Is it time for Tiny Planet open mic?

If I were a corporation (and I am not!), I would be in turn-around mode, and part of my strategy would be embracing the creative arts — not as a consumer but as a co-creator.

My first experience at the open mic of Busboys and Poets in Shirlington

Recently I attended my first open mic at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington, where I sang two songs — one, a Baha’i prayer for unity, and the other, a Bulgarian folk song. A lady at the neighboring table, who herself turned out to be a talented singer, told me that her husband was Bulgarian. Between the two of us, we were the only one who understood a word of Bulgarian. Regardless, the audience was so warm and receptive to this Bulgarian singer that I plan on going back for more. The other performers offered a variety of acoustic music, hip-hop and spoken word. The performance that really stood out for me was a powerful poem “More Than You Think” by Jharmaine Boyd, shared with such sincerity and convincing force that left me breathlessly covered in goosebumps.

Jhermaine’s faith-inspired spoken word reminded me of Andrea Hope whom I met at Tiny Planet a couple of years ago.

From open mic to Tiny Planet and back!

At Tiny Planet a few days ago I met another wonderful Baha’i performer, the singer-songwriter Shaun David Gould.

With Shaun Gould at Tiny Planet

With Shaun Gould at Tiny Planet

Shaun sang a beautiful program of original songs inspired by the Baha’i teachings or directly based on the Baha’i Writings.

After the performance, I talked with Shaun and invited him to perform one day at the Musical Prayer Station which I host periodically at my home. I also spoke with Katharine Key, the current DC organizer of the Tiny Planet about the challenges of having an ongoing series of inspirational concerts. Reflecting on my experience at the open mic I suggested that it might be a good idea to alternate the single artist concerts with open mic performances where even those who might not have a full hour repertoire could share a song or two. I would love, of course, to explore this idea for the Musical Prayer Station as well.

What do you think of this idea? Are you an artist who would like to contribute a song or two for an inspiring concert or do you know of such artists? Let me know and let’s start planning!

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