BlackTableArts presents The Free Black Table Open Mic. Free of charge. All ages. Begun in January, 2015, The Free Black Table Open Mic is held at Illusion Theater in Minneapolis and is organized into three sections. First, The Open Mic: serving 500+ multigenerational artists as a free of charge all ages open mic. Dedicated to the writings of black artists and people of color, this open mic is open to the public, but only artists who identify as black and P.O.C can sign up to perform. Second, The Market and Social Hour Taking place in the lobby of Illusion Theater, The Social Hour is an event that offers free, catered food from a local restaurant—usually family owned—accompanied with music and conversation. It’s an opportunity to bring the artist community together to break bread and fellowship in an authentic way. The Market is designed to give access to entrepreneurs and community members looking to sell their products or spread information/resources. Nina Simone said "Freedom is no fear" come get free, and participate in the creation of another world through black art.
"It has been amazing to watch the Free Black Table event grow. The first event felt so special, Keno Evol (Artist, poet and educator) established such an authentic and welcoming space of sharing and support. Since then it has grown; larger and more diverse audiences have attended and it continues to feel like a creative, vibrant and safe space. The thing I notice and enjoy the most about the Free Black Table is the support the event and attendees offer each other and the art being offered up. The work itself is fabulous—some of the performers are veterans of spoken word, and others are reading their work for the very first time—what a gift to be in the room for that!"
—Ellen Fenster, Illusion Theater
Funded by Twin Cities, MN (January 2017)