11/16/2023 – Oakland, Calif. – A cultural awakening swept through the East Bay, as Kingmakers of Oakland orchestrated its inaugural youth Open MIC event at the Oakstop coworking space in downtown Oakland. The venue pulsated with a symphony of raw talent and rhythmic beats from the DJ, creating an atmosphere charged with anticipation.
Youth from diverse corners on the Bay Area converged at the mic, unraveling their unique gifts—be it spoken word poetry, rhythmic verses, or the art of laughter through comedy. We understand uplifting youth voice leads to developing young leaders.
EJ Walls, the charismatic MC for the night, ignited the stage with a powerful declaration echoing CEO Chris Chatmon’s ethos; “We gotta take our crowns out our pocket and rock it.” His opening remarks created a space of authenticity and comfort, urging performers to showcase not only their talents, but the essence of their souls.
As each act unfolded, the room transformed into a mosaic of emotions. Laughter and camaraderie filled the air during intervals, fostering a community resonating with love. Yet, when a performer took the stage, a profound silence enveloped the audience, turning the space into an intimate concert tailored for the soul on display.
The brilliance of the young talents transcended entertainment, becoming a powerful medium for social discourse. The diverse artistry conveyed issues heavy on their hearts, from soulful narratives to impassioned calls for peace in Palestine. The Open MIC stage became a platform for voices demanding to be heard.
“These young people represent the essence of applied voice and speaking truth to power. They are the culture bearers who will usher us into, not only the future that we want, but the future that they deserve,” proclaimed Walls. His words underscored the significance of the performances, emphasizing each act as a powerful assertion of identity and a call to address societal issues.
Organic networking and light refreshments punctuated the evening, fostering an atmosphere where every attendee felt integral to a larger family. The magic of the Kingmakers Open MIC series transcends performance art into a celebration of unity, talent, and the enduring power of authentic expression.