The Mic is Open: 5th Year Anniversary
The Mic Is Open-- 5th Year Anniversary A line wrapped around the corner of Jolie’s NYC in the East Village. Talent and supporters alike lined up to get into the showcase, The Mic Is Open. Slowly the line became shorter as guests trickled into the bar.
Blue lights illuminated the inside of Jolie’s NYC. Over 100 people circled around a small section of the floor where artists displayed their talent. The night began with an open mic, where the floor was open to anyone who felt they could fill the room with their unique energy.
On November 5, 2016, The Mic Is Open reached its 5th year anniversary. Since its inception in 2011, the showcase has served as a platform for emerging artist in NYC to showcase their talent, build their brand and network with other creatives and executives in music, art, and literature. Five years later and The Mic Is Open has brought together artists from Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and Baltimore. This movement provides artists with talent development and training from key influencers in the music industry.
In the far left corner behind the DJ Booth stood Dabriel Fulton-- a petite, freckled faced woman. She wore a black tie dyed shirt with dark jeans that were painted on to her legs. Small in stature but her larger than life personality commanded the room. She oversaw the entire crowd and kept the showcase moving.
None of this could be possible without the drive, passion and innovative thinking of Dabriel Fulton. #FlyGirl Dabriel is a Baltimore native and business owner of Dabriel and Associates LLC. She is also known for her being heavily involved in community activism.
With the emergence of her thriving public relations firm and showcase in 2011, Fulton actively propels talent into mainstream forums and provides a safe space for individuals to share their gift. Gabriel's mantra that "whatever you want in life already belongs to you" has proven the sky is not the limit. Dabriel is the driving force behind “The Mic Is Open,” and is a representative of what it means to be a fly go-getter.
The Mic remained open for 3 hours. The crowd roared for all the acts that participated. Singers, sang self-written ballads. Rappers—men and women, commanded the stage with catchy beats and slick lyrics. Poets, spilled their souls to the audience about the state of Blacks in America. Comedians joined in to put smiles on the faces of the diverse crowd.
Outstanding performances came from a small young woman name Serena. The Delaware native and the first poet to take the center of the room, drew attention to herself with her first poem about The Dark Knight. She was the epitome of #BlackGirlMagic. Serena’s second poem highlighted life as a Black woman in America.
“Find purpose in your value, you’re more than just your skin,” she said, “You are a dream girl.”
The crowd cheered for this #FlyGirl. Another artist who caught the room's attention was Stephen Que—a R&B singer whose talent was unmatched. He danced and sang about breakups giving the room a mixture of Drake and Usher. His energy was amazing.
The Mic Is Open, is #BlackJoy in a showcase. The 5th year anniversary was a success and a great display of the talent our community has to offer. The showcase is a phenomenal way to get experience in performing for crowds and is the perfect place to allow artists to gain feedback on their craft.
Dabriel Fulton has put together a great opportunity for cultivating talent and she should be praised for her hard work and dedication to the arts. If you want to join in on the next showcase, follow @the_mic_is_open on Instagram and Twitter. The next installment of The Mic Is Open will be a poets ONLY feature.
Christina Dunn is an alumna of the University at Buffalo with a double degree in Sociology and Communication. At the magazine she serves as a social media curator and a contributing writer. Christina also volunteers at POWER 105.1 in NYC following her dream to become a music journalist and radio personality. She has varying interest: social justice reform, journalism and reporting, research, sports (basketball junkie), music and contemporary art. Find her on Instagram: @christinadunn___.