Creative expression can be therapeutic, especially when you’re getting in front of a microphone and sharing an experience with a crowd. Berwick Augustin, founder of Evoke180, the literary and performing arts group that
“I started writing at a time in my life when I was suicidal. It’s an experience to write feelings and emotions on paper and express it because it’s healing for someone else... It can be one person in the room or 100 people. It doesn’t matter because that message for the one person can be life-changing.”
Founded in 2002,
Though the cost of maintaining a venue has been a challenge for the open mike over the years, Augustin thinks Phirst Impressionz has survived because of a belief in the power of spoken word. “The belief has not died down because art never dies," he says. "Art imitates life, and as long as there’s life, there’s art. There’s a powerful element being expressed that is used to edify people. Words are never going to die.”
Augustin says what sets
Looking toward the future, Augustin hopes
For now, Augustin looks forward to the 15th anniversary and its poignant theme. “No matter what you’re going through in life, if you have peace within, whatever storm is going around you, you’ll be able to get around it. It can be 15 days, 15 months, or 15 years: Internal peace will drive you to get through.”
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