved the audience. (N Maleki)

On Friday, February 20, University High School’s (UHS) Artivism club hosted its 5th biannual Open Mic Night. A bridge between art and activism, Artivism holds club meetings every Friday in room 220, discussing social movements and ways to bring about change with the arts.
The night began with a powerful introduction by four of the club’s members, Alana Porat (Sr.), Nika Zarazvand (Jr.), Kathy Flores (Sr.) and Aishee Das (Jr.) with a spoken word performance describing Artivism. Their performance set the mood for the event as a welcoming environment where talented individuals would share their passions.
The show, held in the little theater, showcased the many talents of UHS’s students, as each performer in the lineup took the stage under the dim lighting. Open Mic Night drew in a diverse range of performers and a full house in the audience. From Gopal Vashishta’s (Sr.) flute solo “Telisi Rama” to Yamini Nambimadom’s (Jr.) original song “Blue Eyes,” and from Iona Batchelder’s (Jr.) cello solo “Paganini Caprice No. 24” to Jake Wigal (Sr.) of Scavenger’s debut performance of “Ignite,” the show had something for everyone. Nambimadom said of her performance, “I love writing music but it’s not very high quality or performance ready, and Open Mic Night is a great place to test out original music. Most of the people who perform are musicians and they give me a lot of feedback, and it’s a very accepting, low stakes environment.”
Zarazvand, one of the emcees of the night, said, “Friday night’s performance was one of the best by far. Our performers were all so talented and we had such an interesting cultural and artistic variety that kept the audience on their toes. But probably the most important aspect of any show, that was apparent Friday night, is the honesty and courage of the performers. It takes a lot to get up on a stage and share your art with others. Creativity also comes with vulnerability, and the performers brave enough to share both felt the love and support from the audience. Everyone was so supportive of one another and really listened thoughtfully to each and everyone’s story or performance. I think everyone would agree that it was truly a special night.”
“Signing up for Open Mic Night is pretty low key,” said Das. “We advertise on Facebook and around campus. Anyone interested can either put their name on the signup sheet outside room 220, or talk to Alana.”
Open Mic Night’s cozy and intimate setting was the perfect environment for students to demonstrate their talents in a very welcoming and cultivating atmosphere. All who attended the event appreciated the courage and talent from the performers and look forward to future Artivism events. If you are interested in learning more about Artivism, the club meets every Friday in room 220.