Open Mic Night allows students opportunity to share written work

Students gather to listen to a presenter at a recent Open Mic Night. Photo: Stephen Cripps

By Jamie Greenwood |

Open Mic Night, a monthly event put on by the Flagler College English department, is a place for students to read their work in a comfortable setting. Students can read poetry, music, short stories or essays.

It’s also a co-curricular event, which students are required to attend to graduate.

In 2016, Lauren Tivey, an English professor at Flagler College, began the event as a place for students to share what they created in the classroom.

“It was just a place for students to go up on stage and read their poetry,” Tivey said.

When the event first began, students only read poetry, but as it grew students began to read music, short stories and even essays they have written.

Tivey created this event with a former student in her creative writing class and it took off from there.

“Originally we had Open Mic Night at Hot Shot Bakery, but since that place was renamed, we now host it at the Relámpago Coffee Lab,” Tivey said. “At first we had about 30 students performing and then it just grew from there.”

Airea Johnson is the event’s emcee, as well as a regular performer. Johnson, a sophomore English major, has been working with this event since October 2018.

Johnson took a creative writing class in high school, and Tivey convinced her to come to an Open Mic Night. She was instantly hooked.

“Open Mic Night is just a place to explore new things, it is an outlet for some students, and it is just really fun,” Johnson said.

As the event grew bigger it began to attract regulars that come every month to listen to the students’ work.

“We usually have about 20 to 25 students perform, but in total we have about 80 to 100 people show up,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the event helps students gain confidence in their work, and is place to share their feelings through written work.

“The vibe during Open Mic Night is very inclusive and we try to give people a platform to freely express themselves,” Johnson said.

The next Open Mic Night will take place on April 12 at Relámpago Coffee Lab.

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