You Are Here hosts open mic night

Ali Gipson, a 2019 SHU graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing, reads at the open mic night hosted by You Are Here Sept. 20. All writers are welcome at the event. Photo from E.Vissat/Setonian.

You Are Here is an up-and-coming art gallery that works to be a gathering place for creativity. Located in Jeanette, Pa., the artistic space has been hosting events for about one year. In addition to hosting original galleries, YAH is known to collaborate with creatives, acting as an environment for artistic expression. 

Scott Silsbe is one such individual who works with You Are Here to establish open mic nights and poetry readings. A ceramic dragon was just one of many guests at open mic night hosted by You Are Here on September 20th. 

Red chairs lined the floor space as paintings from regional artists hung from the walls. Four poets served as the guest-speakers for the evening, delivering poems that covered a wide range of styles and topics. 

From dramatic verses about love and loss to comical narratives, they spoke to the audience and we listened eagerly to each line. One of the poets, Kaitlyn Gidick, described her experience that evening as being very nerve-racking. Having the opportunity to share stories with others, however, is a driving force behind Kaitlyn’s poetic work. 

The Slippery Rock graduate stated that, “the vulnerability of performance is what keeps me coming back.” 

Pictured above is the official logo for You Are Here. Photo from @YouAreHere406 on Instagram.

Writer, Ali Gipson, recollected back to her first open mic night at Seton Hill’s own Griffin Lounge. At that point, she had only shared her work among family, friends, and professors. The idea of reading in front of strangers seemed otherworldly, but the reaction she received prompted her to perform more and more. 

Ali is a 2019 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing, and her experience in and around live readings have helped shape her as a writer. 

She stated that the audience is able to “learn from other people through their poems,” and that storytelling is a great way to connect with others. 

“No two mic nights are the same…they can be funny, serious, sad, so there’s a bunch of different ways they can go.” Gipson said. 

The performances at each mic night are as diverse as the readers. Open mic nights serve as exciting opportunities for people who wish to experience art in spoken form. 

It gives people a unique opportunity to listen and be listened to, and organizations such as You Are Here are to thank for this. They provide environments that house creativity while people from all walks of life are able to connect with one another.

Published by Caitlin Srager

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