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.
May 29 Featured Performer – Fres Thao
“Are you living life? Or simply just living?”
Fres Thao is an advocate for the Arts; believing Art is direct energy from the soul. As a Hip Hop pioneer of the Hmong American community, he has been an active lyricist, performer, producer and mentor since the early 90’s. Founding member of nationally dispersed Hip Hop group, Illegoaliens and Twin Cities based collective, Pupils of the Storm, Fres has released numerous albums, mixtapes and compilations including his recent full length album Mind Full Of. He was a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative, accessing funds to create his “Mind Full Of” vinyl project; the first full length Hmong Hip Hop vinyl record album. He is in the process of writing an illustrated children’s poetry book.
Fres is also the founder of Figure Eight Loops Media, and the Executive Director for the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent, the first and only multidisciplinary Hmong arts organization in the world. Fres currently sits on the board of Springboard for the Arts, and the Frogtown Neighborhood Association (District 7), and freelances as a creative writing instructor, arts consultant and mentor for organizations such as Soullections, Essential Sessions Studios and the Loft Literary Center. He is also a 2014 fellow with the Creative Community Leadership Institute.
Through his struggles, aspirations, accomplishments and principles, he aims to nurture the pursuit, support, and valuing of the arts.
His music can be found on iTunes or at www.cdbaby.com/fresthao
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. 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 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.
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.