Voices in Progress hosted an open mic event at 7th St. Underground Monday evening, providing students with a chance to share their creativity through poetry, lyricism or dance.
The social-distanced event was attended by around 20 students who were either attending or performing. Some of the performances were signed up for ahead of time, while others seemed to be entirely spontaneous.
Antonise Myles, freshman psychology major and vice president of Voices in Progress, said that the club is an opportunity for expression and creativity through writing.
“Voices in Progress is a poetry group where we just teach and motivate others to express themselves through writing,” she said.
Charity Abner, a junior psychology major and the president of the club, said she was beyond pleased with the turnout at Monday’s open mic.
“I think it went wonderful, it actually went way better than I expected,” Abner said. “It actually went exactly how I was hoping it would go, a lot of people volunteered, not that many people signed up but a lot of people volunteered, and that’s what I love to see.”
The event was advertised through social media and word-of-mouth.
Abner noted that the amount of volunteers came from performers influencing others to get onstage themselves and share their work.
“I actually had a couple people come up to me and say since they seen other people performing, it gave them the confidence to perform themselves,” she said.
The participation encouraged Abner to consider doing another open mic again in the future.
“It was definitely amazing, and it definitely brought a lot of people to the stage, a lot of people were able to come out and express themselves, and it was a great experience,” Abner said. “Hopefully we are able to have more people come and more performances and different varieties.”
While Abner didn’t have a favorite performer or performance, she enjoyed the personal aspect that each writer brought to the stage.
“I loved how every poem, it was like you could tell that they worked hard on it and it was kind of personal from their own perspective, and we really touched on a lot of topics,” she said.
Abner also performed her own poem at the beginning of the event and said she was excited to share it.
“I had put a lot of hard work into it, it was something I had been working on for the longest, it was actually one of my favorite poems, and I just really wanted to share that,” she said.
Myles performed a poem of her own that she wrote when she was around 12 years old.
“I started writing when I was about fifth or sixth grade. It was a way for me to release how I was feeling, and where I’m from there was a lot of violence so I just felt if I voice how I feel it could not help change it, but help get my voice out and help the world see, ‘This is what we see every day’ and we should make a change,” Myles said.
The evening ended on a singalong to “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers.
Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]