February 14, 2013 – Soul Sounds Open Mic with Antoine Duke

February 14th Featured Performer – Antoine Duke

antoine-duke As an artist, performer, poet, educator, spoken word artist, dancer, and director, Antoine Duke is indeed a man of many hats. As a 19-year-old performer and teaching artist he has received grants, founded companies, and has competed nationally as a spoken word artist. Antoine is currently working for Pillsbury House Theater.

Antoine founded “No Projection”—a company that teaches literacy through spoken word and social justice theater—Shaking Fences Hip Hop Dance class; Gages Photography; and Dopeimgeclothing. He was awarded a Verve Grant in 2012 for a one man show he has been developing, entitled “RAGS”.

Antoine chooses social justice education through theater, and art because he believes that art cannot only teach creative, and powerful practices, but also because it can educate us on how to become better human beings. He says that “Art allows you to listen to the world around you and take in other perspectives.” 

Antoine got his start in the performing arts the first time he saw Michael Jackson on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. As he watched that TV in his living room on March 25th 1983, he was hooked on dance, creating, and performing anywhere he could. Since then he has attended conferences and performed around the country, taught spoken word and theater in schools, and created “8 Stages”, a program at Pillsbury House Theater that addresses youth violence through theater and spoken word.

The Golden Thyme Coffee Café and the Saint Paul Almanac are pleased to announce the “Soul Sounds Open Mic,” hosted by Tish Jones! The “Soul Sounds Open Mic” series is held every Thursday, with a special pre-performance writing workshop on the first Thursday of each month.

The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Golden Thyme Coffee Café at 921 Selby Avenue (corner of North Milton Street) in Saint Paul, MN 55104. All ages are welcome, and there is no cover charge. Every first Thursday, a writing workshop will be held an hour before the open mic begins, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

About Host Tish Jones

Tish Jones, Community Engagement Director for the Saint Paul Almanac, is a spoken word artist, writer, educator, organizer, and activist in the Twin Cities. She has worked as a teaching artist with Pillsbury House Theater, Intermedia Arts, Plymouth Christian Youth Center, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis Public Schools (Arts for Academic Achievement), Kulture Klub, and many other arts organizations. She received the 2009 Artist of the Year Award from City Pages and was Female Spoken Word Artist of the Year at the Minnesota Spoken Word Association’s Urban Griots Awards in 2009.

About the Soul Sounds Open Mic

The Soul Sounds Open Mic is a platform for encouraging literacy within the Saint Paul community through leadership, mentoring, and relationship building. Unlike actors and many musicians, writers typically work in isolation, so building and supporting a literary community can be a challenge.

The “open mic” format, together with a featured performer, is designed to foster leadership; encourage connecting opportunities between established, emerging, and amateur writers; and help build, strengthen, and leverage other opportunities for the Saint Paul literary community.

Featured performers are recognized as leaders in the literary arts community and are offered an opportunity to build their own audiences. The “Soul Sounds Open Mic” also provides a space to connect writers who are spoken-word based and writers who are written-word based, within the context of being artists sharing a common literary heritage and practicing their craft in Saint Paul.

The First Thursday workshops before performances will explore specific poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance, metaphor, or specific forms of poetry to investigate when developing a piece. Workshop attendees will be encouraged to share the work created in the workshop at the open mic that follows.

About the Saint Paul Almanac

Now in its indispensable seventh edition, the 2013 Saint Paul Almanac is both a friendly guidebook to Minnesota’s capital city and Saint Paul’s eclectic community storytelling book of record, featuring essays, poems, photos, maps, and listings of events, bars, restaurants, theaters, and other cultural venues within a datebook format. Buy it now.

Available in full color, the 416-page 2013 Saint Paul Almanac includes over 160 photos and illustrations; gorgeous, hand-drawn, poster-size, pull-out maps of the City of Saint Paul and Downtown; and pull-out artwork by Ta-coumba Aiken!

A successful experiment in democratic publishing, the 2013 Almanac brought together a multigenerational group of 21 community editors to choose 132 pieces by 114 writers—without the editors knowing the authors’ identities—from hundreds of submissions.

High school students’ work appears alongside writing by grandparents, and first-time writers appear next to Saint Paul literary greats such as Garrison Keillor and Patricia Hampl.

Every person’s story is one unique part of a larger puzzle. When pieced together with all the other stories in the Saint Paul Almanac, the book transforms into a magical overview of Saint Paul’s interwoven cultures and communities, a tapestry of neighborhoods and favorite haunts.

The 2013 Saint Paul Almanac sells for $14.95 online (including S&H) at www.saintpaulalmanac.org and is available for $14.95 in independent and mainstream bookstores everywhere, as well as at libraries and coffee houses throughout the city.

Saint Paul Almanac‘s generous partners and sponsors include the City of Saint Paul’s Cultural STAR program, McKnight Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC), Minnesota State Arts Board, Lowertown Future Fund, Saint Paul Foundation, Mardag Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Traveler’s Employee Arts and Diversity Committee, Knight Foundation, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS), Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), Black Dog Café, Clouds in Water Zen Center, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and KFAI.

Event Location

The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Golden Thyme Coffee Café at 921 Selby Avenue (corner of North Milton Street) in Saint Paul. All ages are welcome, and there is no cover charge. The First Thursday writing workshop is held an hour before the open mic begins, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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