Asian American Association to hold annual Open Mic Night

Jaden Satenstein | Staff Writer

Washington University’s Asian American Association (AAA) will showcase student talent at its annual Open Mic Night on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 2-4 p.m. in Ursa’s.

“We do Open Mic Night every fall semester,” senior and AAA co-president Jenna Sumikawa said. “It’s more low-key. We usually do not have a theme—it’s just whatever people are comfortable with sharing. We also have some group performances. We’ve had [Wash. U. Hip Hop Union (WUHHU)] in the past, PL4Y, WUSauce, but mixed in we also have people who share poems, either sing or dance.”

This year’s open mic will feature WUHHU, five WU-SLam poets and a musical performance. The event will provide an opportunity for students to share their passions and voices with the Wash. U. community.

“I think the purpose is just to have an open, creative space where people can share whatever they’re comfortable with sharing, whether it be their own talents or some feelings that they’ve had that they want to express to others,” Sumikawa said.

Though sign-ups for the event have closed, Sumikawa noted that audience members are welcome to share their work at the end of the event if time allows.

“Open Mic Night: Like the name, we’re just very open to everyone, so whatever anyone has to offer, we’re here for it,” Sumikawa said.

Though the Open Mic Night is organized yearly by AAA, performers have always included students of various identities. Still, the event provides a space in which Asian students can feel comfortable sharing their experiences at a time when minority voices are being silenced. In light of the recent discussions regarding discrimination toward Asian-American students after a racist GroupMe exchange, it is especially important to create more representation of minority communities in an accepting, inclusive setting.

“We’ve had heavier topics,” Sumikawa said about prior years’ Open Mics. “Someone discussed how they felt out of place in certain Asian communities. We’ve had more lighthearted things, too.”

AAA views the Open Mic Night mainly as a social event for students to get to know each other while sharing their passions and enjoying some delicious pork buns. The organization invites any and all students to join this celebration of student talent this coming Saturday.

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