Last Friday, I had the pleasure of attending a previously unknown to me event and discovering a new and wonderful art space en El Barrio. The event was the Inner City Times Open Mic and monthly open mic with the purpose of displaying the talent within New York’s Hispanic community. Run by Alejandro Barragan, the bilingual open mic is a welcoming and open space. Any one is welcome to attend and/or perform theater, film, music, performance, short story, poetry, and visual arts. They also provide donated food and drink for the event which continues on until everyone who wanted to share has. It is truly a wonderful community event, and I look forward to attending many more in the future and perhaps even continuing to get on the mic. At least a hundred Latinos passed through to watch dozens share their creative passions. The event is also affiliated with Magazine, of which Barragan serves as editor. To learn more about how this group is creating artistic forums for Latinos in NYC visit their webpage here.
According to Barragan, the event is usually held in Brooklyn, however, they were able to bring the event to Manhattan's El Barrio thanks to a new collective art space, "The Practice of Everyday Life" located on 109th st. Run by Mexican artist Gabino Abraham Castelán, the space is the shared studio of four different artists and also serves as a open space for numerous artistic and community events. I'll be investigating into this wonderful addition to El Barrio this week... so check back for more info Friday.
Melissa Castillo-Garsow is a Mexican American poet, fiction writer, scholar, hip hop head, former journalist, current essayist & editor working on a lot of cool stuff. She proudly lives in East Harlem. Learn more about her here.