Sacred Garden and 100 Thousand Poets for Change teamed up recently to present an intergenerational open mic at Arts @ Large, 908 S. 5th St.
Sacred Garden Open Mic Night is a youth-led open mic experience at Arts @ Large that allows students from around Milwaukee to share their artistry — including music, song, dance, spoken word, comedy and more.
Begun in March 2011, 100 Thousand Poets for Change is a nonprofit organization and global movement of poets, musicians and artists that organizes poetry readings, music and dance performances focused on issues of peace, justice and sustainability.
Margaret Rozga, co-organizer of the open mic on Sept. 23, said she approached Arts @ Large about hosting an event sponsored by 100 Thousand Poets for Change. At the time Rozga didn’t know Sacred Garden met at Arts @ Large. “I got to know Michaela (Lacy) and Symone (Leonard), and they right away said that they’d like to help.”
Lacy, Leonard and Saleaqua Winston of Sacred Garden co-organized the event.
According to Lacy, Sacred Garden held its first open mic about a year ago. “It was supposed to be just a test run, and the room was packed. Artists came and blessed the stage and just started spitting just pure truth, and ever since, month after month after month has just been a completely successful, running open mic.”
While most of the work presented at the intergenerational event was original, some people recited the works of other poets, before passing the microphone to the next person.
“The intergenerational aspect of it, particularly, was important to me,” said Rozga. “A lot of poetry events that I go to are with people near my age, and I love them dearly, but I think we need an infusion of new energy, and that has certainly happened here.”