Open Stages is a multidisciplinary showcase located at Intermedia arts, a prominent art center in the Uptown community. Open Stages is sponsored by Kulture Klub Collaborative, Learning Dreams, and Intermedia Arts and welcomes all different platforms of art to the stage. It is a safe space for all to go and express themselves without isms or hate talk, for it is not allowed within the space. This event is for different styles of artistic youth to come and showcase their talents. Dancers, singers, rappers, spoken word artists, and much more.
The last night of Open Stages was filled with buzzing artistic bodies coming together to create. Many people did not know each other but that didn't affect personal interaction. I noticed all the community sharing their deep and passionate artistry with each other. Soon a cypher circle formed in the middle of the entryway and many people gravitated towards the flow of words. Many were sharing bars with each other, flowing from one to another in a circular force. That’s the thing about a cypher, it’s supposed to be inviting and all about love and I definitely felt that being surrounded by all these new community members.
After everyone was done eating and mingling, we all got herded into the theater which was nothing more than a small black box with beautiful graffiti art covering the walls, a low but steady beat to set the mood hummed in the air and invited us all in. The show began with two youth hosts introducing themselves and telling us what Open Stages is all about. We kicked the show off with Ian Marquez, a Young Minnesota Artist, sharing a story with us about the power of being a part of each others lives in a productive and positive way. This beginning to the show gave a certain welcoming and “homey” energy and everything after was amazing and raw. We all cheered for each other's achievements and gave our loving energy to each person sharing.
Open Stages does an effective job of creating a safe and inviting space; a place to share a part of your life. April 25th was the last Open Stages of 2016 but this does not put an end to that safe, inviting space that Intermedia Arts offers to the Minnesota Community. Intermedia actually has art programs going on all summer, as well as throughout the year. Make sure you check them out if you're looking for a safe and welcoming place. Intermedia is definitely one of those places and they are doing good work for the community.
See ya next year at Open Stages 2017!