Music, spoken word fill art museum for 1st Thursday Open Mic2 min read


Katie Phan

Davied Morales, left, and Chuck Lee, right, sing and perform rap.

Katie Phan, Staff Writer

Students turned the Euphrat Museum of Art into a performance venue for 1st Thursday Open Mic on Nov. 7 with an evening of dance, music, poetry and spoken word.

“It’s an artsy night,” 1st Thursday advisor LaQuisha Beckum said. “People get on the mic and rap, sing and play music. It’s a place for people to showcase their work and become comfortable in front of a crowd. We’ve had people come over from as far away as San Francisco.”

Naldo Martinez, a second-year communications major, performed for the first time after his friend, a regular participant, encouraged him. He read an original poem called “Blinded.”

“I was really nervous at first,” Martinez said. “But halfway through, I wanted to just get it out.”

He said he plans to attend future 1st Thursdays, seeing the event as practice.

“I especially appreciate those who performed spoken word and rap because that’s what I do and I can relate,” Martinez said.

Chuck Lee, a fourth-year music technology major from Foothill College, has participated four times. This month, he performed two rap songs with another student.

“This is the perfect environment to perform,” Lee said. “The people are so warm and so open to whatever you’re going to express.”

Advisor Beckum explained the main appeal of 1st Thursday similarly.

“We’re judged all the time,” Beckum said. “When you’re showing someone your own representation of artistry, this place should be the last place you’re judged.”

De Anza’s 4 Elements Hip-Hop Club is sponsoring the four-yearold series this year.

“Our club got involved because the Black Student Union that founded and organized this event disbanded,” 4 Elements Hip- Hop co-president Nilo Amarri said. “Our members were always going to this event, so naturally it worked well for us to sponsor and keep it alive.”

Amarri was most concerned about maintaining 1st Thursday’s relaxed vibe.

“We’re not really dependent on how many people come out,” Amarri said. “We’re more about how comfortable people feel; how much positivity there is toward the people performing.”

1st Thursday is a free monthly event for De Anza College students, faculty and locals.

About 60 people attended this month, the second event held this quarter.

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