Month: April 2019


Social Program of the Month
Open Mic Night with Alex Ahn

School: University of Akron Region: CAACURH
Person in charge: Rebecca Hohman Nominator: Kyle Dabbieri

Target Population: 2300 Time Needed to Organize: 1 week
Number of People in Attendance: 161 Date(s) of Program: April 23, 2019
Number of People Needed to Organize: 9 Cost of Program: 1200
On-Campus Population: 2,800 Chapter Size: 28

Origin of Program:

The students of Akron, and more-so the city of Akron is full of talent. Whether it be musical, comedic, special, or otherwise. The music scene in particular thrives in Akron. There are loads of open mics at bars, restaurants, and even an annual open mic hosted on locals front porches. The Residence Hall Program Board (RHPB) at Akron wanted to give the students at the University of Akron a platform to showcase their talents, thus the Open Mic night was born. RHPB wanted to build on top of the Open Mic idea even more, so they started bringing acts in as emcees to the open mic. This helped lower the nerves of potential performers, and helped fill the gaps between open mic performances.

Word Count: 124

Please give a short description of the program:

Open Mic night is always a fun and interesting event. The basic premise of the event is that people sign up before the show starts and are given an opportunity to perform on stage in front of an audience, whatever their talent may be. The open mic is driven by an emcee, who also performs intermittently between open mic acts, and then announce the next act.

As students were signing up for the open mic, you could sense the excitement in the room, and also the nervousness of some. Some came with their friends and family, ready to perform and show the audience what talents they have. Others almost hid in the back, as if they were trying to talk themselves out of performing; trying to build up the courage to perform.

For this open mic, RHPB had Alex Ahn as their emcee, who plays electric violin. Alex started the night off strong with solid performances, then started to call up the students to perform. There was a wide range of talents showcased at the open mic, from poetry to music, and even comedy.

The first student to perform had an heir of confidence, and a talent to back it up. He had sung and played acoustic guitar, doing well, then mentioning his student government involvement afterward.

The next few to perform were visibly nervous, but still overcame their fear and showcased what they had, one stating that this was the first time she had sang in front of a group of people.

No matter the talent - or lack thereof - everybody in the room was supportive and gave rounds of applause after every performance. Alex especially was creative with the ways he addressed the crowd after every performance, complimenting their performance and maybe cracking a few jokes (not at the performers expense though).

At one point, Alex wanted to play a song on his violin that was explicit, so instead of playing the lyrics he said he would play only the instrumental. This prompted a student from the audience to offer up his talent in singing this song, as the audience watched and laughed along with Alex and the performer.

The last few performers were breathtaking, ending with songs from a Broadway musical, originals played on acoustic guitar, and slam poetry that could rip your heart out.

Word Count: 389

Goals of the program:

There are two main goals of any open mic: to give people who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity a platform to showcase their talent, and to bring a community of people together to witness that talent. This open mic did exactly that and more. Students at the University of Akron were given a stage, an audience, and a talented emcee and asked to perform, no matter the talent or skill. It was unique in the sense that unlike other local open mics, those in attendance all had a common community, something that bonded each and every one of them together, the University of Akron. This led to a student cracking some jokes about our rival, and another mentioning the Undergrad Student Government.

Word Count: 123

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

The benefit to an open mic is that you can witness the positive effects that the program has on students almost immediately. Open mics help give people more confidence in their specific talents, and also general confidence in themselves. The former is almost immediately visible, while the latter isn't quite so visible. The open mic with Alex Ahn helped students gain confidence in performing and in themselves. Many of them thanked the crowd for their support, and were visibly changed from the open mic.

Another positive effect of the open mic is the sense of community it gave to the University. The open mic brought the students of the University of Akron together to lift each other up and applaud each other on their talents. Some students poured their heart out on stage, which helped draw them all closer together.

Word Count: 141

Short evaluation of the program:

The Open Mic with Alex Ahn was very successful. 11 students were able to showcase their talent who otherwise might not have gotten that chance. Students were also able to hear Alex's amazing talent on his violin as well. The open mic also served as a well deserved break from students classes as well, as finals were approaching.

The atmosphere of the night was exciting, accepting, and at times emotional. As students performed, they were greeted and sent off with applause coming from their peers, friends, Alex Ahn, and in some cases family. Some performances blew the crowd away and garnered applause in the middle as well.

After the open mic ended, some students that had performed stayed to congratulate each other and thank RHPB for the opportunity to perform.

Word Count: 130

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

The benefit to open mics is that you don't need an emcee which means all you need is a place to perform, students, and sound equipment. The open mic structure is very adaptable, and can be implemented in multiple different ways. Depending on the available resources on campus, the open mic structure can be as much or as little as possible.

An open mic can be as simple as small room with a stool, or as complex as a full size stage, with full band support and a crowd of 1,000+ people. The emcee can be a board member, an artist, a celebrity, or whatever is possible.

Word Count: 107

Date of entry into database: 2019-05-07 17:07:01

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