Voices Merging is a student run open mic that is held twice a month for anyone who wants to perform. This group first came to be in 2004 when a group of enthusiastic students wanted a place where people could perform and appreciate spoken word. The audience was a meager twenty people a performance. It has since blossomed to about 200 people a performance. A variety of performances are given, the majority of them being Spoken word.
Every other Monday, Voices Merging holds an open mic from 8-10 in the basement of Moos Tower. A variety of people show up every week and everyone is welcome. I have approximated that 40 percent of the audience, and 30 percent of the performers are white. It is such a welcoming environment that no one has ever been booed or not clapped for. Upon entering the pre-performance meetings the president greets everyone by name, then everyone goes through how their day was before the meeting actually begins. The twenty memebers of the group are very close and supportive of each other. If one has any hesitations about joining the group or performing, they are quickly crushed by the kindness of all of the members.
The Majority of the performers are amateurs. For many, it is their first time performing in front of a crowd. For others they are regulars and perform every week. The majority of them talk about race, class, or sex. The even less creative of the group will simply print off a poem they found on Google and read it. But do not let this discourage you. If you come to the open mics you will not be disappointed. These students who perform radiate passion for their subject and are good at what they do.
This year Voices Merging has been nominated for two “Best Open Mic in the Twin Cities” awards. This is due to their high turnout, variety and quality of performances. Each event is highly organized my the members of the group. each performance has a theme or topic that the performances are to be formed around. Two of the members each week host the event and keep things moving. the rest of the members all have jobs such as working the front desk before people come in, helping the DJ, filming the event, or working the lighting. Each member is essential to the smooth running of the shows.