The blue and purple lights reflecting off the walls. A crowd buzzing with excitement. And the delicious smell of Chinese food drifting through the air. This is the setting of N.C. Central University’s Jan. 22 Open Mic Night. The event in the New Student Center included singing, rapping, and poetry.
The event was the brainstorm of Darren Stewart, a tech support specialist with Student Engagement and Leadership. Once Stewart, or DJ Stewart, joined up with two of his colleagues, they planned the event and promoted it with flyers and social media.
Stewart said he wanted to foster an environment where all students felt welcome and comfortable to perform.
“We thought it would be a good idea to have students come out and be engaged,” said Stewart.
Nori Clark, a consumer science senior also helped plan and host the event. As the show’s MC, established a rapport with students and helped them overcome their pre-performance jitters.
“I love hosting events like this one because it gives students the opportunity to showcase their talents amongst their peers and have a good time,” said Clark, who also performed.
Clark started the night off with a Beyonce song. Her performance set the tone and inspired other students to perform.
As more students followed Clark, the Student Center became livelier. Three ladies sang Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
“Performing was pretty nerve-wrecking but I had a great time,” said David Manny, a psychology sophomore. “I am looking forward to attending the next open mic.”
At the end of the night, DJ Stewart was proud of the outcome. He said he considered the Open Mic Night a success and that he hopes to see more Eagles at future events.
“We encourage Eagles to be who they are and to let people know who they are as they take to the stage and show off their talents,” he said.