Previously, her words echoed through the of The Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, The Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, and South Africa’s State Theatre, and even the TED Talk stage. Now, the GW alumna and now performing artist and National Slam Champion Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Acevedo, returns to a smaller stage. GW’s “Open Mic Night Featuring Liz Acevedo” takes place tomorrow from 7 pm to 8:30 pm at the Frances and Armand Hammer Auditorium, at 500 17th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006.
Being an open mic, anyone can participate, and both attendance and performance privileges come free to the general public. In fact, Acevedo encourages new challengers to step up to the ring.
“We need fresh voices just as much as we need veterans,” Acevedo said, “it will certainly be a great opportunity for performers, regardless of how long they’ve been doing it.”
The structure of the event sets up that the scheduled acts, Acevedo, receSs, the GW Vibes, and Bencoolen, among others, will present first, followed by the audience members brave enough to set foot on stage, tongue to mic and fire to crowd. However, according to the Order of the Hippo, the event organizers, this structure is flexible, as “Acevedo is a creative lady, and she may invite members of the general public on to the stage when she feels moved.”
Now, while entry and performance participation are free, there is a $5 suggested entry donation to support the Corcoran Scholarship Fund. When asked about the reason for the holding the event, the Order commented, “this event is both a way to raise money for the Corcoran Scholarship Fund and an active demonstration that the arts are a priority at GW and they deserve to be showcased.”
In 2014, GW merged with the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Kriston Capps, a writer for the Washington City Paper, explained in an article called “Six Steps to Restore Our Faith in the Corcoran,” the discrepancy between the reliance on scholarships for former Corcoran students and for GW students. As of August of 2014, about 65 percent of GW freshman receive grants or scholarship aid, whereas about 81 percent of incoming Corcoran students rely on grants or aid.
There have been other recent events trying to raise money for Corcoran. On April 17, 2015, the Corcoran Gallery of Art hosted its 60th annual “Corcoran Ball,” and raised over $250,000 for the students at the college. Acevedo said “my participation in this event definitely has to do with helping to establish a Corcoran Scholarship in the Arts for a deserving student.” Meanwhile, for any member of the general public thinking of performing for the first time, Acevedo gave the following advice:
“My one piece of advice: be present. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in your thoughts, or overthinking the performance. But allowing yourself to remember you’re sharing space with people who are alive and eager to hear you and that this experience is a gift – I think that help you stay both grounded and able to mirror that energy.”