Celebrating Artistry of DC Youth

(Ashley Bradfield is a Program Instructor in the Scholars Program.)

Earlier this month, FLOC and Sitar Arts Center held their First Annual Open Mic Night. This project has been my “baby” at FLOC for the past several months and the entire week before I was anxious, nervous and excited for the event to finally happen!

With a total of around a dozen performances, from both FLOC and Sitar students alike, the audience heard everything from poetry to piano to dance. We even got to see a moving theatre piece performed by a group of FLOC students who had been working with George Washington University theatre students.

The stage was graced with a variety of talents, the audience was highly receptive, and I was proud to have been involved in bringing DC youth, parents, community members and organizations together to celebrate the incredible artistic talents that young people have to offer.

I was touched by the support of the FLOC and Sitar staff and am hopeful that the event will be a start of a powerful collaboration between two organizations that are bringing some of the most essential services and unique opportunities to DC-area youth.

I chose to share a spoken word piece that I wrote in reflection to my work at FLOC and would like to share it with the media world also as a taste of what we saw that evening.

The State of The Youth

Though I try as a might these feelings I just cant fight
As I rest my eyes in the night I’m wishing this was out of sight

Out of sight out of mind, I was scared I might be out of my own rhymes
Until I start to write what I feel about these sad times

Misunderstandings and disillusionment
That confuse everyone but the muse

The muse of a youth that cannot seem to compute what it means to just BE YOU.
Without fear, fear of going to school, actin’ a fool, makin sure you real cool.

See, once we start to rewrite the whole meaning of life
We eliminate the strife of making sure we get each move exactly right

Because the moves ain’t always smooth—sometimes you’ll lose.
But if you pull it together you may just be able to cruise……

Have a good job, and a nice house, a small dog, and a cute kid.
But what if?

This is all a myth…of what happiness truly is.

*Note: DVDs of the event will be available. Please contact me at abradfield@floc.org if you are interested.

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