New and returning students, faculty, school representatives, and performers filled the hallways at American River College on Sept. 17, 2011. As the music started, people crowded around the stage set up in the Rose Marks Pavilion. Performers awaited their name to be called from the list, ready to show off their talent.
“We here at ARC have what we call an open mic session,” Associate Student Body Senator Nakisha Allen said. “Where the students can perform their own form of entertainment; be it singing, dancing, or just reading poetry.”
Open mic is usually a part of Club Day, Allen explained, but this year ASB decided to make it a part of Welcome Day.
Alayca Harris, a culinary arts and music composition major, performed at open mic after being pushed on stage by her friends. When asked why she agreed she said, “I just like to sing.”
David Lunsford, a student at Orange Grove Adult School, had visited ARC for Welcome Day and joined the growing crowd. Shi Sterling, a student at ARC, rapped and sang onstage. Lunsford, who said he loves to dance, made it to the front of the crowd and started breakdancing to Sterling’s song.
American River Beaver Tails, a Native American drum group, also performed at open mic. Amy Ellingson, a member of the drum group, said, “They use the drum to bring the people together, and it is considered the heart beat of the nation.”
Open mic is a “sideline” to Club Day on campus, according to Allen. Although open mic is only two years old, she said its popularity is growing among students. Both events are held the first Thursday of every month between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Allen would like to see all students participate in open mic, but she stressed an important factor, “The only thing that is asked of the performers, is that it be kept clean.”