“Totem Star really, really pushes us to become better artists, producers, musicians all around…and all together it’s been a wonderful experience.” The audience at the All Hallow’s Eve open mic heard an incredible story about artistic and social development, told by emcee Paris who hosted the event last Thursday. Having received his diploma from the Southwest Interagency Academy and participated in programs with organizations like the Service Board and Arts Corps, he is an example for all young artists and entrepreneurs by engaging with the wide spectrum of opportunities and resources available at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
The typical quarterly Totem Star open mic is like a mini arts and music festival. A lineup of rappers will take to the stage, rhyming over bass-heavy beats they produced. A soul/R&B group will get the audience out of their seats to close their eyes and shake their hips, while a hardcore punk band will jumpstart headbanging and moshing. Spoken word poets will unzip, unpack, and liberate the minds of audience members with personal stories of overcoming oppression. DJs spin electronic dance music while a singer/songwriter pulls up a stool and cradles an acoustic guitar.
The All Hallow’s Eve open mic was no exception, with every performance slot on the sign up sheet filled. With pepperoni and cheese pies donated by Proletariat Pizza and a seemingly bottomless coffee pot provided by Dubsea Coffee, everyone in attendance contributed to a nourishing and positive vibe. Huge thanks to the Office of Arts & Culture for sponsoring the open mic event through their Civic Partners funding program!
Photos: Derek Edamura http://derekedamura.wordpress.com