By Mario Tarradell, Public Relations & Marketing Manager
Your best friend – that free-spirited, creatively sparked buddy that always makes you feel special, worthy – took a summer vacation. But now this cherished companion is back, ready to provide a safe haven for self-expression.
We’re talking about DaVerse Lounge, the spoken word movement that’s been a cultural signpost since its inception in 2005. DaVerse Lounge kicks off its 12th season October 7 from 7-10 pm at Life in Deep Ellum. That’s a milestone show that ushers in a new era.
DaVerse Lounge Season 12 will feature six events instead of the customary four. The expanded spate of shows is in direct response to the local and educational groundswell created at each DaVerse Lounge. In addition to the October 7 kick-off extravaganza, catch the DaVerse magic Nov. 11, Dec. 9, Feb. 3, March 3 and April 7, all at Life in Deep Ellum.
So what does the return of DaVerse Lounge mean? For more than 2,600 participants that have already stepped on the DaVerse Lounge stage, it means the chance to read again, to express their most intimate thoughts before a receptive audience. For countless other hopefuls, it means the opportunity to be heard, to be instantly accepted.
For the approximately 600 readers and listeners that attend each DaVerse Lounge, it means another evening basking in a free-flowing environment that welcomes and nurtures youth as well as adults with raw, honest spoken word, R&B-jazz music from Melody Memory bandleader and DaVerse Lounge mentor Alejandro Perez Jr., and impromptu painting.
What does DaVerse Lounge mean to the people behind the scenes – and in front of the crowd?
DaVerse Lounge means unconditional love and soulful acceptance.
– Will Richey, Creator, DaVerse Lounge
DaVerse Lounge means a cross pollination of the arts, culture, and communities reigniting creative conversation.
– Alejandro Perez, Jr., Mentor, DaVerse Lounge
DaVerse Lounge means using my bravery to not only share, but mostly to listen.
– Joel Triska, Owner, Life in Deep Ellum
DaVerse Lounge means freedom for teens around the Metroplex, the opportunity to speak and be heard.
– Shianne Patrick, Youth Development Specialist, Big Thought
The 2016-2017 season of DaVerse Lounge, a partnership between Big Thought and Journeyman Ink, promises a series of thematic shows. While those themes are still evolving, they will include collaborations with 29 Pieces, The Original Carter Literary Society (David W. Carter High School), and Big Thought’s Creative Solutions.
Anticipation is high as season 11 concluded on a decidedly electric high note. The April 2016 DaVerse Lounge drew 640 attendees, the largest turnout of the season. Forty-one students performed; 28 high schools, 13 middle schools, 3 elementary schools and 2 colleges were in the house; 17 of those schools were outside of the Dallas city limits, including McKinney, Mansfield, Greenville and Sam Houston high schools; and 13 Big Thought-supported DaVerse clubs attended.
Big Thought partnered with DaVerse Lounge and Richey’s own Journeyman Ink in 2009, after DaVerse’s first four years at the Dallas Theater Center. The relationship has been symbiotic, fueled by a three-tiered approach that includes learning via a school curriculum, practicing with the after-school DaVerse Works clubs, and performing at the DaVerse Lounge open-mic events. More than 200 DaVerse Works poetry club members use their own middle and high schools as platforms for self-expression.
So you see, DaVerse Lounge is that cherished best friend that means many things to many of us. One sentiment is certainly universal: We’re so happy it’s back.
DaVerse Lounge thanks TACA, Dallas Mavericks, and State Farm for generously supporting DaVerse Lounge.
Photo by Joseph Brewster