Freedom of Speech, an open microphone poetry night hosted by LadySpeech on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at Gypsy House, has become one of the city's most dynamic and intimate evenings of poetry and song. The crowd starts trickling into the basement of Gypsy around 7:30 p.m. to sign up for the open mic and before the evening is over, a diverse audience has assembled for a night of radical words and honest sounds.
LadySpeech encourages everyone to "speak your mind, sing your peace, uplift your spirit," and on any given night, the list of those who want to perform is well over thirty people long. LadySpeech facilitates the magic through the evening, asking each audience member to introduce themselves with an affirmation. "Yes! Grab an affirmation or twelve, love and be loved, read a poem, listen to a poem, drink some water, be inspired, inspire and celebrate the word," she explains. "I ask folks to get there on time for adequate opportunity to sign up on the open microphone list."
An all-ages event, Freedom of Speech has hosted children as performers and also joined in collaborative projects with activists from around the city. There's no cover, but "we do pass the hat as an offering to our featured performers," LadySpeech notes.
"This week, we continue to usher in January with amazing features," she promises. "We are proud to feature the mystical, moving and majestic art of the Conjurers, Monticue Connally and Nick Rockwell. Come allow your spirit to be uplifted and let your mind be blown by these amazing beings of pure light and elevation."
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In addition to a performance by the Conjurers, artwork by the Photo Booth (Nick Rockwell and Joshua Ballard) will be on display -- and upstairs, the Gypsy House will be open for business, in case audience members want to hook up with a hookah or enjoy tea and other poetic goodies.