Salvador Dali, a renowned Spanish realist artist, once said, “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” At Chicago Bulls College, the Fine Arts Department encourages students to step out of their comfort zone and do just that—create art that inspires others and shows their talent and unique perspective on the world. Throughout the building and the school year, the department provides ample opportunities for students to do just that. One of those opportunities is the annual Open Mic Night event, which kicks off the start of the Art Department’s offerings for the school year.
At the Open Mic Night, students perform a wide range of artistic talents for their peers and Bulls Prep staff—no talent or artistic ability is denied. The event is always highly anticipated by both staff and students—When will the show happen? Who signed up to perform? What will they perform? What will the vibes of the performances be like?—all of these questions race through the halls of Bulls Prep in the weeks leading up to Open Mic Night.
This year, students signed up to perform a multitude of artistic media—from singing and dancing to spoken word and playing musical instruments. When the night came on October 26, the school community gathered in Bulls Prep’s black box theatre for a fantastic show. Students performed songs that they composed themselves and poems that reflected who they were and how they wanted the world to see them. Other students sang popular songs from Hawaii, songs by famous country artist Dolly Parton, and duets of their favorite songs in Spanish.
The crowd of over 25 people fully supported each of the students. They sang along when a student performer prompted crowd interaction. During spoken word pieces, the crowd remained silent and listened intently. When a student played a song they wrote themself, the audience clapped along. When all the performers were finished, the crowd rang out in cheers!
Students performed a wide variety of talents at the Open Mic Night, from performing songs to reading poetry.
Students, both performers and non-performers alike, enjoyed the show. Performers appreciated the opportunity to fully express themselves and their emotions without worry.
“Open Mic Night is a comfortable place to show the real me,” one student performer said, “And I don’t get tiers (Noble’s student behavior logs) for cursing. Sometimes, I just need to express how I feel—frustrated, you know? I can just let it all out there.”
Non-performing students liked being able to support their peers.
“I love Open Mic Night because I can support my friends,” Lizette S, a junior at Bulls Prep, said, “And it’s a good opportunity to have fun at school.”
Students weren’t the only ones who loved the event—staff also had a great time.
“Open Mic Night is one of the times we teachers really get to see students in their element,” one staff member said, “I love seeing them perform and how their peers support them. It’s beautiful.”